Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Different Kind of Surprise Party

I went to my friend's birthday party last night. It wasn't a surprise party for the birthday boy; it turned out to be a surprise for us. He knew about the party. He arranged the party. He invited the people. He was in charge of bringing the alcohol. But, surprise! He never came. Well, at least not by the time I left at midnight.

People warned me, people that have known him a lot longer than me. (Technically he's the best friend of my good friend, but I figure I've hung out with and talked to him enough to call him a friend.) The party was supposed to start at 8pm, so I was planning to go then. But my good friend warned me not to count on that. By twenty after six, no one had heard from the birthday boy, not even the girl who was hosting the party. At 7:30, a mass text:

"Sorry i haven't been in touch... Been a long day. Everything's on for tonight but i probably won't be there til after 9."

'That's a new one,' I thought, 'how you gonna be late to your own birthday party?' By 9:30, he still wasn't there. It's common for him to be late, and other people I know where starting to gather at the house, so I figured I'd head over anyway about 9:45. After a little trouble finding the place, I made an entrance to the sound of "Oh your not ----." Nope, I'm not. My good friend was already there, as well as some people I know from watching his basketball games and from the surprise birthday party he had for me last time I was in the Bay. It was all good, and I figured birthday boy would show up any moment.

Three entrances and several phone calls later, the party had grown. Still no birthday boy. No call, no text, nothing. His birthday pie was nearly gone. There was no alcohol, and the only food in the house was cereal. About half the group headed for Safeway. (You can buy alcohol here after 9pm.) My friend and I decided it was time to go. He has to study all day tomorrow, and I have church. The remaining people began playing some card games. It was the lamest birthday party I have ever been to. It may even have been worse than the pool party we had once where only 1 person came.

I think I have more patience than most when it comes to dealing with friends, with relying on them and having things fall through, with losing touch, with flake outs. But I'm already getting to a point where I don't want to bother, where I don't think it's worth my time to try calling or emailing him. I've only been here a month!

The worst part is, something really terrible could have happened to the birthday boy, and no one would know. Apparently, he does stuff like this all the time. Says he's going and shows two hours late, if at all. Disappears into the abyss of disconnected cell phones and no email. What do you do with someone like that?

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