With the ever-present, all-ubiquitous cellphone at hand, appointments don't stick as much these days. Granted there doesn't seem to be much need to preplan anything beforehand since it's as simple as typing out a quick message to find someone wherever they are at any time of the day.
Not to mention there's always the even more intrusive GPS tracker for the budding stalker as well.
However for old-timers like me who were brought up in the technological stone age, not setting the time and place does frequently leave me exasperated. Way back, when hardly anyone short of spies and tycoons had box-sized cellphones, we all had to make strict appointments on where and when to meet with perhaps a twenty minutes leeway, give or take. RSVP and make sure you're on time. Sashay over a precious minute later and you'd find the party people utterly gone, leaving dust and glitter in its wake.
|Paul : So are they coming over?|
Friend : They said maybe they'll hang here?
Paul : I'll be waiting with bated breath.
Unlike what I'm starting to find these days where everyone hangs back waiting with their breath bated, utterly loath and unwilling to fully commit till perhaps five seconds before. With everything and everyone within a roaming connected zone, it's easy enough to change your mind even till the last moment. Which reminds me of a certain troublesome wild goose chase I had a few years back.
Paul : So where are we meeting up with them for dinner?
Felix : Oh, wait. Think it's at Restaurant A.
Paul : We are about a half hour early but we can always wait there.
Felix : Sure let's head over.
Ten minutes later.
Felix : Wait, they have changed their mind. They are heading to Bistro B.
Paul : Which is down the road?
Felix : Maybe a block or two?
Paul : Let's go.
Ten minutes later.
Felix : They don't like the crowd there. Now they're crossing the road to try Cafe C.
Paul : Let's go then.
Obviously our search for the missing Carmen Sandiego went on for quite a while. Apparently assuming our cellphones would keep us connected no matter what, the texting generation blithely changed their minds according to whim and fancy - preferring just that little bit of convenient flexibility no doubt - leading us all on a terribly unwelcome fugitive hunt. Near the end I could have gladly shot them.
Evidently the increase in connectedness only leads to people leading a far more noncommittal life. Rather than committing the more common Frequent Freaking Flyer, there's not even a yes or even a no but just that vague maybe... Not even an old-fashioned rain check but just a check.
So you can imagine my horrified expression when a friendly millennial told his friends this the other day.
Friend : Not sure about dinner yet. I'll see how it goes. Let's play it by ear.
RSVP isn't a dirty word. Make the fucking decision and stick with it, dammit.