11 Ingenious Ways To Get Out Of Plans, From A Professional Flake

Gillian van Niekerk

Seeing friends, going to bars, watching movies in the theater, having a picnic in the park, these are all fun things. But want to know what is more fun?

Not doing any of those things and staying home with your food and Netflix.

This article is for all my brothers and sisters out there who are addicted to canceling plans -- but want to keep their friends from despising them entirely.

Here are some simple guidelines from me, a professional flake, that will help you on your journey.

1. Cultivate a general reputation for phone-flakiness among your friends and loved ones.

This is the most crucial, most life-changing thing I have learned in my 20s.

If you make people believe you are "totally bad with my phone" or "super forgetful" or "just can't keep up with the rat race of modern life!" then you will live a happier, more fulfilling life.

At this point, I can basically get away with getting out of plans just by not responding to texts or telling people "sh*t, I fell asleep," and the most I get in response is some light sh*t-talking behind my back, which is about as bad as getting a mosquito bite while having a threesome with young Meryl Streep and old Diane Keaton. I'm saying it's worth it.

2. Don't ever make plans too far ahead of time.

Plans are like pregnancies: Short term ones are a lot easier to cancel without people being too mad.

3. Never give a straightforward "yes" when someone tries to make plans.

When someone says, "We should get brunch this weekend" respond with "I love brunch!"

This way you have successfully distracted the person with enthusiasm but not actually agreed to do anything. And you simply cannot be expected to keep a promise you did not make.

4. If you're going to give an excuse, come up with either an incredibly vague one or incredibly unique one, but nothing in between.

Example of vague excuse: "Family stuff."

These two words are like kryptonite to people trying to hold you to plans.

Example of unique excuse: "OK, this is insane, but I actually have to take my cat to the vet because she got an STD from my neighbor's dog. Don't worry, it's just chlamydia. Totally curable."

If you are imaginative enough, people will just believe you. For example, in high school I got my first hickey so, ashamed, I put a bandaid over it and when people asked about it I told them I'd been spinning paper plates in the air and one cut my neck.

Although, to be fair, people's gullibility may have just meant they thought I was more likely to get a plate paper cut than have a non-virtual girl near my neck.

5. WARNING: Only in very rare circumstances should you use an excuse that is super sad.

A sad excuse like, "Sorry I can't make it tonight, bro, my arthritic grandfather just overdosed on ketamine this morning" can only be used once in a while. You don't want to waste an excuse like that for getting out of any old, "Let's get coffee together sometime."

Plus, you'll have to keep answering people's very understandable questions about your fake-dead grandfather and his horse-tranquilizer habit. "Yeah, I guess medical marijuana really is a gateway drug."

6. Stomach problems are the one sickness people will not press you for more information on.

And if anyone begins to ask about it, you can always say, "I ingested some sort of butt poison at an Indian restaurant last night and I think I need an ass exorcism," which is a fun thing to say.

7. Invent a tumultuous romantic interest who will understandably take precedent.

"I'm sorry, but Gabriel is in town tonight. He flew all the way from Rhode Island to surprise me with a wheel of cheese he made in his bathtub. I think things will be different this time."

8. Reschedule until the other person dies.

"How about we do this... let's see, when did the Mayans predict the apocalypse? Because I'm prob free the Saturday after that, as long as it's later in the day. I'm finally going to go to the dentist that morning."

9. Get arrested for the night.

Look, don't do anything too drastic. Some light police horse fondling should be fine.

10. Break a bone or get hit by a car.

Does having the architecture of your body fractured hurt? Yes. But it doesn't hold a candle to the orgasmic high of canceling plans.

11. Die.

Just make sure you go to hell. I feel like there is probably less socializing in hell. Again, some light horse molesting should do the trick.