It is Friday morning, March 9. 9:09 a.m. to be exact. (Note to self: Must remember to call the baby sister as today is her 25th birthday.) I am sitting in the loft on the overstuffed couch, which was upholstered in brown velour and is, might I add, the most comfortable couch in all the land, my legs propped on a blue bouncy ball, which, I understand some use for exercise. I, personally, use it as a foot rest.
Upon my lap is a clipboard with a green piece of paper attached, but not just a regular green–it’s pastel-ey and quite unfortunate. And I will probably have to change it out, because I don’t know if I can actually stand to look at the color all day. I am writing with a fine-tipped sharpie pen, not the markers–there’s a difference–because I love them most of all, the pens I mean. Although, there are times when the paper type or project will call for the usage of a Pilot G2 05 (do not forget the 05) pen. Trust me. I know these things.
And those are the details of how I came to be planning my weekend.
I have two photo shoots tomorrow, both engagement sessions actually, which is pretty exciting, no? The day begins however, with my visiting teachers* taking me out for a birthmonth breakfast—because it’s never too early, or too late, to celebrate one’s birthday, right? The Church auction (where we all donate items and then bid on them to raise money for the kids to go to their camps and conferences this summer) is also tomorrow night, but I’ll have to leave early to make it in time for the ever-entertaining cJane‘s birthday party down south. It’s a private concert by the Folka Dots, whom I’ve never seen before, but which should be pretty cool. (And I’ll know, because I use words like “cool.”)
Plus in the midst of all of this, Frit‘s birthday party is scheduled for tomorrow in the early-afternoon, but I still don’t know if I can make it (which is killing me, by the way. Me? Miss a birthday party? For my best friend? I’m hyperventilating.) because the two brides I’m shooting tomorrow, who are both on the very youngish side of life I might add, still haven’t given me locations for their shoots.
And those are the details of how I came to be thinking about planning and, on a related note, RSVPs.
Now, I realize I’m of a “planning personality,” let’s call it, but does no one plan anymore? Or even make arrangements they can commit to? I don’t think I’m very old, but I’m with Emily Post on this. To give advance notice is the right thing to do. To RSVP is the polite thing to do.
Example: I recently scheduled a birthday party for myself, and sent the invitation via Facebook, which I swore I’d never do, seeing as I love the old-fashioned niceties of mailed invitations. But I thought, everyone’s on FB. Surely this will be helpful to them in RSVPing. Not so. Very few people responded. Which I don’t understand. It’s just a click of the mouse. Yes. Or no. And it’s okay to say no, just so you know. The hostess will not cry. Sometimes you have other plans. But it’s not okay to just not respond. (Or perhaps the whole situation was just a hard way to learn that I don’t really have as many friends as Facebook says I do. Hmmmm….)
It is also, in my opinion, not okay to click “maybe.” Clicking “maybe” on Facebook only means that you think the event sounds like fun, and you kind of sort of want to come, and you don’t want to hurt the hostess’ feelings, but you are unwilling to commit. Which essentially means you’re not going to come, because you haven’t committed. If you are able/want to come, you will click yes. You will put it on your calendar. And you will arrange your schedule to make it happen.
My parents drilled this into me as a child. If you said you were going to do something, you did it. Even if you didn’t want to. If you said you were going to be somewhere, you went. Even if you didn’t want to. You made the plan. Now you follow through. And certainly there are situations and circumstances that arise where it is necessary to break the commitment, but those should be the exceptions, not the rule.
Take, for example the numerous working-girl friends I have. Making plans with many of them is an exercise in my patience. We make a date. They cancel. We make another date. They cancel. Replay. Repeat. And because I love them, I politely oblige. But, ultimately all such cancellations/reschedules mean that they have found something more important to do than our original date. And what does that say to the cancelee? Again, I’m not saying situations don’t arise that warrant a reschedule. I too have had to cancel a time or two. But again … exceptions. Not rules.
Because if you have committed to something, and have written it down so you don’t forget, you can then say, “No, I’m sorry boss. I can’t come into that meeting. I have an appointment I’ve already committed to.” or “No, I’m sorry. I can’t get that to you in an hour. I have an appointment, but I can get it to you in two.” or “No, I’m sorry. I can’t go with you, I’ve already planned to go to such-and-such at that time.”
See. Everything is connected. I can’t RSVP to Frit because my brides haven’t given me their locations. So now Frit doesn’t know whether or not to plan for me in her headcount. So I have to just say, “no.” But then if it turns out I can go, I’ll say “yes” last minute, causing her to have to scramble to find space for me (which a good hostess doesn’t mind doing–there’s always more room–but it takes a bit of rearranging that you would have otherwise rathered not do). And if I can’t make it to Frit’s party, then I still have some time in-between sessions that I’d like to be able to schedule.
If I schedule a lunch with someone it means I have happily and willingly carved out an hour of my day for them. It means I have arranged my schedule to drive to and from the location, hinging the rest of my day’s activities and appointments on those times. It also means I will have to, perhaps, turn down other activities that come up after the date is made, even if they are more enticing. So if that date gets canceled, I’ve not only lost that hour and befuddled the plans I made around it, but it means I’ve perhaps missed out on other opportunities that could have filled that time.
If I, or others, don’t RSVP, then the hostess of whatever-party-it-is won’t know whether or not to make two batches of cupcakes or one. And so she’ll make two, because it’s better to have more food than not enough. But then if I really don’t come, she’ll have wasted her time and her money making two batches. And she’ll be left with plates of leftovers.
And call me crazy, but I think birthdays, and cupcakes, and plans, and commitments are important.
And those are the details of how I came to feel a little bit feisty this morning.
*In the LDS (aka Mormon) Church, all the ladies are part of a group called The Relief Society. It is the oldest and largest women’s organization in the world, with millions of members worldwide, dedicated to building faith, strengthening families, and helping those in need. Our motto is “Charity Never Faileth.” Each congregation has an organized “chapter” in their community and one of the programs of watchcare within The Relief Society is called “Visiting Teaching.” Each woman in Relief Society is given a Visiting Teaching partner and a “route,” meaning a pair of women is given a group of women to befriend and visit with each month. So, for example, I have a Visiting Teaching partner and a list of three ladies we visit each month. I also have a two ladies who visit me to make sure I’m okay (and take me to breakfast for my birthday!). In doing so, the hope is that each woman within the organization is watched over and cared for. Needs are met. Services are rendered. And friendships are created. As a sidenote, you don’t have to be a member of the LDS Church to be a part of The Relief Society. In addition to Visiting Teaching, Relief Society chapters do small and large-scale charity work, learn/teach new skills, instill and/or bolster faith, and defend/support marriage and family.