FOMO? More like EOF

There are few things in life more stressful than throwing a surprise party. Divorce? Moving house? Greek debt negotiations? Cake walk. Please. They pale in comparison to the clandestine planning, covert organising, negotiating and spending (oh, the spending) involved in creating that all too perfect and more often than not elusive moment lasting all of two seconds…


Only it never works out like in the movies (just how nobody ever says ‘I’d like that,’ or ‘My , look at the time.’)

Said surprise-ee  always finds out. I guess that’s the cost of being a family of nosy snoops, always taking furtive glances at pinging texts regardless whose phone—the deck was always going to be stacked against me.


It’s trouble enough booking a suitable date, venue, ordering the, drinks, flowers, cake, balloons, FOOD (7 or 8 canapes per head? 3 or 4 complimentary drinks? How many heads? Ah ha. It’s a minefield.) Just hand over the AmEx and shut your eyes. That’s not to mention the inventive and all too suspicious methods compiling a politically correct guest list of friends and colleagues mingled with one or two tactical invites in the vain hope they will actually show on the day. Then there is the unspoken but all too real anxiety lingering in the pit of your gut that really, you have no friends. Ignore that man behind the curtain! (Just me? Oh fine.)

Early indications were good. Solid numbers coming in. Phew. Bullet dodged. Hooray! People like us! But inevitably as the day drew near it started… the drop-outs. ‘Family thing’, ‘can’t find sitter’ and ‘son’s stitches need looking after’ (for real.) And it was not limited to those with offspring. Prize for most innovative excuse goes to ‘bad back’ boy.  It’s like everybody wants the credit for intending to come, but then, you know, don’t actually come. Grrrrr.

And I wonder, when did we all become so lame?

After all, it’s a party, not an insurance seminar? But it’s occurred to me that as we creep toward middle age and set up camp with kids, (or not—yes, I’m speaking to you bad-back boy) , it’s not enough we battle thinning hair, varicose veins, short-term memory loss (how many times have I gone upstairs for something only to forget a second later. All. The. Time.)

Where was I?


But so too we begin to suffer from EOF, Early Onset Flakiness.  Just last month after painstakingly organising a girls’ night out, two bailed the day of… one only half an hour before pre-game kick-off. (Remember those days of pre-gaming? Ahh.. memories.) Anyway, seemed her sitter cancelled, and her son was sick, oohhh, err and come to think of it she wasn’t feeling too well either?? Bla bla bla. Stop. Enough. You had me at sitter. (What we call grasping at straws, luv. Note to all future flakers– keep it brief.)

I blame NetFlix.

Birthday? Dinner party? Parent mixer? Sorry, Game of Thrones beckons.  I wonder when did we all become so boring? And I do include myself in this equation. Casting my mind’s eye way (way) back, there was a time you had to hold me back with a crow bar to keep me in. I mean I could not, NOT go out, or even OUT out. Get me? I didn’t need a reason. The entire concept of staying in was anathema. I suffered FOMO before it even existed as a ludicrous social media anagram. Hell, I invented FOMO. No longer. Now I just want to take a big ole nap. Right. Straight after House of Cards.


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