Last winter when when several houses in the neighborhood were being repaired after hurricane damage, my son N met some boys who's dad was working on a roof down the street. They were really nice kids, and they all enjoyed playing together. We haven't had a chance to get them together again since, but every once in a while the older brother and N talk on the phone. I decided as part of my new year goal to reach out to friends, that we should reach out to the kids' friends as well. Earlier this week I had N call these boys and ask if they wanted to come over this afternoon. Every time N spoke to them, they were not sure but "probably" could come. Last night I had N call once again to get a straight answer; I had him tell them we needed to know for sure because if they weren't coming over then there were things we could leave the house to do. They said yes, they would be here this afternoon.
Well, today rolls around and an hour past the agreed upon time, they still weren't here. I had N call again, and only then did they say, oh never mind, they were not coming over. What the heck! Who does that? I understand if things come up, but it sounds like they just didn't want to leave the house today. Okay, fine. But you still call and let the other party know that your plans have changed. Especially when the other party has said if you're not going to come over there are things they can go out to do instead. I had a really hard time keeping my cool when N got off the phone because I was so frustrated, both with his friends' lack of manners and with his disappointment of not seeing friends he'd been so excited to see. At least it was a chance to provide my kids with a real world lesson in common courtesy, and let them know the proper etiquette for canceling plans.