The Importance of Excuses

Today an old acquaintance asked if I wanted to go to lunch with them.  I politely declined since I didn’t have my car with me at the time, restaurant food isn’t in the budget, and I just didn’t really want to.  Of course this led to him asking what pressing appointment I had this afternoon that was so important that I simply couldn’t go to lunch.

I usually make it a practice to have a few vague and socially acceptable excuses ready at all times.  Something like “I don’t think I can make it, my mom just had surgery and needs my help more.”  Or “I have to get back to the house and take care of a few things.”  True excuses, but escape routes nonetheless.  Annoyingly, I hadn’t prepared anything today.  So when he pressed me about what I was up to this afternoon, I just said “Oh, stuff.  Many things to do actually.  Very busy…”

I didn’t want to be honest and tell him “Look, I don’t have the disposable income to fret away on lunch expenses.  I have to get back to the house so I can write another blog post and do a quick run before lunch.  I’m trying to read through four books right now, so I’ll need to do some of that.  Hopefully I can find some time to teach myself more HTML before doing all the housework I have to take care of.”

I don’t like telling (IRL) people too much about myself.  Probably for the same sort of reasons that I don’t like watching TV or Movies with other people, or listening to my music with anyone else in the car.  I guess it’s that I don’t want to give these people more weapons to use against me. If knowledge is power, and I don’t need them to know something about what I do, then I’m not going to get into it.  If these IRL acquaintances of mine don’t approve of my pursuits, they then have something to use against me and argue about.  So for everyone’s sake, I just try to stay non-committal and non-specific.  That way, no one is unduly offended and I don’t have to be bothered with activities I’d rather not participate in.

The Importance of Excuses