Excuse Me: A Guide to Planning and Cancellation

Welcome to another edition of Excuse Me, a new illustrated advice column about maddening things. Installments will be posted here every other Monday. Need advice? Send your questions to liana@lilith.org.

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Liana Finck’s graphic novel is called A Bintel Brief. She writes and draws a monthly column for The Forward and her cartoons appear irregularly in The New Yorker. She often thinks about the age-old question: fight, or flight?

2 comments on “Excuse Me: A Guide to Planning and Cancellation

  1. Bobby J on

    Does this ever hit home. It seems on some level people tend to become less spontaneous as they age. I remember much more spur-of-the-moment socializing when I was younger but as my cohort has aged, everyone has to plan. How do I know on Wednesday I will want to go to the movies on Sunday? Thus we face the miserable “cancellation” syndrome. I’m glad I am not the only one. I end up doing a lot of things by myself because it’s the only way I can check the moving listings at 6p and be in the theater at 6:40p. Yet once I started to get used to this, I have accommodated quite well. Jewish life is so hugely communal – and there are good parts about that. But sometimes I will even stay away from services because I don’t want to have to greet people or stay and chat at the oneg or look rude because I don’t stay. Solitude and quiet are wonderful too – no wonder so many Jews are drawn to Buddhism. I am part “JuBu” myself. I don’t need to plan ahead for my meditation – thus I don’t have to worry about a lame excuse to cancel. I’ve actually always been pretty good at the solo thing and I would never wait to have a date to do something I wanted to do. But it is fun to do things with friends also, but planning makes me crazy. My entire work life is scheduled so I don’t like my free time to be so scheduled. If someone asks me to meet for dinner at 6:30 and it’s 5:15 and I am getting off work and I’m free, of course I’ll go. I used to know a lot of people who were like that. Now I don’t know any, and it’s sad.

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