This comes as absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows me well personally, but here it is…
I am flaky.
Yesterday I forgot about lunch plans with a friend. A friend who was in from out of town. And her birthday had been the day before. And she’s going through a hard time right now.
And I completely forgot about it.
Did I mention I am the one who helped plan the lunch?
Instead of heading to a delicious restaurant with girlfriends, I was at Costco, a bottle of Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil pills in one hand and its Kirkland’s Best counterpart in the other, scrutinizing the difference. For the record. Nature’s Bounty has a few more milligrams of the good stuff for twice the cost.
My God, my life is fascinating.
I could have given – and did give – a thousand excuses as to why I failed to remember our lunch date. I’d had the shittiest Monday on record, starting with copious yelling in my attempts to get three kids out of the house. I had mountains of work to catch up on after the long weekend. We’d just returned from Dallas late the evening before and the laundry was out of control. I banged my knee on the kitchen chair trying to feed the cat. I mean, really.
But the truth is, lunch wasn’t even on my radar. I’d forgotten about it long before Monday morning. I failed to put it on my calendar, along with the blaring alarm that accompanies anything I even remotely want to remember – library days for the kids, doctor’s appointments, our weekly gymnastics class, LUNCHES WITH BIRTHDAY FRIENDS.
And the other truth is, I am a flake.
Part of me wants to say “to know me is to love me,” and that means realizing that I am forgetful and slightly self-absorbed. Not in a narcissistic way, but I tend to get wrapped up in my own life and can easily let my connections slip. I’m terrible with birthdays. I don’t often suggest lunch dates or girls’ nights out. I shamefully depend on my extroverted friends for those things. I fail to “check in” with my close friends or with people I know need support. When I asked if someone had had their baby yet, my friend texted back, “God I hope so. He was due a month ago.”
Sometimes I think that some flakiness is okay. This is who I am! I say, and people just think, “Oh, that Leigh Ann. She’s so in her head! A true creative indeed.”
And then I realize that I’m actually just being rude, and my failure to keep up with these things may be sending the wrong signals.
That I’m disorganized. (Check.)
That I’m flaky. (Yup.)
That I don’t care.
That last one’s not true. I do care. And I’m crushed to think that my flakiness may cause someone to think I don’t. You know those people you feel don’t care enough to ask about your life? I’ve become one of those people. I’m so wrapped up in my own circus, it’s hard for me to pay attention to the other acts. I mean, my children are very loud and a little overwhelming, and our life is hectic for sure. But that shouldn’t keep me from asking about a friend’s job interview or impending move. I want to know how you’re doing, what you’re up to, whether or not you’re still pregnant after 12 months or so.
It just may stare unblinking for a second or two too long when you text, “I’m waiting for you guys at a booth towards the back!”
I’ll catch on eventually.