Here’s a very simple (yet timely) question for you, Dear Reader.
When you are invited to yet another gathering or festive night out and you’re not going to be attending, do you give a reason why or do you just politely refuse?
Ghost Host of Christmas Past,” I’ve felt obliged to elaborate and provide a good enough reason, (or an innocent made-up excuse!) to avoid hurting the host’s feelings. But recently people have told me this is unnecessary and it’s actually oversharing.
Below is my track record with this social grace ….
ME: I’m so sorry, but I’m already committed.
INVITER #1: Really? To do what?
ME: I’m committed to not saying more than that when I decline invitations.
INVITER #1: No really, what exactly are you doing instead??
Note To Self: Get less assertive friends.
ME: Thank you for thinking of me, but I have another engagement.
INVITER #2: Again? OMG! Hopefully you make it down the aisle this time! Feel free to bring your new fiancé.
Note To Self: Next time use more specific language, while still not stating exactly what you’re doing since it’s none of their business.
ME: I’d love to, but I’m having an affair of my own that same evening.
INVITER #3: No wonder your engagements never last, you cheatin’, lyin’ slut, you!
Note to Self: Go back to my little white lies.
ME: Darn, I’d really like to come to your annual potluck tree-trimming party, but I’m allergic to pine.
INVITER #4: It’s artificial this year. Vinnie always pees on all our real trees.
ME: Well I’m allergic to dogs.
INVITER #4: Vinnie is our 15-year-old son.
ME: Seriously! Was he born in a barn??
INVITER #4: Yes. I went into labor cleaning the horse stall and gave birth on a bale of hay. . .
ME: Ahhhh! Which I’m very allergic to?
INVITER #4: In our previous house.
ME: Guess I’ll be bringing peanut butter cookies to your potluck tree-trimming party.
INVITER #4: I have a life-threatening nut allergy. You’ll bring 2 dozen filet mignon steaks instead.
Note to Self: Google who said, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Hmph. Guess honesty IS always the best policy.
ME: To tell you the truth, I just really don’t want to come.
INVITER #5: Well frankly, I really didn’t want to invite you but your siblings forced me to.
Note to Self: Let a few weeks go by and then call Mom and apologize for not being more tactful.
ME: Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it because my really messy closet has me barricaded from my front door.
INVITER #6: “When first we practice to deceive . . .” Oh come now, you can do better than that! A messy closet. Sheesh, what do you take me for? I’ll expect you at 7 pm, unless you send visual proof of that whopper.
INVITER #6: Uh…Maybe my guests can bring some hangers and come over and help dig you out. It can be a “Coming Out Of The Closet” theme shindig.
Note To Self: Wear those mustard yellow pants hanging in center of closet. AT. Every. Single Party. (To eliminate future invites.)
READERS: When someone declines your invitation with a vague, “Thank you for thinking of me and I hope you have a great time!” Be honest — Are you a teeny bit offended, wondering if they could totally attend, but just don’t want to? And how do you personally say, “Thanks but no thanks?”