In this modern age, our species is capable of extreme solitude. However, some people within said species “haven’t seen you in, like, forever,” and attempt to draw you out of your bedroom, disrupting your “Cheers” binge to tell you about their promotion, while you’ve spent the preceding day trying and failing to write a sarcasm-free cover letter.
But, if you’re a people pleaser like this eternal watcher, you agree to the plans. And then, on the day, you’re just…not ready to do whatever it is you’re committed to.
Here are 10 ways to respond when someone has a perfectly good reason to see you:
Chris: “Yo Kev, Broomhilda is out of town, and I dusted off the N64 and have a few leftover Percocet from my root canal. You’re not working this week! You can crash here!!”
1. “Buddy I would, but someone’s coming to fix the heat.” Heat’s vital. Also this one can be put on the landlord, and you’re usually safe because people respect the fact that landlords are basically renters’ parents.
2. “Pal I wish, but the trains aren’t running. The MTA, right?” Even people who live outside NYC know that the MTA is a cruel partner (also a parental figure in that you can’t get anywhere without them giving you a ride). It opens you up to them coming to you, which is the very best.
3. “Dude I wanna, but I’ve got a fever.” Nobody wants a fever in their house. You’re basically saying ‘I’m doing you a favor’ (by being selfish), and people tend to give sick folk the benefit of the doubt (until they get caught Instagramming some tasteful beach nudes).
4. “Bro it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I can’t because my feet fell off.” You can always go Dadaism with it. But, you have to not respond to further inquiry and be willing to cut that friendship off because who can hang out with someone like that.
5. “Homey, I am dying to come, but I’ve got warrants in Jersey right now.” I think a lot of people can relate to this.
6. “Cool G it would be amaze-nuts to see you, but there’s only so much more I can take of the train today before turning into Electrode.” This is a counterpoint to the previous deflection of trains not working. This time, it’s you that doesn’t work. However, being beaten down by spent time shuttling back and forth underground is a tricky emotion to explain to a suburban. Be prepared to answer questions about obvious depression with this one.
7. “Don Keykong we would have a blizzast, but I drank too much last night and feel like death.” Honesty is for suckers, but at least you sound pretty rock and roll. This one’s a perennial favorite. It’s the “Citizen Kane” of getting out of shit.
8. “Playboy you know It would be my absolute pleszche, but I have an edit in process and my partner on it is only available this afternoon.” Specifics are fun. Try it with some from your own life, i.e. ‘I have a grave to dig and the body’s already pretty ripe.’
9. “Harrison Ford Taurus no one can keep you from my heart and thoughts, but I had also arranged a date for tonight in Manhattan with a woman from work and didn’t remember it until she asked if we were on.” When your bro wants to hang, always default to the bro code: men are awful and do shitty things to other people in order to have a warm thing on their gennies. But everyone abides by it (because we’re all awful).
10. “Doctor Daddy MD, let’s spend the day in the splendor of each other’s embrace.” Or, you can also just go. That’s also fun. As is referring to people as Dr. Daddy.
Whatever it is you say to get out of a thing, just be sure to spend the rest of the day worried that you should have gone to hang out.