When You Can't Go to the Meet...


This Saturday I was meant to go to a meet in York. It was going to be a bit more relaxed, fewer people attending (some of whom I haven’t seen since DMC in August), casual stroll around the Christmas market, which is bound to be beautiful in York, potentially some tea and cake later. But on the day before I started feeling really poorly and knew that I’d either be worse the next day or better but only after a lot of sleep, which wouldn’t leave me enough time to make it on time. I was gutted, I was really looking forward to going and felt terrible having to let people down. As I was recovering, I began thinking of healthy ways to overcome the feeling of regret, so that it wouldn’t end up in things I would then regret even further, like overeating or going on a mad spending spree. These are some things on what to do when you realise last minute that you can’t make it to a meet!

Let the Host Know

Don't leave your host hanging, keep
them informed.
This should be self-explanatory, but it’s worth repeating – make sure to let the host know. Saying you’d come and then not turning up is very rude and for all you know your absence could upset the host’s plans (in my case, when there were already maybe three people declared as going, one fewer could’ve meant cancelling the whole meet). The more notice they have, the more time you give them to work this into their plans. Just be polite, really.

Plan Coords and Occasions

Depending on the reason why you cancelled, you may or may not have the energy to actually wear what you planned. In case you can’t, why not play around with creating some coords? You don’t have to do actual flatlays or put things on a mannequin, simple collages or even descriptions will work just as well. If you really liked the coord you had prepared for this occasion, think about other places and occasions where it’d be appropriate to wear. In my case, I have put way too much thought and effort, especially into ironing the large tiered skirt, to let that go to waste, so I came up with another time and place for it.

Engage with Lolita in Other Ways

You can stay in touch with the fashion
outside of the meet too.
Photo by Sorayachi on DeviantArt.
This works only if you cancelled and are stuck at home rather than for other engagements. Take your time to enjoy other aspects of the Lolita community. Read through the Lolita magazines that you’ve collected, slowly, carefully, absorbing all the detail. Or take out those unfinished crafting projects and work on those – or start one if you don’t have any work in progress at the moment. Or go online and spend some time reading blogs/watching YouTube videos/looking through posts on social media. But don’t stay passive, engage with that content, leave a comment, however brief. Whatever you’re able to do, engaging with Lolita in other ways could help alleviate some of the regret of having to miss a meet.

Spend Time with People

Again, this depends on your reasons for cancelling, but generally you should be able to accommodate something. Spend some time with your family if you’re at home or check if a friend living locally to where you’ve been called out to is free for coffee/a quick bite after you’re done. This may also be a good opportunity to catch up with friends living further away: send them a message or Skype them if you can. You may not be able to see your comm friends, but it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing on socialising entirely.

Take Care of Yourself

There is only one of you, so take care
of yourself!
And not only if you’ve ended up being poorly – self-care is something many of us neglect or struggle with. The things above could be part of your self-care, but it extends way beyond that. It could be as simple and mundane as having that nice tea you’re saving for special occasions or throwing a bath bomb into your bath. It could also be as nurturing and complex as writing a reassuring letter to yourself that having to skip the meet does not make you a failure or that the people there will miss you, combating any negative inner voices you may have. You know what kind of self-care you need. Whatever it is – do it.

While I’m still sad that I didn’t get to go in the end, I have had a 5-week unbroken chain of socialising or going out on Saturdays – as fun as it was to be going out so much, it has been a strain on my introverted self. So I did take the opportunity to take the day easy, as well as focus on getting better so that I could get through the last week of work before having some time off for Christmas. I spent most of the day doing really mundane things, like playing games on my tablet or listening to the same best Christmas songs list on TV that’s always on this time of the year with my parents. But I also got to do some cleaning and rearranging in my room, making things like hair clips better displayed and easier to access, and I had two packages arrive that I got to enjoy opening and examining up close. As well as spend more time online with Lolita via Instagram, YouTube, Amino and blogs. And that’s not a bad way to spend a poorly Saturday.

Have you ever had to cancel going to a meet last minute? What did you do to combat the feelings of disappointment and regret at not going? Or maybe you were relieved that you didn’t go (no judging, sometimes you need even more self-care and that’s ok)? What other suggestions would you add to this list?

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