Help settle a debate about a friend who ALWAYS flakes.
April 1, 2013 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Friend Ay always looks forward to meeting Friend Bee. But Friend Bee changes her plans at the last minute at least 25% of the time. THIS time, however, Friend Ay was leaving to a different city to be with his ill grandfather. It may be a 4 day trip if the grandfather got better, and an unknown length of time had he passed away. Ay/Bee made a plan to meet up the night before Ay's flight. Bee didn't inform Ay that she was canceling the plan. They did not meet. Ay was livid. This had happened far too frequently, and the uncertainty of the duration of the trip made it all the worse. Bee profusely apologized; she realized the least she could have done is call and tell him. Upon Ay's return, he met up with some other friends and saved up some time for Bee to meet him afterward. But Bee had already made tentative plans with someone else, a coworker she sees every day. Ay INSISTED that Bee cancel her plans with Cee; they'll see each other again tomorrow at work anyway and can resume their fun on any other night. Bee responded by saying that she can't cancel fixed plans with someone else, even though that was exactly what she had done to Ay earlier in the week. Bee canceled on Ay, but would not cancel on Cee, even though Ay really wanted to talk.

To add more to this story, Ay is leaving the country in 28 days. Perhaps for good. It is very likely that Ay and Bee will never meet again. Cee, on the other hand, sees Bee on a daily basis. They work together and will continue to meet up whenever they please. None of these three people are romantically involved.

Bee claims that Ay's last 28 days are of the utmost importance to her. Yet she has bailed on him one occasion, and refused to move a plan for the day of Ay's return for a man she can hang out with whenever she'd like. Ay stopped speaking to Bee, calling her selfish and stating that she has never made a gesture where his plans took priority. It always feels to Ay as though he's the back-up plan.

Was Ay right to ask for Cee's plans to be canceled, since Bee had no qualms about canceling Ay's plan in the first place?

If Bee's claims that Ay's final days truly are important to her, should she have rescheduled Cee?

Four nights have past; Ay and Bee have yet to meet, and Ay is only angrily texting her, telling her that he needs a gesture to prove the friendship isn't always on Bee's terms. Till date, Bee has not shown up to his doorstep (they live 7 minutes walking distance from each other) and does not believe a grand gesture is needed among friends. Ay's house is open to her 24/7, and she barely texts back when Ay gets heated and upset in their exchanges. In their last exchange, Bee switched off her phone intentionally.

Are Ay's requests of a grand gesture warranted, given the repetitive history of flakeouts? Is Bee possibly right in some way?

What is the best solution to this problem now that Ay doesn't believe she'll ever meet him on his terms? Give up the friendship and live on for the next 28 days? Figure out Bee's side of the puzzle?

What are the next steps?
posted by smersh to Human Relations (54 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why does Ay make Bee a priority when Bee only makes Ay an option?
posted by matty at 2:24 PM on April 1, 2013 [15 favorites]

Friend Ay needs to give up on Friend Bee.
posted by nanook at 2:24 PM on April 1, 2013 [18 favorites]

Holy snackballs.

Everyone needs to move on with their lives and stop trying to manipulate the bejesus out of each other.

Life is too short for this junior high bullshit. Ay needs to work on packing and leaving and saying goodbye to the people she's able to. Bee needs to do whatever Bee's gonna do. Who the hell cares about Cee? Why are you involved?

Move on.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:24 PM on April 1, 2013 [35 favorites]

Ay never has the right to ask Bee to cancel her plans, no matter what the deal is. Ay can decide that Bee doesn't put him first in her relationships and he can move on and see other people.

Bee is being pretty clear that Ay is a convenience, not an importance. If people are important to one, one makes an effort.

Ay needs to stop texting, stop demanding and DTBeeFA to the curb for now.

If Ay is leaving the country in less than a month, Ay has a lot more on his plate than chasing after someone who's making it abundantly clear that she's not all that interested, one way or the other.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:25 PM on April 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

It appears Ay and Bee have a mismatch in their expectations of how friends should behave. This isn't likely to change and they are probably best off just not engaging at this point.

