Dear People Who Declined My Facebook Event Invite,
It is with great disappointment that I write to you today, the day after our Ninth Annual Footie Pajama Game Of Thrones Bar Crawl. The turnout, as you can imagine, was incredible. Well over half a dozen people showed up, all clad in adult-sized footie pajamas, ready to make the rounds from Chili’s to TGI Friday’s to Applebee’s to Macaroni Grill, and back again. It was, in a word, lit. Appetizers were ordered. Cocktails were consumed. Songs were sung, loudly and in Dothraki.
But not by you. Not by any of you. You all had something better to do.
While I do appreciate you responding to the Facebook invite to let me know you wouldn’t be attending, I have to admit I was quite underwhelmed by some of your reasons.
For example, Billy said he couldn’t attend because he had “just discovered a Seventh Degree Of Kevin Bacon.” While impressive, it doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that truly requires a “midnight run to the Patent Office.” Surely, that could have waited until morning, especially because, according to my research, the Patent Office doesn’t actually have a “drive-up window for late-night patents.” Also, the office is in Washington, D.C., and we live in Topeka, Kansas.
Another one of you had to “take a pass on this one” because you had scheduled the delivery of your “lifetime supply of free pudding” for the same day. I’ve been as supportive of your extreme couponing hobby as anyone, but it’s starting to impact your social life in ways that I find concerning. First, you missed Caramel Night because you have to redeem a truckload of Wet Naps box tops, then you skipped out on Paddy O’Lopez’s Irish-Mexican Luau to go “bobbing for savings” in a kiddie pool filled with Tampax coupons. And now this. When will it end, Tammy? Then there’s Tom, who couldn’t attend due to “complications” from “open heart surgery.” Really, Tom? Is that the best you could do? Scott managed to show up, and he’s on oxygen. He didn’t let a collapsed lung or two stand between him and a good time. His colostomy bag? He just tucked it into the pouch of his kangaroo onesie. It was creative and amazing, and we got him and his wheelchair back to the hospital before the nurses even noticed they were gone.
Let’s not forget Pam, who said she “didn’t get the invite” because her “Facebook got deleted”. While responding to said invite. On Facebook. I can only stare in wonder.
Of course, some of you had legitimate reasons why you couldn’t attend. Frank couldn’t come because he wanted to spend some time with his kids. He’s a family man, which is hardly a crime. Well, in this case, it was, hence the Amber Alert. But his heart was in the right place.
Sorry, that was a low blow.
It’s just, when I put so much time and love into planning an event, it hurts when people decline the invite for such spurious reasons. I would never dream of turning down any of your Facebook event invites. Not unless I had a damn good excuse.
Pam, when you had your son’s 4th birthday party at the shooting range, who was the first one to accept the invite? That’s right: me. And this, despite the fact my kids were born without fingers. It’s physically impossible for them to use firearms, but that didn’t stop me from responding Yes.
Billy, when you had your housewarming party, I regretfully was unable to attend. But my excuse was legitimate, and you know it: as a convicted arsonist, I’m not legally allowed within 100 yards of any free-standing wooden structures. If your house had been made of cinderblocks or steel-reinforced concrete, you know I would have been there, with a big, heaping bowl of my homemade guacamole. But given the high flammability of your new abode, I felt like it was in both of our best interests if I stayed home.
As for you, Tom, we don’t have the best track record when it comes to Facebook. I still feel bad about the comments I made to your Aunt Sally on her post about chemtrails. What I suggested she do with her opinions was neither sanitary nor medically advisable. That’s why I felt it was only appropriate that I decline the invite to her 85th Birthday Party. I couldn’t bring myself to sing Happy Birthday to someone who I had somewhat inexplicably likened to a “blind archer with a quiver full of evil.” Especially given the advanced state of her macular degeneration.
These, of course, are only a few representative samples of the responses I received. There were others. You know who you are. Let’s just say, that Golden Girls marathon will be on TV again next week. Being allergic to chili doesn’t mean you’re allergic to Chili’s. And a restraining order doesn’t count if you come to me.
From now on, rather than decline my Facebook Event invite with some lame excuse, I’d prefer if you just tell me the truth. Even if it hurts. I’d rather know where I stand rather than have yet another invite declined because of “government tapeworms.” What does that even mean? Are they tapeworms created by the government, or do the tapeworms work for the government? Or both?
Whatever they are, that’s the last time I send an invite to Aunt Sally.
Your Facebook Friend From High School That You Barely Knew, Even Back Then
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Warren Benedetto writes short fiction about horrible people doing horrible things. He is a full member of the SFWA and has published stories in publications such as Dark Matter Magazine and The Dread Machine; on podcasts such as The NoSleep Podcast, Tales to Terrify, The Creepy Podcast, and Scare You To Sleep; and in anthologies from Apex Magazine, Scare Street, Eerie River Publishing, and more. He is also the developer of StayFocusd, the world’s most popular anti-procrastination app for writers. He built it while procrastinating. For more information, visit www.warrenbenedetto.com and follow @warrenbenedetto on Twitter.