Lonely birthday girl is not sure how manners work in modern world
DEAR ANNIE: When I was growing up, the rule was that if you had to cancel an appointment, you would call to let the person know that your plans had changed. Now that everyone has cellphones, it seems that the rules have changed.
A couple of friends stood me up on my birthday because my cellphone was turned off. They said they didn’t come over because I hadn’t called to verify that I was actually going to be there at the appointed time. But we had already made these plans a week before. I thought I only needed to call if I was NOT going to be there. Am I out of touch with how things are done now?
— Sad Birthday Girl
Dear Birthday Girl: It was wrong of your friends to assume you had canceled, but even if they apologize for their rudeness, it won’t change how they respond when they cannot get ahold of you next time. The problem is, so many plans are transient these days. People expect to be able to reach you at any moment of the day or night in case something changes at the last minute. But it also means people need constant verification to be sure the plans are still on. We think they would be happy to reschedule, and we hope you will let them. But perhaps you should check your phone a bit more regularly this time.