Well, it’s a Friday, it’s (sorta) almost Christmas, and there was no new Community last night for me to recap. So why not talk about one of my favorite guilty pleasures, in which I’ll be taking part all weekend: blowing people off. Don’t judge me; you know you do it, and you know once in a while it feels pretty good to get some QT with your TV.
It’s an important distinction to make that if you’re blowing people off all the time, it’s not a guilty pleasure. You’re just an unreliable and potentially not-nice person. (And it’s possible your friends don’t like you.) Indulging in this particular guilty pleasure is really something that needs to be reserved for when it will have maximum impact for your enjoyment, kind of like taking a mental health day from work or school.
The thing is, between the aforementioned work and school, not to mention relationships, marriages, family, friends, pets, errands, hobbies, and so on, life can get pretty busy. Sometimes you finish your weekend feeling more tired than you were when it started. Especially at this time of year, you may be traveling or hosting guests almost every weekend. You say yes to lunch with an old friend, you say yes to someone’s Christmas party where you won’t know many people, and you say yes to seeing that pretentious-looking movie.
Before you know it, you’re burnt out, and you’re dreading social events that are supposed to be fun. Carrying out your plans starts to feel like going to the gym: you never want to go, but when you force yourself, you end up being glad you went. By the next day, you’ve forgotten all those lessons and you’re dreading it again. What’s a woman to do? Enter the blow-off.
In order to keep this as a guilty pleasure rather than a character flaw, you need to stick to a few rules beyond simply spacing these occasions far apart. First, if you are going to blow someone off, you have to blow everyone off. This way, you keep it from being about any specific person; it’s just about you needing some “me time.” Take my weekend, for example. Mr. McDoogal is away for two days on a hybrid work/fun trip that I decided not to attend. When I realized that I had my first free weekend in over a month, I decided to make it a really free weekend. Every friend or relative who tried to make plans was shot down politely with a vague statement that I had plans. Which I do. There’s going to be a foursome, starring my butt, the couch, the PS2, and my Snuggie.
Second, you have to commit to it. When your empty day/night/weekend approaches, you may start to regret it and feel like you should take someone up on their plans after all. Resist the urge! You run the risk of doing the single-person blow-off I’ve already warned you against, not to mention that there’s a reason you had this idea in the first place. You needed some down time, dangit. I guarantee an hour into your elastic-waisted splendor your misgivings will have melted away.
And finally, don’t go all Tell-Tale Heart on me and blab to people about what you’ve done. You’d be surprised how quickly and easily people forget that you weren’t around, or turned down plans with them. Just send an email, or make a quick phone call being like “lunch soon?” All is forgotten, and forgiven, and you’ve had your fill of social isolation and laziness to carry you through the New Year.