My daughter recently asked me if she could fake being sick to get out of spending Thanksgiving with her Dad’s new wife’s family. Of course I said no. She’s a kid, and basically she has to go with the grown-ups. But it got me to thinking. For an adult, who, for whatever reason, wants out but doesn’t want to offend, here are some excuses to use to get out of the holiday dinner.
1. Fake illness.
Yes, my daughter is a genius. A stomach virus works best, because no one wants the prospect of developing diarrhea after sharing a big meal with you. But food poisoning is perfect — it only lasts 24 hours, so when you show up at the stores on Black Friday after having skipped Thanksgiving with the family, you won’t be “outed.” Ladies, just don’t use blush the next day. You’ve got to look a bit pale when seen in public again.
2. I have to study.
Students, you are very, very lucky, you’ve got a built-in excuse. The higher the education, the easier it is to use. When I was in law school, all I had to say was — exams. People pretty much left me alone. I would imagine a simple word like “dissertation” would send people backing slowly out of the room. I used the “exams” excuse once. Actually, it was true, and effective. I ate a convenience store turkey sandwich and studied at home alone. Very relaxing, and productive.
3. Fake or exaggerate your child’s illness.
Okay, this one seems creepy, but even if your kid is on the mend with barely a sniffle, you could rock the “I don’t want to expose him/her to everybody,” excuse. Then you sit home, watch movies and cuddle. Again, very relaxing.
4. Pick a fight with your significant other.
You really have to want to skip the dinner to do this, but let’s face it, we probably all know how to do it. Then, tell him/her to figure out what to say because “I’m not going.” The offended significant other can consult this same list. Bonus, your significant other may bring you back a plate.
5. For those expected to travel, say you just can’t afford it this year.
It’s tough out there. You can’t afford a ticket, gas, car needs repair, whatever. You do run the risk that someone will offer to pay your way. If that happens, carry your butt to dinner, you’ve got good peeps.
Just Me With . . . a holiday opt-out plan.