It’s simple: there’s a movie out that you want to see—maybe your favorite actor stars in it, or it’s been getting five-star reviews, or it just looks cool—so you make plans for the weekend to go and see it with a friend
Unreliable #1: Forgetful Frank
This Unreliable is the one you forgive over and over and over again, because you truly believe his memory is somehow faultier than the average human being. As a result, you never ask him to do anything or be anywhere when it’s crucial, but you do keep inviting him because you really do enjoy his company.
In this case, you invite Frank to see the movie just like you always do, but you make sure you have at least one other “definite” friend going with you, because he only makes it to these things about half the time. To increase his odds of coming, you send him reminder texts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and three times throughout the day on Friday, so that he’ll hopefully manage to remember.
Unreliable #2: Can’t Commit Claudia
This Unreliable is the most frustrating, because she will string you along every time. She doesn’t say yes, because that might prohibit her from doing something cooler that comes along, but she doesn’t say no, because if nothing better does come along, she may as well do whatever you invited her to do. When she does say no at the absolute last minute, however, you aren’t allowed to get angry because she isn’t technically canceling on you.
In this case, you may or may not invite Claudia to see the movie; it depends if you can bear the strain of having to wait until the previews are playing for her to decide if she’ll come. Your decision also depends heavily on how recently she has waited until the last minute to give a lame “I just don’t feel like going out tonight” excuse.
Unreliable #3: Debbie Ditcher
This type of Unreliable is the worst of all. She seems to be perfectly reliable until one day, wham! You’re left stranded somewhere all alone, unable to decide whether what you feel is rage or disappointment.
In this case, you definitely do invite Debbie, because it's so easy to convince yourself, “Oh, that one time was a fluke.” You tell yourself things like, “Her phone merely died—that happens to everyone,” or, “It is awfully noisy in those bars, so maybe she really didn’t hear it ringing all six times I called,” or, “Everyone’s entitled to get a headache at the very moment they’re supposed to meet me somewhere. It happens.” Never mind that her phone dies every single day around 2pm, so she should have planned for that; or that since she knew you were going to call, she could have put her phone in her pocket so she would feel it vibrate against her leg; or that there is a handy little headache-fixer called Aspirin that is sold in drugstores around the world and carried by 90% of women in their purses. Instead, you try to forget how hurt you felt when you were left stranded on that street corner, holding your phone in your hand, knowing that your fun plans had just been ruined. Because it couldn't possibly happen again!