The Non-Committal RSVP: Is L.A. A Commitment Free Zone?

Are you having trouble getting people to

commit to showing up?

I’m impressed with the two convicted convicts who escaped from a NY prison. Before you start commenting on the crimes they committed, I know they are horrible and dangerous. Still, I admire their ability to get a plan together and stick with it. Obviously, they are not from LA.

Here in LA, nobody will commit to anything. Elsewhere, people are taking to the streets to protest acts of racism. In LA, you can’t get anyone to protest anything unless you can convince them that they will lose weight and get a movie deal if they march. And even that might not work. 

I have a friend who lives a whole twenty minutes away from me, but I haven’t seen her in two months. Tracking Janet down and trying to get her to schedule a dinner with me is like an episode of True Detective. We play phone tag and when I finally hear her voice, we have to take out our calendars and check dates. There are then four re-bookings. Her excuses:

“Oh, I put it in my calendar wrong.” 

“Oh, that’s when my AA meeting is…” 

“Oh… I have to finish watching Orange Is The New Black…” 

“Oh… you’re there at the restaurant? I thought we said next week?”

What is the problem? Why can’t we RSVP and mean it? People speak English in L.A., but “yes” doesn’t mean what it should. It could mean, “maybe” or “fine unless something better comes along.” People here are as irresponsible as they are on Facebook, promising to attend an event but having no intention of going. I went to a Meetup where seventy people RSVP’d to go on a hike. Only four people came and we had no idea where to hike to because one of the no-shows was the leader!

But, perhaps, this is not just LA. When Donald Trump announced his presidential run, he hired NY actors to get a crowd together. Apparently, people only show up if they’re paid to do so.

I hate to say it, but crazy people seem more reliable. Marshall Applewhite, the 65-year-old leader of the Heaven's Gate group, got his followers to wear purple, castrate and kill themselves. Remember Jim Jones? He persuaded over 900 followers to drink Kool Aid and off themselves… on time. ISIS has whack jobs coming from all over who are volunteering to kill themselves. How come I can’t get a friend to show up for Happy Hour?

Are the only people willing to commit the ones that need to be committed?

So, if those NY convicts can manage to sneak in power tools, inch through a sewer, and hide in the forest together, why can’t my friends show up for brunch?

Or… is it just me? Let me hear from you. Are you having trouble making plans with others?

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Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.