You shouldn't get involved in this drama.
posted by grouse at 2:25 PM on April 1, 2013

Bee sounds a bit unreliable, but Ay sounds a bit psycho to me.
posted by empath at 2:26 PM on April 1, 2013 [7 favorites]

matty: Ay is only here for a short bit of time. Bee is popular. Ay has fewer friends.
posted by smersh at 2:26 PM on April 1, 2013

This is just silly drama. If you know Bee constantly flakes, why would you expect anything but flakiness from her? That makes NO sense. And asking her to cancel on plans with Cee is poor judgment. If she cancels on Ay, Ay gets upset, but Ay wants her to cancel on someone else? Please.

All parties involved need to grow up. Sorry, but that's how it is.
posted by 2oh1 at 2:26 PM on April 1, 2013 [5 favorites]

Ay needs to let go. Bee doesn't seem particularly interested in maintaining a friendship, for whatever reason. If Ay is going to be leaving for another country soon and it's likely that Ay and Bee will never meet again, then it doesn't seem like the friendship will be able to continue even if both parties want it to. Indeed, it's likely that Ay's leaving has partially precipitated this situation.

Ay should focus on his moving and the new friends he's going to be making in the New Country. Hopefully, Ay will have a more relaxed expectation of what friends do for one another, instead of feeding the drama by engaging with people in this fashion.
posted by Solomon at 2:27 PM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Bee doesn't really value Ay's friendship very much while Ay overvalues it despite evidence of it not being mutual. Ay should stop trying to force it and cut his losses. Ay also should have a better sense of relationship red flags as he's disregarded a number of them in favor of fruitlessly requesting proof of friendship and grand gestures of someone who doesn't really care that much.
posted by quince at 2:27 PM on April 1, 2013 [5 favorites]

In this situation, Ay most certainly ignored a few major red flags.
posted by smersh at 2:29 PM on April 1, 2013

Yes, Bee was a jerk, that's absolutely true. But the fact that Bee was a jerk does not give Ay the right to demand things from her, including canceling other plans, hanging out with him whenever Ay wants, or (especially) a "grand gesture," which is a highly inappropriate thing to demand from a friend. Bee doesn't really seem to have any desire to see Ay. That sucks, but nothing Ay does is going to change that in the next month. Ay needs to relax and move on.
posted by brainmouse at 2:30 PM on April 1, 2013 [9 favorites]

To elaborate on the psycho thing: If anybody ever demanded that I cancel plans with someone else to spend time with them, I'd think they were way out of line. If they continued to angrily text me and contact me about it after I told them no, I'd probably block their number and never want to talk to them again.
posted by empath at 2:31 PM on April 1, 2013 [6 favorites]

Clearly Bee is not as interested in the friendship as Ay is. It is time for Ay to move on.


Four nights have past; Ay and Bee have yet to meet, and Ay is only angrily texting her, telling her that he needs a gesture to prove the friendship isn't always on Bee's terms. Till date, Bee has not shown up to his doorstep (they live 7 minutes walking distance from each other) and does not believe a grand gesture is needed among friends. Ay's house is open to her 24/7, and she barely texts back when Ay gets heated and upset in their exchanges. In their last exchange, Bee switched off her phone intentionally.

This is the opposite of moving on. This is psycho. Ay needs to stop contacting Bee. Grand gestures work in romantic comedies, but not in real life. In real life actually showing up for plans with your friend is the important thing. Bee has failed to do this. Bummer.
posted by medusa at 2:34 PM on April 1, 2013 [5 favorites]

This does not resemble a regular friendship between adults in any way with which I am familiar.

People usually show you what the are. Bee has shown Ay repeatedly that Bee is someone who is flaky and who doesn't put a priority on follow-through or on their friendship. Ay needs to shrug and move on and stop putting so much energy into forcing Bee to act the way Ay wants. Yes, even though Bee is rude. Yes, even though Ay is right to be mad and hurt. Let. It. Go. already.
posted by rtha at 2:34 PM on April 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

On second thought, this whole story makes it sound like Ay has an unrequited crush on Bee. Is that what's going on?
posted by medusa at 2:35 PM on April 1, 2013 [12 favorites]

Yikes. How very complicated.

Bee does not really want to Cee Ay. Christ this is hard.

