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Was looking forward to friends' visit but they cancelled at last minute

(27 Posts)
hillwalker Sat 02-Apr-22 11:52:54

Hi, I'm at a loose end as my friends, who were supposed to visit me this weekend, have just cancelled because of illness.

I live alone in a big city and am very isolated. Family live 3 hours away and I have friends scattered around the country but no one really in my city, apart from one friend.

These friends who just cancelled are a couple I've known for 25 years but have not seen for about a year, although we've kept in touch by text and the odd phone call.

I took time off work, for which I've lost wages, I bought lots of food and drink for them and practised getting a favourite recipe right all week so I could make them a lovely meal. I've also been cleaning and getting bedding organised etc for their visit and now nothing - it's not happening.

My friend texted, saying she was too unwell and wasn't up to travelling 2+ hours to see me. I said, by text, that I was very sorry to hear that she was ill and totally understood and told her to wrap up warm and get her partner to look after her, all the usual soothing things that you would say.

She obvs. feels bad about it and asked me what I would now do this weekend.

I told my ill friend that I didn't know what I would do, and would probably just stay home this weekend as it is so cold.

I have only one friend in my city who I see regularly and I know she would like to meet up - assuming she was free, of course - but I feel it's a bit of an insult to ring people at the last minute because your other plans fell through.

I feel such a failure. My "boyfriend" is really just a friend. He lives 3 hours away and I can't visit him as he lives in a christian houseshare. He can't visit me as he has no money - he is long term unemployed and gets scraps of work here and there but never anything consistent - a state of affairs that has continued since I met him 13 years ago.

I have no friends in my city, really, and have no idea how to meet people at my age - 56. I am normally good with my own company but I feel so very lonely.

Thanks for listening.

Septimia Sat 02-Apr-22 12:02:24

What a shame! And after all your preparations.

Why not contact your local friend, explain carefully what has happened and ask if she'd be willing to come and help you eat up the food "which will go to waste" otherwise? It's worth a go.

seacliff Sat 02-Apr-22 12:13:13

I'd be disappointed too, after all your efforts, although it is one of those things, she sounds quite poorly. I'd ring your other friend and be honest. If a good friend called me, and I was free, I'd come and join you. As long as you explain and say you hope they won't be offended . What have you got to lose.

Greenfinch Sat 02-Apr-22 12:19:06

I totally agree with what has been said. Many years ago we were belatedly invited to dinner by someone who like you had been let down . We didn’t mind at all and thoroughly enjoyed the good food and the company. Ring your friend now.

MawtheMerrier Sat 02-Apr-22 12:23:10

This is rubbish luck for you and I am sure we can all sympathise . Cancellation (usually due to Covid, but not exclusively) is one thing we have all had to get used to during last two years.
Of course you are not a failure! You must not put yourself down.
It might be a pleasant surprise for the friend you mention to get a sudden invitation (you don’t need to go into detail) - you could just say you find yourself unexpectedly free, is there any chance of meeting up? It is not an insult, and the worst that can happen is that she is not free, so give it a go.
Weekends are incredibly hard when you are on your own as many of us know - widows, singletons, those with poorly or housebound partners - as “everybody else” seems to be doing things with their families. But it’s not true!
So take the plunge and if it doesn’t work out, my standby activity is often to go to Waitrose, buy a couple of things, then enjoy a coffee and a Danish pastry in their coffee shop, reading a newspaper or a book I have taken with me.
Sincere sympathies on your disappointment though, I do know how you feel. flowers

Yammy Sat 02-Apr-22 12:30:51

I think I would phone your other friend and ask if she has anything planned today. If she says no explain what has happened and ask if she would like to come round.

hillwalker Sat 02-Apr-22 12:43:45

Thanks peeps. I might ring my friend although for her to come over would be a four-hour round trip in my large, sprawling city. She will probably try to get me to meet her instead in the city. Or perhaps tomorrow.

It's OK, I can binge watch my favourite tv show now and read one of the books I have on the go. But yes, I will definitely let her know what's happened.

I do feel a failure in life generally, unfortunately. I never married or had kids. When I was younger I was this super sociable person with loads of friends and a series of boyfriends/ relationships (mostly unsuitable, obvs), and now I feel completely isolated.

I often regret not marrying and having kids because I realise that it gives people so much to live for when they have others to care for. I have a great relationship with my family but they live far away and I would struggle to find work in my field beyond the city I live in, but I'm sure I'll work it all out in the end.

My problem is loneliness, really, and lack of confidence in terms of meeting new people at my stage in life.

silverlining48 Sat 02-Apr-22 12:49:21

This happened to us last weekend, had bought a shed load of food. I froze what I coukd and we got through the rest during the week.
Same thing just happened to my dd, friends, family of 5 cancelled for tomorrow.
It’s a pity but these things do happen. To meet people where you are you need to join something which interests you or do a bit of voluntary work if you have time.
Have a nice weekend anyway.

PECS Sat 02-Apr-22 12:51:07

Phone your friend! Explain the cancellation due to ill health and ask if they are free to enjoy the meal instead! They might be looking for something to do & company too! I would understand if a friend called me & told me that!

hillwalker Sat 02-Apr-22 12:56:38

Silverlining, you are right - I need to rejoin the Ramblers, I think, and get out and about on some walks.

