Monday, February 08, 2010

On the Gentle Art of Cancelling

Cancel my subscription to the resurrection.
Send my credentials to the house of detention.
Jim Morrison
Another misconception is that an order is canceled when you hit 'cancel' on your computer.
Arthur Levitt
David Burke's restaurant is at 135 East 67th Street (between and Park and Lex). Preparations for our brunch there this weekend started a few weeks ago when the brunch crowd met at Ed's Chowder House.

"Let's do this regularly," said one of us. "Yes," we all agreed. And let's ask a new different person each time so that it isn't always just us. And let's go to a different place every time. And let's take turns in choosing the restaurant.

Such enthusiasm.


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It turned out that I was "it". I was the one to contact the new person. I wasn't to CHOOSE the person. The other brunch people did that. It was my job merely to invite him. "You do it," I was commanded. "You know how to contact him."

Do the others even KNOW a man, I asked myself nastily. But I did it. Sent off an email and was answered with alacrity.

Pleased that we still had our feminine charms, we called each other confirming, setting the time, booking the place ...

Social events in New York are like that. Very New York. Lots of pre-event noise and bravado. An alien visiting from another planet would understandably believe that it was actually going to happen. The social event, that is.

But of course there's another element to New York social occasions. They are subject to CANCELLATIONS.

Of course, social occasions anywhere can be cancelled, but New York cancellations are special. I remember shortly after I'd arrived here, reading in the New York Times about cancelling. A high cancel rate means that you are popular. After all, you can't very well get cancelled if you weren't invited in the first place.

Back of Burke's
So I was pretty pleased with myself when S emailed me to inform me that she was cancelling brunch at David Burke's restaurant.

But I'm obviously not the seasoned New Yorker I thought I was. I interpreted the email as informing me that S was unable to make it. I didn't realize the whole brunch was off. I emailed back confirming the brunch minus S, and was told in no uncertain terms that the whole deal was off.

One out, all out. It must be a rule. It's a bit like being in a union, I suppose. But I was still a little bemused. Americans don't BELIEVE in unions. Or do they?

I phoned 'S'. "Don't you understand," she said. "If I can't go it isn't happening!"

"Are you the queen? We cannot meet without you?" I said. "Sorry I didn't realize."

"You are something else," I was told. "Something else". This I gather means that I am a little weird. Well I know that.

So now I will have breakfast at home and wait eagerly for the next cancelled brunch.

It is such fun being a member of a New York group!

1 comment:

Boggy said...

I know I posted a comment on this. Where'd it go?

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