I’d Rather Be at Home

And other reasons I cancelled those plans

Mary O'Brien
4 min readOct 18, 2019


Photo by Trent Szmolnik on Unsplash

“I’m so sorry — I’m feeling a little sick.”

“No, I forgot I made plans already! Rain check?”

“Oh, shoot! That was tonight? I completely spaced, and I’m out of town!”

For a good many years, I was the master of the elaborate excuse.

While I can’t say I’m particularly proud of it, I must admit that such a skill got me out of quite a lot of things that, simply put, I just didn’t want to do.

I’ll also just go ahead and own up to the fact that this got me in heaps of trouble as a teenager when I was caught in said excuses, which was frequently enough that I ought to have been more deterred from continuing crafting these tales…

And yet…

On they went, because social niceties dictated that if there was something I couldn’t do or someplace I couldn’t be, there had to be some kind of reason.

“Of course you want to do that thing, Mary, so of course I need to know why you won’t. There must be something preventing you. There must be an explanation.”

For the record, nobody ever said that. This was implied.

Social niceties can really suck sometimes.

Because more often than not, the simple truth was just this:

“I don’t want to.”

That’s it! That’s all it was!

I didn’t go out for drinks after work because I had no money to spend and didn’t want to continuously politely refuse everyone’s offers to buy me a beer. Worse yet, I didn’t want people to trample all over those polite refusals, buy me one anyway, and then make me feel obligated to one day repay the ‘favor’.

And I said it was because I had a doctor’s appointment that evening.

That doctor looked suspiciously like Netflix and leftovers, but nobody needed to know that.

I didn’t go to that party because I really wasn’t up for a ton of interaction with people I didn’t know that would put yet more strain on my already uneasy emotional state.

I was tired.



Mary O'Brien

Reader of memoirs, novels, and cookbooks. Writer of lists, essays, and short stories. If I’m not baking, I’m running. If neither, I’m in personal crisis.