Just Calling to Say…We Don’t Know

A few weeks ago Drew’s mom called to discuss ideas for a possible get-together. His family normally makes plans as the very last minute. As in, it’s not uncommon for them to call us the morning of to invite us over for lunch or dinner that day. We’ve all known for the last month or so that we may get together sometime to celebrate a birthday or holiday, but the when and where often don’t coalesce until a few hours before Drew and I would need to hit the road to get to their house on time. This doesn’t stop us from talking about the various options between We have plenty of time to decide and It’s almost noon, we should decide soon if we’re going to do something today of course.

This is nothow my family worked growing up. We’d generally plan out where, when and at what time we were meeting and who would bring what dish (if it was an at-home meal) several days to a week before the actual shindig.

The purpose of the  call: to see if anyone was ready to pick a date, activity and/or location for the get-together that may or may not be happening a few days into the future. Generally  his family calls when someone on their side of the city has formed an opinion on at least one of those options. This day, though, she just wanted us to know that no one had an opinion on anything quite yet.

Cue headdesk. Intellectually I know that there isn’t one right way to plan a family gathering.  Drew’s family has found something that works for them, my family of origin has other traditions. Not a big deal. But even after six years, there’s still a small voice in the back of my head that says that isn’t how we’re supposed to do this!

I wonder if that thought will ever go away?

0 Responses to Just Calling to Say…We Don’t Know

  1. That’s funny, I am very familiar with that dynamic. Partly, my family tends not to plan ahead of time, so that comes naturally to me. As opposed to my wife who is my more ordered and disciplined than me. But the contrast is really heightened because we are the only ones in the family with young children. It just usually is not an option to make plans at the last minute. So now I get frustrated about that too, and my still, small voice saying it is not necessary to plan out the details has been much quieted.

    • Yes, I can see how it would be hard to do things at the last minute when you have kids. I wonder how your extended family dynamics will change if or when there are other children added to the mix?

  2. That’s funny, I am very familiar with that dynamic. Partly, my family tends not to plan ahead of time, so that comes naturally to me. As opposed to my wife who is my more ordered and disciplined than me. But the contrast is really heightened because we are the only ones in the family with young children. It just usually is not an option to make plans at the last minute. So now I get frustrated about that too, and my still, small voice saying it is not necessary to plan out the details has been much quieted.

    • Yes, I can see how it would be hard to do things at the last minute when you have kids. I wonder how your extended family dynamics will change if or when there are other children added to the mix?

  3. I am a huge plan ahead kind of person. I drilled this in to my kids. Plan ahead. Don’t wait to the last minute to do something. Leave time for delays, flat tires, etc. As a result my kids don’t miss work, aren’t late for work and when we plan dinner at 2 they are here.

    I hate it when people “stop in.” I mean really hate it. I visited hundreds and hundreds of people as a pastor. I NEVER just “stopped by.” I always called ahead. I wanted to give them time to give me the right impression. 🙂

    Years ago one lady stopped by our house at 10 P.M. unannounced. Nice person. She wanted to give us a Christmas card with 50.00 in it. Love the cash. 🙂 But, she never knew that I was sitting there the whole time in my underwear. (covered by a blanket)

    People stopping by my office to shoot the breeze annoyed the h*ll out of me. They didn’t have anything to do so they just stopped by to fellowship. Never mind it was my day to study for Sunday. Never mind I had hours of work to do. People meant well…….but I understand why some ministers keep strict office hours.

    This is how I think things should be. 🙂 And I raise hell when they are not. Of course I have been blessed with a wife who plans like your in-laws. We are incompatible on this issue. (and have fought about it over the years) Of course I never win because we are fighting over something that wasn’t planned. Too late to fix it. Polly ignores me and rightfully so.

    This way of thinking is such a part of my life that I have a hard time being “spontaneous”. I work on it. Learning to live in the moment. (can’t we do that next Monday at 5?) 🙂

    You are probably scarred for life. Just remember it is those other folks who have the problem. 🙂 I am kidding………..but you knew that, right?

    Bruce

    • Bruce, are you an introvert? I’m beginning to wonder if introversion/extroversion are related to how interested we are in making plans at the last minute.

      People drain me. It doesn’t mean I dislike them, just that I need time alone after being around folks all day. Family and very close friends don’t drain me as much, but I still need recharge time and it’s easier to plan ahead if I know I’m going to be spending a lot of time with extroverts in the near future.

  4. I am a huge plan ahead kind of person. I drilled this in to my kids. Plan ahead. Don’t wait to the last minute to do something. Leave time for delays, flat tires, etc. As a result my kids don’t miss work, aren’t late for work and when we plan dinner at 2 they are here.

    I hate it when people “stop in.” I mean really hate it. I visited hundreds and hundreds of people as a pastor. I NEVER just “stopped by.” I always called ahead. I wanted to give them time to give me the right impression. 🙂

    Years ago one lady stopped by our house at 10 P.M. unannounced. Nice person. She wanted to give us a Christmas card with 50.00 in it. Love the cash. 🙂 But, she never knew that I was sitting there the whole time in my underwear. (covered by a blanket)

    People stopping by my office to shoot the breeze annoyed the h*ll out of me. They didn’t have anything to do so they just stopped by to fellowship. Never mind it was my day to study for Sunday. Never mind I had hours of work to do. People meant well…….but I understand why some ministers keep strict office hours.

