The Jason Hahn Files: How To Deal With That Friend Who Always Cancels

“‘We’ve made so many plans to meet up for coffee, for a movie, for drinks and lunch and dinner and manicures. And it’s always, ‘I’ll let you know?’’ Saffy went on, working herself up into a simmering rage.”

Saffy’s motto in life is: “Everyone will eventually disappoint you.”

Each time she’s been let down by someone, say, her mother, she’ll announce in dolorous tones, “Everyone will eventually disappoint you.”

She says she came up with the motto when Jonathan, her first boyfriend in high school, cheated on her with the head girl. “I was devastated!” she told us once. “He was the first boy I ever loved. I thought we were going to get married. And then he had to hook up with that skank, Sarah Chan. Broke my heart.”

Apparently, Jonathan eventually married the skank, but on their seventh wedding anniversary, she ran off with her remisier with whom she’d been having a torrid affair. Some time later, Saffy bumped into Jonathan when he was coming out of the local 4D shop. “He’s grown so fat!” she later reported with immense satisfaction. Her bosom strained with happiness against her T-shirt. “You can barely see his eyes! Which just goes to show. Everyone gets what’s coming to them.”

Amanda arched an eyebrow. “Is that another life motto?” she asked.

Saffy’s bosom inflated. “Yes! It’s the yin to the yang of motto number one!”

A couple of weeks ago, she stormed back into the flat, her face black as night.

Amanda and I were on the couch weighing up our Netflix options — a Marie Kondo re-run or a slasher flick. We looked up at Saffy’s entrance.

“What happened?” Amanda asked.

Saffy’s bosom inflated. “I am never going out again with that Melissa!”

Amanda sucked in her breath. “Oh my God. She ditched you again?”

Saffy flopped onto the sofa next to us. “I just never learn!”

Amanda later told me that she’d been friends with Melissa first and had introduced her to Saffy. “She’s the absolute pits, but she and Saf seemed to hit it off, so I couldn’t wait to palm her off.”

I’ve met the woman a few times. She’s a transplant from New York, and a lawyer in one of the Big Four firms in Raffles Place. The first time I met her, I was in the midst of my obsession with Dr Pimple Popper and Melissa said that was the most disgusting thing she’d ever heard, so that was the end of that potential friendship.

But to hear Saffy now tell it, the woman is actually very nice company.

“When she shows up that is,” Saffy sniffed. “First of all, she does this ridiculous thing of never replying to messages about going out. I have to ask her, like, five times, ‘Shall we catch up?’ before she says, yeah sure! But she never suggests a date, so I have to do that, and then she doesn’t reply. So I follow up. Several times.”

“I’m exhausted already,” I told her.

“It gets worse,” Amanda piped in.

Saffy rolled her eyes. “So if I suggest any day, she’ll say, ‘Oh, my sister may be visiting then. Can I let you know closer to the day?’ Once, she actually said that she might be having her moon cycle on the day we were supposed to meet. ‘Can I let you know?’ I mean, what do you say to that?”

Amanda pursed her lips. She’d been down this road before. “Nothing.”

“We’ve made so many plans to meet up for coffee, for a movie, for drinks and lunch and dinner and manicures. And it’s always, ‘I’ll let you know?’” Saffy went on, working herself up into a simmering rage.

Amanda asked, “And does she still do that thing where about a week before, she says, she thinks she can make it, and so you start making plans before and after you meet her?”

Saffy’s bosom stiffened. “Totally. I will have the whole afternoon planned out. And she confirms on the day and about half an hour before she’s due to meet, she’ll text and say, ‘I’ve got a headache, I’ll have to cancel lunch!’”

I gasped. “After all that?”

“Well, today, it was a sudden headache. Two weeks ago, she double booked herself. And before that, she had a stomach ache. And before that, her mother was in town. And she would have known about her mother’s visit ages ago. So why string me along? It’s ridiculous! Every. Single. Time.”

Amanda sniffed. “It’s no wonder she’s still single. What man will put up with such crap?”

“I had to have lunch by myself, too!” Saffy’s mouth curled into a pout as Amanda rubbed her back. “Seriously, people are so disappointing! Though why am I surprised?”

“Come on, I’ll take us all out to dinner. It’ll cheer you up.”

Saffy sighed. “I’m not sure I’m up for dinner after all that. I’ll let you know?”


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