I'm curious about who you are in this alphabet soup...Ay? In any case, Bee doesn't care too much about Ay, I don't see why anyone cares about what Cee thinks, and Ay needs to realize that Bee is not a friend.

And I need to take a Tylenol. Sheesh. Please, different pseudonyms next time?
posted by kinetic at 2:36 PM on April 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

Ay needs to realize that it's better to have fewer friends than a friend like Bee. For all the time and angst involved in this situation, Ay could have met some new people.

I have a couple of friends like Bee. I invite them to parties and never count their RSVPs as RSVPs. If they show up, great, if not, also great. I don't get invested in their comings and goings, and I never make plans with them on a one-on-one basis.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:37 PM on April 1, 2013

Good friends should be able to ask each other to change plans in times of need. Good friends should not ask each other to change plans to prove that they are good friends.

Ay is too invested. Bee is incredibly rude. Sounds like things will take care of themselves in 28 days.
posted by obol at 2:37 PM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Bee is flakey and basically just isn't that into Ay. Ay, on the other hand, is flipping out (I assume the stress of leaving the country and having an ill grandparent is perhaps causing Ay to overreact to this -- Ay might be channeling that stress into being enraged at Bee). Ay's leaving the country anyway -- what easier way to let a friendship that's clearly on shaky ground just go ahead and naturally fizzle?
posted by Countess Sandwich at 2:37 PM on April 1, 2013

Oh god if B bails on A whenever it's convenient, it's just not important to B to see A at all. Proceed accordingly
posted by citron at 2:42 PM on April 1, 2013

"This does not resemble a regular friendship between adults in any way with which I am familiar."

Actually, it reminds me of a friendship I had years ago. I had a friend who was very popular and always flaked. When I realized that making plans with her meant I'd either end up being canceled on, I also realized that I was a fool to keep making plans with her.

Maybe you're thinking "But what if that means not hanging out with her at all?" Isn't that what's already happening?

Make plans. She cancels.
Make plans. She cancels.
Make plans. She cancels.
Make plans. She cancels.
...why would you make plans and expect anything other than for her to cancel?
posted by 2oh1 at 2:42 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

brainmouse, you're absolutely right. However, Ay isn't asking Bee to hang out whenever he wants. The "grand gesture" Ay had been looking for was to spend one day actually being there for him, instead of for her. Ay's kind of a sap; he will help Bee out at a moment's notice. But when it comes time for Bee to do anything Ay wants (like go see a movie), those plans will almost always fall through. The grand gesture was one of having a day of Ay. From what I've observed, Ay has never gotten that. Somehow, all plans end up as Bee's plans.
posted by smersh at 2:52 PM on April 1, 2013

Ruthless Bunny: In other words, Ay needs to get a fucking life.

Couldn't agree more.
posted by smersh at 2:54 PM on April 1, 2013 [5 favorites]

Are Ay's requests of a grand gesture warranted, given the repetitive history of flakeouts? Is Bee possibly right in some way?

Generally, if B is sorry about her behavior and wants to make up, she should put aside time in her schedule to make time for A. But B obviously doesn't care enough to do so. This is how friendships end, pretty much. And it doesn't seem like much of a friendship, anyway. A should not have so much of his self-esteem tied up in attention from B and should hang out with more reliable friends.
posted by deanc at 2:55 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

medusa, there's an element of unrequited love, yes. It was requited for about six months.
posted by smersh at 3:01 PM on April 1, 2013

Ay seems to feel that Bee "owes" him her time. Unless there are legal details of which we are unaware, I don't see how this is the case.

he will help Bee out at a moment's notice

This is entirely a free choice that Ay makes. Ay can and could have stopped doing this at the first sign of flakiness. Perhaps Bee was leading Ay on or something, but I really think Lyn Never has it:

Everyone needs to move on with their lives and stop trying to manipulate the bejesus out of each other.

Also, Ay's social life is no one's responsibility but his own.

Moving to another country is exciting and stressful and something worth focusing on. Good luck to Ay!
posted by Schielisque at 3:02 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's a lot that could be read into each person's behaviours here.