    This is how I think things should be. 🙂 And I raise hell when they are not. Of course I have been blessed with a wife who plans like your in-laws. We are incompatible on this issue. (and have fought about it over the years) Of course I never win because we are fighting over something that wasn’t planned. Too late to fix it. Polly ignores me and rightfully so.

    This way of thinking is such a part of my life that I have a hard time being “spontaneous”. I work on it. Learning to live in the moment. (can’t we do that next Monday at 5?) 🙂

    You are probably scarred for life. Just remember it is those other folks who have the problem. 🙂 I am kidding………..but you knew that, right?

    Bruce

    • Bruce, are you an introvert? I’m beginning to wonder if introversion/extroversion are related to how interested we are in making plans at the last minute.

      People drain me. It doesn’t mean I dislike them, just that I need time alone after being around folks all day. Family and very close friends don’t drain me as much, but I still need recharge time and it’s easier to plan ahead if I know I’m going to be spending a lot of time with extroverts in the near future.

  5. yo bruce, tammy and i often called and said hey … meet us at the pizza place in ney we r coming thru in 30 min … 😉 did that irritate u 2? we like having our schedule clear and like to do things spur of the moment as recently we took a drive on a sat. and decided when we got pretty far out to stay overnight and come back the next day, nothing with us … even had to bum a couple of toothbrushes from the hotel lobby that night … 🙂

    • I don’t remember you and Mom being like that when we were kids. Or maybe it was so normal that I didn’t think about it? 🙂

  6. yo bruce, tammy and i often called and said hey … meet us at the pizza place in ney we r coming thru in 30 min … 😉 did that irritate u 2? we like having our schedule clear and like to do things spur of the moment as recently we took a drive on a sat. and decided when we got pretty far out to stay overnight and come back the next day, nothing with us … even had to bum a couple of toothbrushes from the hotel lobby that night … 🙂

    • I don’t remember you and Mom being like that when we were kids. Or maybe it was so normal that I didn’t think about it? 🙂

  7. We were not like that then. We morphed into this stage via evolutionary pains from the past … it drains us to have the calendar full … we did not realize that back when we were young and dumb 😉

  8. We were not like that then. We morphed into this stage via evolutionary pains from the past … it drains us to have the calendar full … we did not realize that back when we were young and dumb 😉

  9. Jim,

    I am not bothered by being asked to do things at the last minute. That said I have a bad habit of not being able to tell people no, so there are times I have done last minute things that I shouldn’t have. (money or health-wise)

    I enjoyed getting out of the house with you so last minute invites were OK. Planned invites were better. 🙂

    I can be an extrovert if I am around people I know well. I feigned being an extrovert as a pastor. That’s what was expected Skippy the Pastor on crack. 🙂

    It’s funny, I don’t like crowds. I don’t like malls, crowded places. I feel pressured when I am in such places.

    I guess I am a confused mess. 🙂

    Burce

  10. Jim,

    I am not bothered by being asked to do things at the last minute. That said I have a bad habit of not being able to tell people no, so there are times I have done last minute things that I shouldn’t have. (money or health-wise)

    I enjoyed getting out of the house with you so last minute invites were OK. Planned invites were better. 🙂

    I can be an extrovert if I am around people I know well. I feigned being an extrovert as a pastor. That’s what was expected Skippy the Pastor on crack. 🙂

    It’s funny, I don’t like crowds. I don’t like malls, crowded places. I feel pressured when I am in such places.

    I guess I am a confused mess. 🙂

    Burce

  11. OMG..Bruce you truly crack me up! Skippy on Crack!!! That was so funny! I am a major extrovert. I love groups, I love parites, and I have never minded last minute anything. BUT, I am married to an opposite of that, so we temper each other. I have to say though, that over the years, or maybe as I get older, I appreciate the intimacy of a small group much better. That might be because we have only a FEW friends which we appreciate getting together with anymore. We’ve morphed(as Jim calls it) and our priorities and beliefs have changed so much that many of our old friends just aren’t that much fun to be with anymore. It’s VERY draining being with people who are NOT like minded and all of you know!
    I don’t think you sound confused at all Bruce, in fact, it’s pretty much the same way Richard has always felt so I totally understand.
    As for spontaneous…visits!? That is totally fine with me…but living in the country…I’m not always dressed appropriately for visitors!
    OMG..I am still laughing over Skippy the Pastor on Crack!!!

  12. OMG..Bruce you truly crack me up! Skippy on Crack!!! That was so funny! I am a major extrovert. I love groups, I love parites, and I have never minded last minute anything. BUT, I am married to an opposite of that, so we temper each other. I have to say though, that over the years, or maybe as I get older, I appreciate the intimacy of a small group much better. That might be because we have only a FEW friends which we appreciate getting together with anymore. We’ve morphed(as Jim calls it) and our priorities and beliefs have changed so much that many of our old friends just aren’t that much fun to be with anymore. It’s VERY draining being with people who are NOT like minded and all of you know!
    I don’t think you sound confused at all Bruce, in fact, it’s pretty much the same way Richard has always felt so I totally understand.
    As for spontaneous…visits!? That is totally fine with me…but living in the country…I’m not always dressed appropriately for visitors!
    OMG..I am still laughing over Skippy the Pastor on Crack!!!