There is literally nothing better than cancelling plans. Seriously. If you look up the word “orgasm” in the dictionary, it’s just a picture of someone texting, “Sorry, can we reschedule?”
Unfortunately, there are some people who just can’t seem to find that damn send button. Acquaintances who say you should totally get coffee and then follow up to actually set a date. Friends who invite you to their board game night and don’t expect to have to reschedule seven times. Absolute psychopaths who spend months or years planning an elaborate party/wedding/whatever and expect you to make good on that RSVP you sent when you were in a passably good mood.
When faced with such a dilemma, a person has only two choices: run away and adopt a new identity, or cycle through all five stages of grief in the time it takes to get ready for whatever social hell you’ve subjected yourself to. Here’s how to accomplish the latter.
Hold out hope that they could still cancel. Sure, the day of your social engagement has arrived and they still haven’t cancelled. But maybe they’ve contracted dysentery and they’ve just been too busy shitting blood to send you that sweet, sweet cancellation text. Or perhaps their elderly Aunt Ruth died and they’ve been so preoccupied arranging the funeral or contesting the will that they forgot about you altogether. The important thing here is: there’s still time.
When that cancellation text doesn’t come, it is time to get MAD. Type out an angry text in your Notes app about what an atrocious friend they are for wanting to spend time with you. Or better yet: type out an angry text at your past self for having the audacity to make plans with a friend at all. You’ll never send it, of course, but it’ll be great nightmare fuel for later tonight when you have a stress dream about accidentally sending it, in between your nightmares about going back to high school and – shudder – making even more plans.
By now, you should be in the shower getting ready for your social obligation, which is the perfect time to start negotiating with yourself about how to best survive your impending social engagement. “I’ll go… but I’ll hang out with their dog the entire time.” “I’ll go… but I’ll take my dessert to go so I can eat it at home in bed.” “I’ll go… but I’ll get so drunk I forget I’m socializing.” Disclaimer: should you go with the latter, please drink responsibly, i.e. do not get so drunk that you think it’s a good idea to make even more plans.
You get out of the shower, and the cold reality hits you: this is really happening. You lose your appetite (is that a good enough reason to cancel dinner plans?), you can barely get dressed, you keep having to redo your makeup because you’re crying so much – and there’s nothing you can do about it. Best practices here include hating yourself, and scheduling a Zoom therapy session for the hour prior to leaving the house. Just make sure it’s one of those bogus fifty-minute therapy appointments – you’ll need that extra ten minutes to fix your makeup again.
Your clothes are clean, your hair is done, and that cancellation text has never arrived. Only one thing left to do: accept your fate… and cancel the plans yourself. Only, you’re supposed to meet your friend in forty minutes, so you need to come up with one hell of an excuse, and FAST. Well, suck it up, buttercup, and choose a finger to chop off because you need to take your ass to the emergency room. Unless, of course, you’re canceling on the kind of friend who would offer to take you to the ER themselves – then you’d still have to make conversation.