Sure­fire ways to get out of get­ting out

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE - SH­ERYL NADLER Sh­eryl@sh­eryl­

It was 7 p.m. and I was en­sconced in a corner of the couch, wrapped in a blan­ket, snug like a chicken strip in a bur­rito — a meal I was, coin­ci­den­tally, con­sid­er­ing or­der­ing in. But first, the task at hand. I started typ­ing. “Ex­cuses ...” and Google fin­ished my thought, as it does, of­fer­ing “to get out of plans.”

It was Satur­day night, I was just start­ing to breathe af­ter a tense week of dead­lines and ap­point­ments and drama, and there was noth­ing, not even a fully loaded bur­rito (chicken or hal­ibut) that would get me off this couch. Noth­ing.

And con­sid­er­ing “to get out of plans” was one of the most pop­u­lar “ex­cuses” searches, my guess is a whole lot of you feel the same way on the reg­u­lar.

So it might not sur­prise you to know that if you take that route, tap­ping the “ex­cuses to get out of plans” op­tion, you will be di­rected to a page of web­sites that spe­cial­ize in this topic: 32 fool­proof ex­cuses to help you get out of any plans, 20 ex­cuses to get out of go­ing out, 17 ex­cuses for flak­ing out … and so on and so forth and you get the idea.

So yes, you might think I’m su­per lame for want­ing to stay home, wrapped up like a bur­rito, pos­si­bly eat­ing a bur­rito, when I could be out do­ing some­thing else like go­ing for din­ner or meet­ing some­one for drinks or brows­ing an art gallery or tak­ing in a movie or show. But all of those ef­forts re­quire wear­ing pants.

Or a dress, I sup­pose, but in this weather dresses re­quire tights which are es­sen­tially stretchy pants and why should I put on pants when I’m in my py­ja­mas and am al­ready in a pants- and judg­ment-free zone: my liv­ing room. No, it makes no sense.

As a mat­ter of fact, last week The Cut ran a story on how we tend to get a lit­tle thrill out of can­celling plans, or rather that once we can­cel plans and the path to the couch is free and clear, we ex­pe­ri­ence a teensy burst of joy.

I’m talk­ing about those of us who make plans with good in­ten­tions but bail in the end be­cause putting on pants can some­times just be too hard. Yes, we of­ten get a bit of a high when we can­cel at the last minute, ac­cord­ing to the story. And neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gist Amy Banks, who was in­ter­viewed by the on­line mag­a­zine, says there’s a good rea­son for that:

“Some peo­ple’s sched­ules re­ally are just that de­mand­ing, and flak­ing on plans is the eas­i­est path to some much-needed down­time,” re­ports The Cut. “‘A lot of peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mate how much they can take on, so can­celling feels good be­cause they just have too much go­ing on and ac­tu­ally re­ally need a night off,” she says.

So don’t be so hard on your­self. Of course, bail too many times with lame ex­cuses and you might hurt some­one’s feel­ings, ruin a friend­ship or paint your­self into a lonely corner where no one ever wants to make plans with you ever again. Which is why if you’re go­ing to bail at the last minute, you’d bet­ter have a darn good ex­cuse. So I’ve combed the lists and of­fer you my top five favourites.

1 — “I’m feel­ing re­ally emo­tional about ‘Home­land’ and just need to be alone right now.” This one is from thought­cat­a­ and re­ally works best if used while “Home­land” is air­ing. Even though you can binge watch it on Net­flix or Crave, I feel it’s most ef­fec­tive if used in real time.

2 — “Burst into tears. No ex­pla­na­tions, just start cry­ing.” From schol­ar­ship­ There’s no way this one won’t work. They’ll bail on you faster than a hope­ful viewer on Ash­ton Kutcher’s Net­flix show, “The Ranch.”

3 — “I had a bur­rito for din­ner and now I can’t move.” This one is from and works es­pe­cially well if, as men­tioned above, you ac­tu­ally get that chicken or hal­ibut bur­rito. ’Cause then you’re not even ly­ing!

4 — “Stom­ach prob­lems are the one sick­ness peo­ple will not press you for more in­for­ma­tion on.” This one is from It’s true. And if the afore­men­tioned bur­rito came from a sketchy place, dou­bly true.

5 — “I al­ready took my bra off.” From mom­my­ Any woman will get why this one is sure­fire. Of course, you can only use it with a pla­tonic fe­male friend who gets the sig­nif­i­cance of this state­ment. Say it to a ro­man­tic in­ter­est (male or fe­male) and they might get ideas about com­ing over, which will have you search­ing for a whole other list of ex­cuses.


It was Satur­day night, I was just start­ing to breathe af­ter a tense week of dead­lines and ap­point­ments and drama and there was noth­ing, not even a fully loaded bur­rito that would get me off this couch. Noth­ing.

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