Sadly my work commitments are such that I don't have the time or energy for volunteering for the foreseeable future although this is something I would definitely consider in retirement or even if I can afford to work part time at some point.

I rang my friend and left a voicemail but she is probably already busy. however, I feel better just having taken some positive action.

I was supposed to have a parcel collected at my home yesterday by a courier and they didn't show up either - it's just a weekend of folk not showing, I suppose. Ah well.

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 02-Apr-22 12:59:15

Many people get out of the City at weekends.
Why not start going to visit your family, go on a Friday and back Sunday evening, or go to a B&B.
It seems a shame to sit on your own on your days off, when a change of scenery is calling !

The world won’t come to you, you have to get out there while you can.

silverlining48 Sat 02-Apr-22 13:06:40

Hill Walker I should have noticed your name and included walking in my suggestions. There are so many walking groups around and it’s such a nice way to meet people.
I started walking in my early 50s , now over 20 years later really missing it and my friendly group while I wait fir a new hip.

hillwalker Sat 02-Apr-22 14:08:09

Oopsadaisy1 I work most Friday and Sunday nights, which rules out getting out of the city every weekend, and my family would not want to have me visit every weekend. Well, my sister would, but her husband would not.

My other sister doesn't have the room for me. I don't earn enough to be able to afford B&Bs every weekend, sadly.

hillwalker Sat 02-Apr-22 14:09:38

Silverlining, it's great that you made friends in a walking group. I definitely need to get back out there. I hope your hip operation goes well and that you can get back out there with your friends soon enough.

Franbern Sat 02-Apr-22 14:10:34

hillwalker, it is absolutely normal that feel so down at present. You are actually going through a sort of grieving process - grieving for the weekend you should be having.

If you can, see if your local friend will be able to join you for that special meal -explain to her what has happened. Any good friend should be able to be there for you in emergencies ( and that is what this is), provided they have no alternative arrangements.

Try to re-arrange that original visit later in the year. Just think how good it is that you have given such a wonderful clean to your home, etc.

hillwalker Sat 02-Apr-22 14:13:14

Thanks Franbern, that is a good way of looking at it. I called my local friend but she is busy this weekend.

silverlining48 Sat 02-Apr-22 14:17:52

Hillwalker most local areas and villages have a weekly walk fir health usually run by the council, and there are lots of other groups, best check online.
Spring is on the way, what a good time to begin. Check online. U3A and WI always have walking groups too. Good luck.

silverlining48 Sat 02-Apr-22 14:19:00

Oh repeated myself....check online x 2. Oops

hillwalker Sat 02-Apr-22 14:42:20

Thanks silverlining, that is very helpful information.

jeanie99 Fri 08-Apr-22 02:12:31

Hi Hillwalker, this does happen occasionally and if there is a good reason like an illness although it is very disappointing there is little you could do.
My niece some years ago did the same to me. Just like you Inndid all the shopping, cancelled arranged meet ups etc etc. When she didn't arrive I rang her, her answer was she was on a train on her way to see her son who was in University. When I remindered her she had asked to come stay with us for a few days on her way up north her reply was I changed my mine. She didn't even consider that I had put myself out for her visit and didn't even apologies for not phoning. I have never spoken to her since.

welbeck Fri 08-Apr-22 04:04:45

OP, what about that group, like a club where over 50s women stay in each other's houses, for a reasonable cost.
can't remember it's name, sister?something.
someone else mentioned it on another thread a couple of weeks ago. sounds interesting.
the idea is to encourage women alone to travel to different areas without feeling lonely.
someone will come on to tell us its proper name.

NotSpaghetti Fri 08-Apr-22 07:18:43

Have you thought about "Meetup"?

My friend goes to a walking for health group, does a short walk regularly and has made a new friend there. Worth a look.

FindingNemo15 Fri 08-Apr-22 08:30:51

hillwalker I know what you mean about not being lonely, but feel alone. My DH has been in hospital for six weeks with Covid and my friends are few and far between.

I find the days to be very long and am dreading Easter. I find myself thinking of who to invite round or visit and no one fits the bill. By that I mean they are busy with family, work, visitors, etc.

I have lost touch with so many friends since we moved a couple of times and the pandemic. There are groups like WI, but that is for approx. 2 hours a month!!

Dorsetcupcake61 Fri 08-Apr-22 08:48:22

It's so disappointing when you have made such an effort and were looking forward to it. I hope you dont mind me saying but it feels to me that the cancelled visit was the icing on the cake and you seem a little disheartened in general. I've been single for 25 years ,on the whole things are fine but on occasions the grass seems greener. Life is stressful on just about every level for a lot of people at the moment. Added to this I was 60 last year which resulted in a bit of an existential crisis! It can be hard making new friends as you get older .MeetUp can be good, although you may have to try a few groups. There is also a group called The Single Supplement which is brilliant!

Redhead56 Fri 08-Apr-22 09:25:56

Could you not prepare the meal you was planning and freeze it or have it over the weekend yourself. It would nice for you having a meal all sorted for the weekend a little indulgence.
You could ring up your other friend tell her your plans for the weekend have changed and suggest if she has no plans to meet for a drink. If she’s busy just enjoy the time off work and relax while enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Regarding changing beds etc just consider it a nice little spring tidy up. It is a disappointment for you but you can sit back to binge watch tv.
You have made plans and took time off work to prepare for the weekend. I am sure your friend is really ill however I would let her prompt her next visit or invite you to hers.