The short version is that Ay has an unmet need – which results in the anger. That need appears to be Bee behaving "in the way a friend does," which will undoubtably be his definition. As Bee has routinely shown that she is not going to behaving "in the way a friend" does, it is on Ay to either accept the situation as it exists, or see friendship and recognition elsewhere.

I don't see Bee as having a whole lot of responsibility here, for her behaviour sounds relatively obvious – and more importantly congruent. Note, her words may be incongruent with her actions, but her actions seems congruent and consistent. I doubt it's useful to label her in any specific way or apply some kind of logical framework to it. The reality is that she has a different set of needs and priorities in her life.

Back to Ay, what need is this drama with Bee filling? It's obviously creating a lot of noise in his life, and providing ample fodder for conversation amongst the friends. Is there the possibility that rather than dealing with the situation on its terms – that he may be leaving for an undetermined amount of time and/or that a significant family member is very ill – he is creating distractions for himself?

Is it easier for him to put a ton of pressure on Bee to be a better friend – whilst full well knowing what kind of person she is and has been – or to accept the situation for what it is?

My first thought was that he is harbouring unrequited love, and the time pressure is distortion what was previously a friendship. If that is not the case, as you say, then I would say it sounds as if he is trying to distract himself from what is coming. That's fine, it could well be a normal coping mechanism with uncertainty, but he needs to deal with it on his own terms.

As for Bee, who knows? Maybe she's not interested in going on this journey in the next 28 days with Ay. Maybe that's not the kind of friends they are – or she perceives them to be. Overall, it sounds like Ay's the one with the problem, and I would be surprised if that problem was actually Bee.
posted by nickrussell at 3:04 PM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

It also really sounds like A has a crush on B and is going the extra mile -- further than A would go with other friends -- and is upset that B doesn't even notice, much less reciprocate. But B doesn't owe A a recirprocal crush. And, on preview, B is allowed to change her mind about A.

B sounds rude, and A sounds like a Nice Guy (in the bad sense), and this doesn't sound like a friendship at all -- it sounds like B is trying to figure out how to get out of a relationship of any sort with A and can't figure out how so is doing it really rudely OR like B just doesn't care about A but doesn't mind him when she has nothing better to do.

But the details of what's in B's mind don't matter, because the clear inference of what she's doing is that she doesn't particularly value A, and no matter how many favours A does for B, she's not going to.
posted by jeather at 3:06 PM on April 1, 2013 [9 favorites]

Are you A, B, or C? No? Then the next step is to stay out of it.

If you are A or B, then your next step is to apologize since both behaved horribly.
posted by 26.2 at 3:07 PM on April 1, 2013 [16 favorites]

The next step is for A to give up entirely on B, stop acting like a weird mix of a teenager and a stalker, and to move to this new country and have an awesome life there with friends who actually care for him.
posted by jeather at 3:07 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Bee is a crappy/flakey friend. Ay needs to let go and let this unequal friendship end. The good thing is that in a month, the two protagonists will be in different countries and none of this will matter. Ay might want to pretend that the 28 days have already elapsed. Bee has already been told that Bee's flakiness makes it hard for people to be friends with Bee. This is sort of a FIAMO moment: Bee's friendship skills have been flagged. It is time for Ay, the person flagging, to move on.

When one person behaves like a jerk, it is not necessary for the other person to behave like a different species of jerk. This started off with Bee in the wrong and now Ay is in the wrong for Ay's hyperbolic response.

Oy. Vey.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:07 PM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

"Are you A, B, or C? No? Then the next step is to stay out of it."

I would favorite this comment a thousand times if I could.
Such. Solid. Advice.
posted by 2oh1 at 3:13 PM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

there's an element of unrequited love, yes. It was requited for about six months.

Aaaaaand bingo.

To me, this doesn't seem like a friendship so much as a post-breakup "oh we can still be friends" attempt (probably initiated by Bee?) that is backfiring in a huge way.

Ay probably kept carrying a torch for Bee and was hoping they'd rekindle their romance. But now the clock is ticking, Ay is leaving the country, and he's being forced to confront the reality that Bee clearly doesn't feel the same way and they're not going to get back together.

Bee is probably relieved because she was just trying to be nice and let him down gently and now his departure gives her the perfect excuse to do the slow fade without feeling like a terrible person.

