The Modern Phenomenon Of Last-Minute Bailing: The Pros And Cons

Let’s set the scene here:

A week ago that old friend, the one you’re genuinely very fond of, gets in touch. You have a few messages back and forth, the basics in catch-up niceties. Then, one of you suggests meeting up for a drink or a coffee. “I’d LOVE to!” you type. And you mean it, too. You haven’t seen this girl in nearly a year, so you know there’ll be lots to discuss, and a serious supply of hilarious stories for both sides to exchange.

All week you look forward to this rendezvous, you gush about this friend to colleagues at work, tell them about how fun and entertaining she is. You’re totally buzzed to see her.

Then in the days leading up to the friend-date, seemingly out of nowhere, you start to get a twinge, a niggling thought that creeps up in the back of your brain - do you reeeeally want to make the effort to meet up tomorrow? This time tomorrow, are you actually willing to leave the comfort of your warm home?

And that’s all it takes. From there, the seed of dread is planted. What was once a meet up that you looked forward to with excitement, has suddenly become THE LAST THING you feel like doing after a day’s work.


You think of excuses, any excuse that’ll make you the victim in this whole scenario. Sudden illness? Have to work late? You know how your own eyes roll whenever you receive crappy last minute excuses like these, but what choice is there? The wave of  Couldn’t-Possibly-Be-Bothered Disorder (also known as CPBBD, or laziness) is getting stronger, and it doesn’t look set to ease off any time soon.

But the messages keep rolling in, one after another. She sends you excited emojis and screaming-with-excitement gifs, similar to the ones you had sent when the plans were originally being made. You’ve really landed yourself in it this time.

The plan is to meet the following evening at 7pm, for tapas and a drink. A lovely idea, if it weren’t for the aforementioned CPBBD that has now taken hold in every cell of your being. From the moment you wake up that morning you check your phone, intermittently at first, and then at increasingly regular intervals. You pray that she’d just cancel and leave you to jump into your jammies and tuck into a tub of ice cream in peace.

So when that text comes in, with the opening gambit “I’m so sorry about this, but...” you fist-pump the air in elation. As far as she knew you never even second-guessed the idea of meeting up, and as such you are now elevated to the moral high ground. Life is on your side!

It’s worth mentioning that the issue here is not that you flat out don’t want to hang out with other humans ever again, it’s just that you only want to do it when you’re absolutely, positively, 100% ready to do it. Like once you’ve had a good nap, or a fresh blow dry, for example.

And what about when she doesn’t bail? Do you give in to your own laziness (or to be fair, sometimes it’s a genuine need to relax), or do you muster up the physical and mental strength, tell yourself to cut the crap, and just go?

From my experience, it’s the times when I least feel like going, but somehow the guilt overrides the dread, and I push myself to just do it… that are the times I find myself having the best conversations and the heartiest laughs.


Nobody wants to be a Christian Bailer, but sometimes you do just need to give yourself a break follow your gut (and if your gut is leading you towards an evening of Don’t Tell The Bride binge-watching and hummus, then so be it). However, the regular cancelling of plans poses the risk of you not only being known as a Christian (Bailer), but eventually turning into a Billy No Mates, too.

Moral of the story: Keep the bailing to a minimum, people. Obviously when the other person cancels, take full enjoyment of the opportunity to stay home, but just remember that more often than not, meeting up with an old pal is worth the effort. Without them you’ll find yourself missing out on special moments that are few and far between.

The image newsletter