He Has All the Social Grace of a Rhinoceros

Funny - He Has All the Social Grace of a Rhinoceros
So then…I drive Tucker home from school, just as he receives a text from a classmate.

“Sienna invited me to a swimming party at her house on Saturday.”

“Oh, that should be fun,” I say. “I know you enjoyed going to her last pool party during the summer.”

“Yeah, but it’s at the same time as my comedy improv class and I think I’d rather go to that,” he says.

As I navigate traffic, I prepare to help my 12-year-old navigate social customs. “Well, you could tell her that—”

“I already replied.”

“What? Already? What did you say?” I ask.

“I texted her, ‘I’ll think about it,’” he says.

WHAT? You told her you’ll think about it? Tucker, you can’t say that to someone who’s invited you to a party! That makes it sound like you’re some hot shot King of Siam who will CONSIDER deigning to grace her with your presence!”

“Oh,” he says, a little embarrassed. He’s a bright boy, but he doesn’t have too much experience in social communications, especially with girls.

I say, “You can’t let her think you’ll decide to attend or not, based on whether something else better comes along. Let her know that you already have the prior commitment to comedy class so you can let her down easy. You could text her back and say—”

“I replied,” he says.

Damn, these kids are fast texters!

“OK, what did you say?”

He looks at the screen and reads, “I wrote ‘I might have a prior commitment.’”

WHAT? You told her you MIGHT have a prior commitment? No, no – you DO have one!” I exclaim. “That’s like saying you MIGHT have a root canal that day – or you MIGHT have a wedding to attend! You either do or you don’t. That’s as bad as saying ‘I can’t go because I plan to be sick that day!’”

He picks up his phone to start texting her.

“Wait, stop, Tucker. Stop texting. Put down the phone. Back away from the phone.”

“What?” he asks.

“OK, please just type ‘I can’t attend because I have comedy class at that time. But thank you for inviting me. Have a great time.’”

“Done,” he says.

I shoot a suspicious sideways glance at him as I drive round the corner. “You didn’t write ALL of that, did you?”

“I did!” He reads from his screen, “’Can’t go cuz of comedy. have fun. tks.’”

Oh good grief. “Can’t go cuz of COMEDY?” Will she even know that he means a comedy CLASS?

Or will she think the concept of humor prevents him from attending a pool party?

Well, at least he told her to have fun and “tks” for the invite.

Maybe he’s learning some social graces afterall…?

Meanwhile, I’m going to start using that excuse from now on.

The next time someone invites me to a parent volunteer meeting – or one of those home “parties” where they try to sell you cosmetics/jewelry – or a boring work event – I’m going to gracefully decline by saying, “I’m sorry — I can’t go…cuz of comedy.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Does YOUR kid have all the social grace of a rhinoceros – or more like a gazelle? How about YOU? What’s your go-to excuse for wiggling out of invitations you’d rather not accept? Share in the Comments section!)

Funny - He Has All the Social Grace of a Rhinoceros

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28 replies on “He Has All the Social Grace of a Rhinoceros

  1. K.Haskins said:

    Know what reeaally works for an excuse to get out of something boring/tedious/you-rather-die-than-get-stuck-going-to? THIS: “Oh, I’d LOVE to come, but I’m having a colonoscopy, and the prep has to be started on(fill in date on invitation).”(Heh,heh…)

  2. Judy said:

    I love it! I can’t go because of comedy either. I’m afraid your party/meeting/root canal will lack it.

    • exactly! provide more comedy and I MIGHT attend! :o)

  3. I haven’t even though of that before. I guess I don’t get invited enough places… haha.
    I keep it simple with “don’t know yet” or “um… can’t go. thanks though.” I’ve never had anyone press for details.
    Cassie recently posted..NOT Just Another Syria RantMy Profile

    • that’s effective — and if they DO press for details, you can just stare at them intensely and say, “I need to take care of some things buried in my crawl space…”

  4. Tais said:

    Oh, that’s easy. I just say that my mom didn’t let me. Blame it all on her. Though I’m actually a bit old now for that excuse. Damn I’ll have to think about another one.

    • Oh, that IS a good one! I may try that one just to see people’s reactions!

    • Yes, he actually texted that! He thought that was more kindly than just texting “no.” Um…nope!

    • It’s true! I’ll tell my teens to call someone and they’re like “CALL them? I’ll TEXT them.” (with heavy eye roll!)

  5. Error 782: user cannot leave comment cuz of comedy.

    • Javvad! You F-ing crack me up! I LITERALLY laughed out loud at that comment!

  6. April said:

    My soon to be 13 year old responded to a birthday invite with (let’s see if I’m not too old to text speak) “Uh no. Cuz ur rude n u only invited me cuz I by good presents” at least she’s honest? but we really need to have a discussion about who exactly purchases the presents in my house…

  7. I am CRYING with laughter. This is so totally like a conversation I would have with Lisa about her 13 year-old son! So awesome in every way. P.S. Can’t go because of comedy is my future excuse for all the things.-Ashley

    • so excited my son might be adding a new phrase to the vernacular — next stop, urban dictionary, to officially enter “can’t go cuz of comedy!” into the zeitgeist! :o)

    • ha! yep, that’s a frequent reaction around here!

  8. Shit, if that gets me out of Meet the Teacher night…and I AM the teacher…I’ll owe you serious cash.

    • Ha! Would you like to attend if we change it to Meet the Teacher at the Local Bar?

  9. I shake my head and say,”Family commitment.” Then I let out a sigh and roll my eyes. This stops any futher discussion.

    • Ohhh, I like the dramatic touch of the eye roll and sigh! Almost makes the other person wonder if you’re literally committing someone in your family to an asylum!

  10. Haha I remember the summer I used slang in my texting. I went back to school and WROTE like that. I was horrified considering I’m the grammar police. I turned in a paper with lol and didn’t even think twice about it… until my teacher had a talk with the class about text slang.. apparently I wasn’t the only one.
    MomChalant recently posted..Where Were You On 9/11?My Profile

    • that’s so funny that you wrote lol in a school paper! love it!