Unfortunately this does also paint Ay as the classic "possessive ex-boyfriend/stalker with a crush" with control issues. Honestly, I'd recommend that Bee cut ties as soon as possible and give Ay strict instructions to stop contacting her. Ay should take his relocation as an opportunity to move on and do some serious self-reflection on how he approaches relationships.
posted by castlebravo at 3:13 PM on April 1, 2013 [4 favorites]

castlebravo, Bee claims that she doesn't want Ay to leave the country, that he's her best friend. Ay, in fact, has been the one pushing for them to spend less time together, but Bee "insists" and then flakes. Ay's anger stems from the countless number of times the flaking has happened.

But I suspect you're right on all counts.
posted by smersh at 3:18 PM on April 1, 2013

[OP please don't threadsit.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:20 PM on April 1, 2013 [6 favorites]

Bee claims that she doesn't want Ay to leave the country, that he's her best friend.

Oh, bullshit. Is Bee old enough to have ever heard the expression "actions speak louder than words"? That. She sounds like she enjoys being the center of attention and isn't above being manipulative to stay there. Ay is having their chain yanked, repeatedly, and seems to like it, since at least that means more drama/attention from Bee. Roll your eyes and walk away. If either of them are actually you....Walk away. And therapy.
posted by rtha at 3:21 PM on April 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

It doesn't make any difference at all if Bee "is popular" or if Ay "is only here for a short bit of time" or "has fewer friends" --- Bee is rude and inconsiderate, and Ay will be better off if he just drops Bee from his life.

Ay's anger was somewhat justified, especially since this is a consistant pattern of Bee's. And Bee saying that they couldn't cancel tentative plans with Cee because that would be rude to Cee? That was just another slap in the face to Ay, since that is EXACTLY what Bee has done to Ay, repetitively.

Does Bee pull this no-notice cancelation and flaking out with other people, or is Ay the only one? Because if Bee does this to other people too, I'm wondering how Bee could possibly be considered 'popular'.
posted by easily confused at 3:23 PM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Ignore A and B for a second. To be fair, "normal" people sometimes flake out on outings with their friends. This happens. The followup should be a profuse apology and some kind of activity/outing with that person you flaked out on to make up for the mistake. That is what normal people do.

A lot of what you describe sounds like the sort of drama that goes on in your 20s. It passes.
posted by deanc at 3:31 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

If someone flakes on you all the time, especially under circumstances like this, either you learn to accept that and never make concrete plans with them, or you quit the friendship.

If Ay is leaving forever? ESPECIALLY dump this so-called friendship.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:34 PM on April 1, 2013

Bee seems to be hoping Ay will calm down and realize that she doesn't feel the same way about Ay that Ay does about her. She's probably looking forward to Ay moving away, if Ay is being so obnoxious that she has to turn off her phone because he's become so heated during a conversation. Cee is an excuse.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:39 PM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Bee is popular because she's rude, and is taunting Ay to make herself feel more popular.

Ay is running up to kick Lucy's football again and again because Ay has never experienced this before and thinks arguing is going to help. In fact it will only result in people thinking less of Ay and admiring Bee more, since at least Bee has a fucking life, even if that life consists of withholding and taunting ex-lovers in order to provoke them into acting up.

Neediness is weakness, and malice is strength; nobody wants to think of themselves as malicious, but given the choice, it would feel worse to think of oneself as vulnerable. Therefore, Ay's neediness is causing Ay to lose social value, whereas Bee at least looks like a winner if nothing else.

Ay is out of line demanding that Bee cancel plans with Cee. This is rude by any standard, but also, Ay is trying to assert the social standing that would be necessary in order to make such a demand, but is so low in the pecking order that such a request could never be granted coming from him (whereas Bee might be able to make such demands and get away with it socially, though not without being blisteringly rude in the process; such demands are more successfully made through manipulation than stated in so many words, and such manipulation is only fruitful if you're popular).

