I’m pretty sure I was born to be 40. While I am yet a couple of years shy of such a milestone, I am decidedly closer to it than that of a sprightly 21 year old. In truth, I have always embraced the mid-life way; I just concealed it during my younger years.
Case in point, I adore cancelled plans. I can only compare the feeling of elation to a child who has just been told they are off to Disneyland. The key point here is that I like cancelled plans i.e. that I am not the canceller and rather the benefactor of the wheels coming off the social excursion train.
Dolly Alderton, author and columnist, recently tweeted that, “All event-related WhatsApp groups should permanently self-expire at midnight on the day the event finishes”.
I second this motion. Nothing, and I mean nothing, causes me to break out in a cold sweat faster than the creation of a WhatsApp group. So much so, that I exit the majority of them as quickly as they have been created. There are several key characters which you can identify in a WhatsApp group created for events…
Know this, you will never out-type them. For every one message you try to cobble together, they will rapid fire several in quick succession without waiting for a response from anyone. This is beyond frustrating for those attempting to reply to the initial text as their constant interjecting will cause you to re-do your own meagre attempt at conversation multiple times.
They know everyone, everything and your opinion is secondary to theirs.
They don’t engage in conversation bar supplying links to various YouTube videos causing the other members of the group to question the safety/content/validity of same. They will never reply. Which means the link sits there, with the image blurred ominously carrying an advisory warning that the content may cause offence.
Their opening gambit will be, ‘Oh my god you guys, catch me up! I’ve been living under a rock lately and don’t know what’s going on!!!’. They know exactly what is going on. They know it before you do. They’ve even made a lengthy Instagram post about it while uploading a recipe for protein balls.
They are always late. Because they are busy. They work harder than you. Because they are busy. The protein balls are just for show; their kids are having hotdogs for their tea.
As in, The Big Lebowski, Dude. They saunter in and out of the group with careless abandon, say what the need to, are unfazed by much of the rest and they may or may not turn up to the real-life event. But they won’t tell you as such.
This is your spirit animal. Marches to the beat of their own drum, has left the group several times (only for the Group Admin to re-instate them repeatedly!) and has such a laid-back attitude as to render them unconscious.
Now, there are good and bad versions of this character. The good being that of The Planner. Without which no-one would ever pull their act together and actually see each other once every couple of years. They genuinely have the best of intentions and just want it to be like it was when we all sat around in secondary school, in a draughty corridor by the lockers eating our lunch.
The bad version is the The Supreme Group Admin. They will have approximately 17 sub-WhatsApp groups on the go. One of them specifically to bemoan the ineptitude of the group you are in. They will expect everyone to commit to a reservation approximately a year in advance and to pay up front for same of which they will take charge of.
They pay no heed to the fact previous years have ended up with the intake of an inordinate amount of shots at the bar, attempting to coax someone from a locked toilet cubicle who is wailing about her life before cancelling the reservation while everyone sits on a kerb eating chips and waiting for a taxi. They never learn and less than 24 hours later, will post details/schedule for the following year’s outing.
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“You wouldn’t get Kerrygold in prison!”. Tired of the umpteen snack requests from Bryn, Woody threw her a slab of brown bread and butter. Needless to say, her refined palate was expecting a never-ending supply of ‘hey, hey it’s Friday!’ Haribo. She’s got me for the rest of the night now Woody is gone. Your thoughts for both of us would be appreciated.
In truth, I feel we all possess a little bit of each personality above. We are all just better at suppressing certain parts more than others. For many, the build-up and the banter within the confines of the WhatsApp group is the pinnacle for the night out.
As for me, I’m just waiting on the first person to cancel so I can follow suit…