Being Stood Up

I was the product of an affair, of a relationship that no one ever thought would last long. For as long as I can remember, people would tell me how I should have never been born a contradiction that always amazed me since most of my family is Roman Catholic. In school, I would overhear teachers and parents comments of outrage because their legitimate children didn’t have the same opportunities awarded to them as me, the bastard child, who in previous decades would have been denied enrollment. It was a lonely position to defend, a difficult one, especially since my mother loved me in ways I can’t verbalize and did the impossible to make me a happy child in spite of the controversial origin story.

Around the time I was 5 my dad started to flake out, or ghost as the Millennials say. Tsk. Tsk. He would cancel dinner dates or plans with me and my mom, leaving us dressed with nowhere to go. The hardest and most cruelest days of my early childhood included the most imaginative cover stories my mom could come up with to ease the blow even though we all knew my father’s actions were beyond redemption. My mother did everything she could to ensure I wouldn’t love him any less, and that his image as my parent wasn’t tarnished. The plan, however, did not work especially on my sister who saw right through his half-hearted and half assed intentions. To this day, I can vividly remember how disappointed I felt all those times that we were stood up. The weight of that sadness slowly pulling me inwards, closing me off to the world, making me feel unloved, unworthy, and self-conscious about every thing I could be saying or doing to deserve being outcast.

Taking each Maybe RSVP or cancellation became a personal struggle because the “they still love or care about you part” has never fully convinced me. If they truly cared they would make the time, no?, regardless of whether or not they like the event or activity being proposed. Looking at the clock with the hopes that those you love will actually show up is pure torture, the cruelest kind, which I would not wish on my worst enemy. As an introvert I can tolerate being alone, and I can’t adapt to developing events but what I can’t handle is feeling lonely and betrayed by people who are adamantly stating that they care and have your best interest at heart. Excuses are not for those who receive them, only for those who give them, and very seldom do they justify your absence not contribute to repairing a broken heart or spirit. Young or old, it doesn’t matter. A broken promise or commitment leaves a dent in the strongest of resolves.

Is it me? Am I really that unlucky in party planning? It is easier to think one is unrelatable or that said peers and friends are not really loyal to your crown. It is hard to find good fans or minions these days, without having to pay for them. 🤔

As my 10th wedding anniversary approaches, all these bad memories of last minute cancellations stall my drive to pull together a celebration. I started to do smaller gatherings with those who tend to show up more, and entice those who owe me to deliver on their “next time” promise. It has been a slow recovery process from being cynical about every invitation or RSVP, because I honestly do not feel the effort and gains are worth the pain of the rejection messages, constantly questioning the concept of friendship altogether. 😥 Gotta love adulting! Now I know why people turn recluse in their 30s… Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I still have a few more months to decide how to ring in the new decade, and with whom.

Stay tuned…

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