It was a perfectly acceptable reason to stay home. However, sometimes you don't have a reasonable excuse. I received a request for excuses to skip social functions, and I'm perfectly happy to encourage that kind of behavior, so I've come up with some examples. First, however, a few guidelines...
Please remember that not every excuse works for everyone. You need something that is a boring, inflexible obligation. The key here is to be believable. If you're a teacher, then you probably don't find yourself with a lot of unexpected weekend work emergencies. If you live five states away from your parents, then you probably can't get away with Dad needing help painting the garage. If your grandparents are dead I shouldn't have to tell you NOT TO USE THEM AS AN EXCUSE. On the other hand, grandparents can be invoked occasionally but never in an emergency scenario--I mean, it's not worth tempting fate. If it's going to be a health-related excuse, it has to be something that is keeping you in but not something that concerns friends enough to stop by and check on you. And don't worry anyone! If you have a serious peanut allergy, do not, I repeat DO NOT tell your friends your throat is swelling up and you're going to pop on over to the emergency room. Dial it back.
Try to stick to excuses that are boring. Things that you wouldn't tweet about or instagram. You can't half-ass a lie. Be the lie. Don't let foursquare rat you out! If you can't resist snapchatting people, you're better off telling the truth.
Separate your worlds. If you're skipping a work function, use your family. If you're skipping a family function, use a volunteer meeting. If you're skipping something with friends, use work. If you work with friends and the lines are blurred, use your health. "Oh, can't make that meeting--I have book club." Don't overlap.
Ask yourself, who will be angry about this? If you're skipping your cousin's wedding because you'd rather catch the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family, you might want to reconsider. If you have to spend the next ten Christmas dinners listening to your mom and her sister lament how sad it is that they couldn't get a picture of all the cousins, that's your own problem. If you try to blame me, I will deny it and say I tried to convince you otherwise. However, if you're passing on trivia night for Harry Potter, you have my blessing.
Get it? Let's go.
Legitimate Excuses for Turning Down Invitations When Your Real Reason Won't Fly
Better for daytime...
- Your grandparent or parent has an appointment and you offered to drive them. (A check-up works, or something like bloodwork. The dentist works well because that's far less life-threatening. And you always need someone to drive you after your eyes have been dilated by your optometrist.)
- YOU have an appointment. It takes weeks to get a gyno appointment, you can't possibly reschedule!
- Baby or wedding shower. Believable anytime between 11am and 6pm on weekends, since they're usually during brunch or lunch. Often a family obligation, and people seldom ask to see pictures. (Sorry guys, but you pretty much never get invited to these. Steer clear of this excuse.)
- The cable guy/plumber/dishwasher delivery guy is coming sometime between 10 and 4, so you have to stay put.
- Jury duty. (Pro tip: I don't know about everywhere, but cell phones aren't allowed in the court house around here. If you "have jury duty" to avoid a friend, and that friend texts you...don't answer yet.)
Better in the evening...
- A guy in your office is retiring/having a birthday/getting a big promotion and you're all going for a drink to celebrate.
- Your turn to host book club. (The hosting is key here. You HAVE to be there.)
- Meeting of the church group/housing association/PTA/volunteer opportunity of your choosing.
- Work called with a last minute deadline/emergency. OR: Someone called and asked you to take their shift.
- You offered to babysit for a cousin or friend.
- A friend is arriving home and you offered to pick her up at the airport.
- Car trouble! (This is risky, since there is the possibility that someone will offer to pick you up. Best used when you're meeting people out of your area.)
- Food poisoning or some kind of temporary, minor, yet annoying health issue. A migraine works well. Throwing up deters guests.
- Shaun White called you. Nothing is more important than this.
Enjoy your Harry Potter marathon!
**Yes, you heard me. Every four years my crush on him comes out of hibernation for two weeks.