“I can’t remember the last time that I just ‘popped in’ to visit someone”
Remember the “pop in”? It would usually happen on a Saturday arvo – there’d be a knock at the door and in would walk Pam and John and their two kids. They were just passing through and thought they’d come in for a cuppa. The cuppa would lead to an impromptu dinner, which would lead to a singalong that would end, after some pleading, with a sleepover. It was the best way to spend the e weekend as a kid and, best of all, , it was a surprise.
I can’t remember the last time I just st popped in on someone, , or someone popped in on me. No-one is ever “just passing sing through” now.
Catch-ups -ups these days are an organisational isational miracle. A feat that at requires all of one’s logistical powers. Take this text exchange ange with a friend.
Me: Hey, ey, wanna get together with the kids Wednesday ay morning?
Friend: d: Can’t do Wednesday. y. Thursday OK? Where should ould we go?
Me: How ow about the Botanic Gardens? ardens? Weather should be OK and it’s kinda between both th of us.
Friend: d: Great. What time though? gh?
Me: Well… Evie needs to be back for her er sleep at 12.30pm so could we do o about 10am? Friend: Oooh could be tricky, James won’t wake up from his morning sleep till 10.30am and then we’ll need to be home for Mia’s nap at 1pm. Could we do 11am? Me: Not sure that will give us enough time. If only we lived closer!!
Friend: What about Saturday? Me: Ollie has tennis, then we have a b’day party, then we’re going to look at some new drawers, then have afternoon tea, then dinner with the in-laws. Sorry! Frie Friend: See you in a few years! Me Me: Luv ya. It w was like syncing the diaries of tw two CEOS. But I reckon that co conversation (as boring as it was to read) explains why we no lo longer do impromptu pop ins. Firstly, PHONES have killed al all the fun. A pop in is only a pop wi without any prior communication, and t these days no-one dares popping in w without a quick text first: You hom home? Thought we might pop past. Right Rig there. Pop in killed. If I had just landed on my g girlfriend’s door, she would have welcomed me in, we’d have had a coffee and a laugh, the kids w would have missed bedtime, but they’d have just fallen asleep on the way home in the car and the world wouldn’t have ended. Which brings me to the second reason. Schedules. We’re so over-planned these days. Meals, sleep times, sport, shopping trips… there’s no time for spontaneous catch-ups. When I was growing up, we pretty much hung at home all weekend. Nothing was open, nowhere to be, just potter around the house.
Which brings me to my final point. House pride. Our “drop-in” guests would usually arrive in the middle of my stepdad putting the washing on the line or my mum marking uni assignments on the dining table. But she’d push her marking to the side so there was enough room to sit, and our friends would chip in and usually start folding the clothes.
Mum would whip up a slice, then convince the guests to stay for dinner and she’d grab a couple of bottles of wine and produce a dinner for 10 out of thin air like a i culinary Macgyver.
No-one cared there were sheets drying in the lounge room or that there were only enough bread rolls for five because we weren’t expecting guests. There was no expectation of Instagram pics of the perfect home with perfect dinner plates. Just real friends eating real food in a real home. Bring back the pop in, I say.
“We are so planned these days. There’s never time left for an impromptu catch-up”
Carrie co-hosts The Project, 6.30pm weeknights, on Network Ten.