Thank you so much for inviting me to your                                         [wedding, dog’s birthday, seance, superspreader BBQ]. I                                         [regretfully, gleefully, spitefully] won’t be able to attend due to                                         [a lack of iCloud storage, unwillingness to move my cat off my lap, the impending collapse of the Antarctic ice shelf, a tummyache].

I’m always                                         [elated, devastated, confusingly horny] when we see each other and I’m honored to be considered a                                         [friend, walking dietary restriction, person who always carries Advil] in your life. I really look                                         [up to you, down on you, like the “before” picture in an infomercial] and want you to know that if it weren't for the current state of                                         [Omicron, Mercury in retrograde, Pete Davidson's relationship] I'd be there in                                         [a heartbeat, the metaverse, your arms]. How are you? I've been                                         [living the dream, googling “depression symptoms,” doing whatever the opposite of Dry January is]. My goal this year is to                                         [write a novel, fall in love, keep a plant alive, sip tea inside an old lighthouse]. Looking forward to when we can                                         [hang out, ignore each other's emails, demolish a rotisserie chicken, address our sexual tension].

So sorry I can’t make it, but hope you’ll accept this                                         [thinly veiled excuse, dramatic voicemail, shitty charcuterie board, NFT of my face] instead. Hope you have a great time with your                                         [loud-chewer lover, conspiracy theorist aunt, besties, inner demons]. It’s going to be hard to top last year’s                                         [bachelorette party, game night, screentime, death count], but if anyone can do it, it’s                                         [you, me, capitalism, Oprah]!

[Sincerely, Love & Light, With Regrets, Be Best],