Ay should accept his status as the runt of the litter, someone who is only admitted to his social circle in order to be laughed at, and take the upcoming emigration as a chance for a fresh start. In the future, Ay should be careful not to display such low-status behaviours, and also think about the quality of people he associates with and what behaviours are best not engaged with at all. For example, I would stop making plans with a supposed friend who stood me up without making reparations. Arguing with that friend would not be part of my response.
posted by tel3path at 3:40 PM on April 1, 2013 [10 favorites]

Bee doesn't want to hang out with Ay, but doesn't have the guts to say so, so she is making plans and then flaking on them.

And at this point, I can't understand why either of them would want to hang out with the other. There is no chance they would have a good time, especially after all this anger and threats. If you're not Ay, you need to tell him that. If you are Ay (or Bee, I guess), you need to internalize it.

You can't force people to be friends with you.
posted by the essence of class and fanciness at 4:23 PM on April 1, 2013 [8 favorites]

Why do these people want to meet each other?
posted by thelonius at 4:54 PM on April 1, 2013

Wow, this is some serious middle school drama! All individuals involved just need to accept that some friendships don't work out, for whatever reasons, and move on. The fact that one of the involved individuals is moving far away in the near future means that there is even less reason for on-going drama. Just let. It. Go.
posted by rainbowbrite at 5:10 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

These people aren't friends and should stay the hell away from each other. This question gave me a headache just thinking about it.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:15 PM on April 1, 2013 [6 favorites]

Ay, in fact, has been the one pushing for them to spend less time together, but Bee "insists" and then flakes.

Some people speak of plans for the future as a way of expressing feelings they're having in the moment. They'll say "we have to do X together" or "I really want to hang out with you more" or even "we should go to the movies on Friday" because they like the person they're talking to, or they feel guilty about not spending enough time with the person. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're clearing space on their calendar and making an ironclad commitment.

A needs to adjust to B's style or drop the friendship.

If A and B still end up making plans for some reason, A should not invest too much in the plans, and should phone B about an hour beforehand to confirm, being fully prepared for B to flake out.
posted by Orinda at 6:15 PM on April 1, 2013

This is a very nasty but quite effective way of getting rid of people with whom you don't want to associate but need the dropping not to look like it was planned. Your hands are clean because even if the person doesn't get so frustrated with the behavior they drop you (which is the goal) there is nothing concrete they can complain about without sounding oversensitive and needy.

It's particularly common to use it when the person being given the treatment has a crush but doesn't ever do anything overt enough to be directly told no by the target of the crush. There's no way to tell someone who just hovers hopefully that you have no interest in them without both sounding hopelessly conceited and seriously wounding the ego of the person who thought that their pining was completely discreet, which it never is. Following from that, preemptive dumping usually generates a massive storm of drama. So to avoid that you behave like such a flake that they give up on their doomed white knight (it's usually that type) behavior and go hover around some other girl.

I see that apparently 'Ay' and 'Bee' putatively had some kind of relationship, which in the scenario I outlined above Bee is well done with the relationship but doesn't want people to have a line on saying how cruel she was to Ay as he droops around the edge of her social circle.

If you are any of these people, the solution is either to grow out of your early twenties or stop acting like it. If you are not any of these people, thank god fasting and get out of their drama llama extravaganza.
posted by winna at 8:45 PM on April 1, 2013 [10 favorites]

Uuuuuum... I had something like this happen about 12 years ago. I was livid, and gave my Flakey Friend a piece of my mind, and within a year, I left the country for good. Since then I had kept the same vague resentment toward my FF, but obviously it didn't matter much, since I was living in a whole other country.

Two months ago my FF and her husband visited my city, and we got to hang out, and it was really really nice. All weird resentment-anxiety gone. Now I have warm, fond feelings about my FF and feel silly about how long I let what had happened color my memory.

So, Ay should just let it go. Really. These things seem soooooo important when they are happening, but life does go on, people get married, travel and mellow out.

(Also, since the original falling-out, I have made big adjustments in my expectations of others. I have learned to be easy, which is a good thing, since I moved to a country where people are pretty informal about plans... !)
posted by Locochona at 9:17 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

If Bee's claims that Ay's final days truly are important to her, should she have rescheduled Cee?

