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The Slice: It’s not an invitation to criticism

People really should understand by now.

Fibbing about a prior commitment when turning down a social invitation is not a sign of disrespect. It just shows you care about the person’s feelings. It’s a kindness, really.

I mean, would the individual doing the inviting really prefer to hear “A dinner party at your place during this insanely busy time of year? No, thanks. Staying home sounds waaaaaaay better.”

Would that host rather get a vague, dismissive “Oh, um, you know, I guess not”?

Still, some people get miffed when they suspect you are making up your schedule conflict or allergy — as if they have never done that themselves.

Look, here’s the deal. You can think the world of people, say nice things about them behind their backs even, and still not be in the mood to join them for a hike or a movie outing.

You might think everyone would understand this.

Besides, who accepts every single social invitation?

I’ll tell you: People who sincerely believe that they are the life of the party. That’s who.

You can make up your own mind about just how delusional some of those attention junkies are. But anyone who never fibs to get out of an invitation must have a pretty dreary home life.

Today’s Slice question: How many times this week do you think you can answer a question or respond to events swirling around you by saying “Nuts!”?

You could consider it your salute to history and the spirit of defiance.

The pivotal Battle of the Bulge began on Dec. 16, 1944. And about a week later, an American general in a town surrounded by German forces rebuffed demands for surrender with the aforementioned remark.

I think that if you start using it, you might find that you will like it.

“Steve, instead of tomorrow, I’d like that sales-prospects report this afternoon.”


Try it. You’ll see.

“I’ve heard this rumor that there are things couples can do when they go out that do not involve watching sports.”


The opportunities are endless.

“Duhkotah, I know you don’t listen to me. But I have to tell you, the whole teens wearing shorts in winter thing is played.”


Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Some people who have moved a fair number of times can remember every one of their former area codes.

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