5 Completely Valid Excuses for Opting Out of Life

(originally posted on postgradproblems.com) Up until a few years ago, getting out of social events that sounded about as appealing as giving your grandma a foot rub was next to impossible. Before you hit 25, you’re a lame ass loser if you choose not to go out or partake in pre-planned events, because what the hell else are you doing? Your career is definitely not that serious or demanding yet (in fact, you can’t even call it a career at that point–it’s just a job) and even you would rather die a thousand fiery deaths than have anyone know you sat home alone on your couch for the duration of your Friday night.

But now, at 25 or older, you’ve got it made. Why? Just because. Your list of incredibly valid excuses to skip out on social occasions is endless.

“I have to work late.”

Friends doing an after-work happy hour? Ugh, that’s sooo 2011. You know how happy hours go: you get too drunk, end up dropping dollars on a small feast, and go home already hungover. But when you have to work late, you can get out of just about anything: a tentative dinner you planned with a friend that you weren’t looking forward to anyway, a first or second date you only agreed to go on out of boredom. “I’m so sorry. Just got completely bogged down at work, and it looks like I’ll be here until who knows when. Should’ve never gotten into advertising! [insert sad/angry emoticon here].” When you’re a real girl or boy with a real job, working late is no longer a lie–it’s a nightmare turned reality. This excuse also comes in the shape of working on the weekends and working super early the next morning, canceling out any plans the night before.

“I’m having an existential crisis.”

Don’t roll your eyes. This is seriously a valid excuse. Have you ever experienced even an inkling of an existential crisis? If your answer is “no,” just wait. If your answer is “yes,” hey! You made it, though. You’re here. You’re reading this. You’re okay. Existential crises, AKA quarterlife crises, are no joke. When your age and brain align and start to look at the world through confused-colored glasses, you activate crisis-mode. Thoughts like, “What am I doing? Who am I? Where am I going? What does it all mean?” can consume everything and they are downright paralyzing. So, if your friends know you and how you are, they will know better than to question it when you say you are suffering through a crisis and cannot find a meaningful reason to join their fun. My 26th birthday was terrible because I forced myself to celebrate when all I wanted to do was hide in my room and contemplate life, and my friends will attest to that. So, really, you’re saving their time when you opt out. Be a good friend and help by keeping your friends existential-crisis free. They’ll get there eventually.

“I got an IUD inserted this week.”

Personally, I cannot empathize with this. However, I have known plenty of girls who have dumped their birth control pills and gone the flexible plastic route of the IUD. Great concept, but from what I’ve seen, it’s incredibly painful the first couple weeks. In middle school and high school, ladies relied on period cramps and back pain to get out of class. The IUD takes it up several levels and brings a whole new sense of “I’m a fucking woman and dealing with womanly stuff; therefore, I will not be making it into work today. If you need me, I’ll be suffering loudly in my bed and probably eating copious amounts of snacks, equal parts sodium and sugar.” Install this device in your vagina, and you have every excuse in the book to not participate in anything.

“I just made an investment purchase.”

Before 25, having $0 or negative dollars in your bank account was still sort of laughable. Sort of. But now? If you’re still that bad with money, I reckon you’ve got an existential crisis on your horizon. A sign of a true “adult” is saving up for a big investment. I’m not talking about that $400 designer dress you’ve coveted since last season or dropping $200 on a plane ticket. No. I’m talking you have a real savings account with real money in it and you are really planning on buying that real leather couch. Or that brand new car. Or that Restoration Hardware coffee table. The point is, you’ve actually been saving with purpose and know that, once you pull the trigger, you won’t have leisurely fun for a while. And that’s okay by you, because you’re investing for the long term. A dinner out or three rounds of drinks for no reason don’t have a place in your financial plan anymore. You can confidently and calmly explain to your friends, “Martha and I are saving up for a entirely new living room, so we’ll be stretched for cash for a little while” and they can’t argue that.

“I’m too exhausted.”

We’ve been saying how tired we are since birth, but it’s never been truly valid until now. Working Monday through Friday, with long hours, early hours, and an abundance of take-home work mixed in is 150 percent a real excuse to not want to do a damn thing otherwise. Sure, you’ve been tired in the past, but with travel, extracurricular activities, hours-long meetings, and more, it’s a new level of exhaustion that never seems to go away. We learn around this age that sleep truly is the most important thing you need for overall health, and we’ll be damned if you ask us to sacrifice that for a baby shower or a wedding shower or a work happy hour you really should show face at to be “seen.” (Side note: I’m not that much of a Debbie Downer. I would never skip out on a friend’s shower for sleep. If it was across town and started at 8 a.m., yes. But otherwise, no.) Sleep is sacred and, sadly, seems to become scarcer and scarcer the more we grow. If anyone tries to guilt you for needing a moment to decompress and get more sleep, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS.

Remember, guys: there’s always a valid, adult excuse to not partake in things that don’t interest you. And, if nothing else, blame it on your dog. Or a grandparent.