Ferris Bueller’s Night In

I made it.

Crazy. One of my lamest attempts to leave the office early during my tenure as marketing specialist at DFJ Engineering, and not one person asked me where I was headed so soon.

How could I possibly go for after-work drinks with my cubicle-mates on a night like this? I have leftover chili and a growler of Green Flash in the fridge, and a brand-new pair of super-cozy terrycloth sweatpants waiting on my dresser at home.

This is the fourth Friday in a row I’ve skipped out on happy hour. I’m running out of excuses. Last week I said I had to give my cat some important cat medicine. The time before that I said I needed to take her to the vet for a teeth cleaning. If I flake out again, I might have to actually get a cat.

So I better make tonight count by doing absolutely nothing.

The key to brushing off your coworkers is to build your alibi early in the week. On Wednesday, let it slip that your cousin might be coming to town on the weekend. At lunch on Thursday, mention that you have to pick her up at the airport on Friday because she can’t figure out public transit.

A lot of people will tell you that the best approach is simply to be honest and say you want to hang out with your wife at home tonight eating leftovers and binge-watching TV in your new sweatpants, but if you get an annoying co-worker who says you can do that any night of the week, and he won’t take no for an answer, you might end up at a bowling alley until 8 p.m., and that’s worse than work.

Here’s what you do. When you arrive at the office on Friday morning, remind people that you have to pick up your cousin in the evening. Then, at 4:15, get up from your computer as if you’re going to the restroom. But instead, head to the back storage nook by the testing lab, grab your messenger bag and coat — which you stashed there earlier — and slip out the west fire exit. If anyone asks where you’re headed, just yell, “Coffee run!” and keep walking.

Then head up Georgia Street and catch the SkyTrain to City Hall Station, where you take a bus to your condo. It’s comical and a little melodramatic when you think about it, but then, so is season three of Orange is the New Black.

Weekends move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and do nothing for at least one of the evenings, you’ll blink and it’s Sunday afternoon, and you have that dreaded feeling that Monday is just around the corner, and you didn’t even have a single two-hour nap.

I do have a cousin coming to visit; that is happening IRL. But she is really good with public transit, and she’s staying with a friend of hers. They’re going to a party tonight with people my wife and I don’t know. My cousin’s an extrovert. I’m not an extrovert, I don’t plan on becoming an extrovert, so why would I go to a party with a bunch of people I’ve never met? They could be the sweetest, most board-gaming cinephiles in the Pacific Northwest, but it still wouldn’t change the fact that I prefer to drink my own martinis.

“I’m dancing on my own, I make the moves up as I go, and that’s what they don’t know, mmm hmmm, that’s what they don’t know—”

It’s not like I would label myself an introvert, or any “vert” for that matter. Labels, in my opinion, are not good. A person cannot choose how outgoing he is, but he can choose what type of gin he uses.

I quote Geddy Lee: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

Good point there. After all, he’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I could have chosen to go out for drinks with my co-workers tonight, and I probably would have had a decent time, but I made another choice. And it involves terrycloth. ♦

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