I won’t tease it out. Here’s what the word is: CANCELED.
Or, cancelled. I looked it up, and you can choose your own spelling. Ever go to the magazine store and notice there’s Conde Nast Traveler and Conde Nast Traveller? It’s like that.
I spell it canceled, single “l” because I canceled the second one, and I love when it happens. Canceled means I stuck to the commitment, I was fully going to rally and represent! Not my fault it didn’t happen, but good, now I can stay in and order Chinese. I can stay dirty and watch another episode of Homeland. Canceled means bailing with none of the fallout from bailing, which is, “You loser, you bailed!”
I want everything to be canceled.
This meeting has been canceled. This google calendar event has been canceled.
Your interview is canceled. That thing you were going to teach is canceled.
The group retreat in rustic cabins is canceled.
The party is canceled! The wedding is canceled!
And oh, if only: The funeral is canceled.
I mean, whatever the thing is, I’m always glad I went, or glad I did it.
But I hate the anticipation.
I hate preparing to speak, preparing my materials, worrying I’ll be nervous, fearing the fear itself, preparing to get in the shower, figuring out what I’m going to wear, thinking about how I should get manicures, are my bangs too long, who’s going to be there and come on, will they really be focusing on ME and talking about what I wore, no, but still, what should I pack, should I have a heavy bag so I can have options, or a light bag and then what if I don’t have the right thing and everyone else is wearing cocktail attire, is there a cooler way to say “I’m sorry for your loss?” And what will I say if I’m asked this question, what will I say if I have no answer, why did I say yes, I should say no to more things, because saying yes causes stress and isn’t life too short for stress? Isn’t life too short to have to set an alarm and get up early AND get on the subway? What does “country casual” mean — all denim? Or is it a dress?
The only things I want not to be canceled are dinner, because that’s in my genius zone, and a flight, because I already packed and got up in time to get to the airport and now I’m excited, so don’t you dare.
Otherwise, I’m all, “Does my forehead feel warm?”
You sure? Try with your other hand.
Do you love it when things are canceled? Or are you disappointed?