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Form Letters for Flaking on Plans

Canceling on people is almost as hard as actually hanging out with them. Here are some form letters you can use in event of a dinner with your friend's single cousin who has facial piercings.
Image by Kat Aileen

The truth is that there are only between 1 and 3 things worth doing in a given month. The rest is garbage you should try to get out of as quickly and as easily as possible. You only have one life to live! You should spend it as God Herself intended: doing whatever you damn want (drugs, napping, Netflix) and absolutely not going to that drinks thing your ex-boss invited you to via LinkedIn (LinkedIn!). Other prime moments for bailing include: adult sports, "team-building" activities, most things to do with your family, and literally every bachelorette party in existence, when will the tyranny end.


But sometimes cancelling can seem like more work than just buckling down and taking two trains and a bus to the thing. Below, because we love you and we want you to be happy, you will find an array of different cancellation emails, ready to be filled in and sent to your mom at your leisure. Happy flaking!

Food Poisoning, a.k.a. The Old Classic

Hi [name of parent/sibling/high school friend you don't like anymore but who will not take the hint], I am SO sorry to do this but I recently ate [shrimp/chicken/out of the garbage] at a [ethnicity you suspect the addressee is afraid of] restaurant. I've been [shitting/puking/both puking and shitting at once] for the last 24 hours and I don't think it's letting up any time soon. I'm devastated to miss the [baptism/"girl's night"/uncomfortably long conversation over a single drink] but let's try again next month, okay? Warning: I super love eating at that restaurant and will for sure be making multiple trips back, who knows when! Text me!!!

"Sorry Grandma," a.k.a. The Sell Out

Ugh, [name of friend/former girlfriend/underprivileged child you tutor]. This is the actual worst, but something's come up with my [partner/boss/elderly grandmother], and now I can't make it to our hang. Basically, they're [so mad/so upset/so critically injured] so I need to go [apologize/feed them/find their DNR]. They're actually the worst, I'd so much rather [meet your single cousin with the facial piercing/hear about your Cuba trip/explain how vectors work]! Another time I hope, although probably not soon, my [partner/boss/elderly grandmother] is basically always [angry/crying at his desk/falling]. So frustrating. Anyway, text me!!!

"I don't care if you see through this," a.k.a. The Unspecified Emergency

Hey, it's [your name]. There's been an emergency. I don't have a lot of details yet but it involves my [dad/apartment/butt/all of the above] and it's bad. Like [Vegemite/Justin Bieber/getting your period in white pants in front of your crush] bad. Carry on without me, I'm sure you'll have so much fun solo at [that bar mitzvah/your wedding/Medieval Times]! Text me!!!

"9-to-5" a.k.a. The Work Excuse

I think it was Glengarry Glen Ross who said, "Cash rules everything around me." Well, [friend's name], I think you know me well enough to know that that's basically what I'm about. I am sorry I cannot meet you at our [local pub/high school reunion/favourite tree], but I will be spending the next 48 hours [making spreadsheets/thinking about PowerPoint/stroking my collection of professional lanyards]. Work is just my life I guess! Get a better job and a nicer blazer and then text me!!!

"Please God Just Leave Me Alone," a.k.a. The Desperate Times

This is a group message on behalf of [your name]. [He/She] is dead. There will be no funeral and do not try to find information about the death online. We have embargoed it because of [reasons]. It's probably best to begin the mourning process privately and never text this number again. Thank you for your interest and sorry [your name] can't accompany you to the [dumb thing, good god, who has time for this shit] today or any other day. Just know they are in a better place now, and definitely cannot be reached by phone. Bye forever, don't text me!!!