Exit Strategy?

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I got asked to go to a second-degree friend’s birthday party and said
yes but now I am sorry I did and I want to get out of it. I know it
sounds lame to just call that day and say I am sick. Plus many of the
other people who will be there know me and it’s too hard an act to
fake for a week. Do I just have to suck it up and go?

Exit Strategy?

Dear Exit Strategy:

The 100% best time to get out of a party is at the invitation: just say
No thanks, I have a conflict. No fuss, no bother. Or at a minimum, I
think I have a conflict, let me get back to you. You may be plagued by
some FMS (fear of missing something) but that’s so much easier to
live with than extricating yourself at the last minute with a lie,
especially a complicated one that’ll last beyond the evening. If you
miss this chance to bail, out of social or professional obligation, or
failure to remember rule number one, revert to Plan B. That requires
some prep work. Always be very being enthusiastic about attending.
Volunteer to bring something easily replicated by others, say wine, as
opposed to something critical like dessert.

You then have two options for Plan B. Option one, as you say, suck it
up, give up a few hours of your life, plead a headache and leave early,
with a miraculous recovery the next day. Option two, is the emergency
du jour. It could be something as simple as a headache, though that
sounds fishier the day of an event. I’m coming down with something is
only a marginally better medical excuse, but makes you seem
considerate of healthy others. The true emergency (e.g. flat tire, sick
pet, neighbor in crisis) is really all that gets you off the hook. But it
should be a story that shouldn’t have too many moving parts, lest you
get caught on any of them. In this case, go and plead a migraine.
In the future, think faster before you say yes. And then find friends
you’d rather spend time with.