I'm going to go against the grain here and say yes, and that ay wasn't entirely out of line to say "this was a shitty thing for you to do, especially if you're going to say you really want to see me before I leave". Griping about how she can see cee whenever she wants is a bit drama-y and much, but I understand where the feelings are coming from. There is a hell of a lot of rudeness going on here on Bees part.

That said, I have been Ay. I have had this friend. I honestly think bee is bad at deciding how she feels about people, setting boundaries, and just interacting with people in general. I went through tons of these exact scenarios until I finally just sent my Bee a ranty "put up or shut up" message in private that I don't regret. The response was pretty coy, and ran counter to a lot of the things she had said before, but I took it at face value.

It was essentially "wow, I think you read way too much in to this friendship, i don't think I'm looking for something like what you are"

I'd imagine if Ay would be willing to burn the bridge, and just spill his frustration at bee in a concise "so do you care or not, put up or shut up" type message, he would get a similar response that contradicted all the "but I really want to see you soon!" "Youre awesome! this friendship means a lot to me!" Mixed messages bullshit.

All that helps is closure though, which can be underrated. Looking back on it now id advise just walking away and never talking to this person again, but that may be hard without getting a definite answer or closure on what the hell was actually going on.

Regardless though, bee does not give a shit about ay no matter what she says. End of story.

I also agree that if you aren't ay bee or cee, you need to butt out. But I strongly suspect you are.
posted by emptythought at 1:11 AM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Oh Jeeze, I missed your update about the unrequited love thing. This is garbage drama, Ay definitely needs to never talk to this person again. Seriously, no contact.
posted by emptythought at 1:15 AM on April 2, 2013

Ay should understand that he is suffering something like a mild version of battered wife syndrome - Bee keeps treating him badly then saying what it takes to keep the relationship (promising to start treating Ay with respect) but failing to change. Ay really wants to believe she will make a good faith effort, and so keeps putting his better judgement aside and sticking his emotional neck out even further for her to come through this time, then when Bee treats Ay like dirt as usual, it makes Ay feel double the fool because he knew better and trusted her anyway, so now his self-respect is cut too. And because the consequences for him are getting worse and worse, in a vicious cycles it becomes even more important to Ay that Bee show good faith in a promise, validating his repeated foolish faith in her and establishing a note of respect that enables them to part ways on good terms.
Bee meanwhile doesn't understand why it's so damn important to him, and she does not appreciate the pressure Ay is applying, and does not care to respond positively to it. To her he looks pushy and out of line, and Bee has plenty of social options to distract from and devalue this one.

The easiest and best outcome is if Bee grows up just long enough to give Ay the simple day of good faith that she repeatedly promised and to be fair, owes. (I know it can get hackles up to suggest a woman owes a man attention, but Bee would owe Ay regardless of what their genders were - it's about promises being repeatedly broken and repeatedly remade.)
They can then part ways easily and on good terms.

But the best outcome might not happen. Ay may have to face that he's put good (emotional) money after bad, and Bee doesn't care or understand enough to do the thing that can save him all the accumulated anguish, and that Ay has to just deal with this.

More likely, someday Bee may make an effort, but it's probably not going to be any time soon, under the cloud of angry texts and obligation that Bee doesn't acknowledge. Maybe in a year or two.

In the meantime, Ay should move on, and count it as a valuable life lesson to not become invested in flakes. He should also try to harbour little ill will.
He's in the middle of a nasty dynamic that does a real number on you. Looking at it with that perspective might give him that extra push to recognise and override the pangs, and break the cycle.

Bee's lot, full of friends, is not milk and honey either - flakes tend to hit a ceiling in life because non-flaky people will rarely entrust them with things that matter.

Everyone needs to do some growing.
posted by anonymisc at 1:25 AM on April 2, 2013 [6 favorites]

Thank you, all.
posted by smersh at 6:51 AM on April 2, 2013

Bee thought she was dating Ay and Ay thought he was dating Bee then they broke up without actually breaking up and Bee started dating Cee. Ay should move on, make friends that aren't exs, and stop expecting grand gesture bullshit. I just put a friendship on the backburner due to someone who started to expect the type of grand attention thath Ay is asking for, check my question history. The majority advice was to let the friendship fizzle.
posted by WeekendJen at 1:09 PM on April 2, 2013

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