Today, a friend of ours called to the house unannounced. This is normal for him and pretty normal for any friend who happens to be in the area. If I was in the house alone, I probably wouldn’t have answered the door. I will often not answer a phone call if I’m not expecting one.
I wrote before about how I hate being stood up and how important my diary is to me. The flip-side of that argument is also true. I’m not great with impromptu meetings. I adore meeting friends for cups of tea and chats. However, I generally schedule them at least a half a week in advance. The friends who text, or (heaven forbid) phone, looking to meet up now will usually get a ‘no’.
My partner asked me today how I felt when people telephoned or dropped by. If I’m honest, I feel resentful. I love my friends but I generally know what I’m doing for the next few hours. Always. If someone drops by, it completely throws my day.
I rarely enjoy long phone calls. I love texting and I do love hearing a loved one’s voice. Recently I have learned that a Skype chat with a friend, over a cup of tea, is far more enjoyable than a telephone call. This is especially true for friends who don’t live in the same city as me. There are natural pauses in the conversation over Skype. I can see you thinking. There are more cues than just the tone of someone’s voices. Silences aren’t awkward. I have several of these booked in my diary and, of course, they’re usually at least a week in advance.
Friendships are relationships too and ‘friend dates’ are important. I know my way of thinking isn’t to everyone’s taste. I know that some of my friends will never think to book a coffee date in advance. And for those friends, the onus is on me to schedule them in and spend time with a friend.