And justification for all

What's worse than bad behavior? A bad rationale. This week, Table Talkers reveal the worst excuses they ever heard -- and gave.


Salon Staff
May 16, 2008 1:29PM (UTC)

Private Life

The Worst Excuse Ever

Raspberry -- 10:29 pm Pacific Time -- May 12, 2008

We've all heard them -- excuses you can't believe people offer. Heard an excuse for anything -- given to you, a friend, a co-worker, a family member, or someone else you know -- that is too pathetic for words? Share it here!

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Calamity Jeanne -- 10:35 pm Pacific Time -- May 12, 2008 -- #2 of 80

"I'm no good at relationships."

lilacs -- 11:07 pm Pacific Time -- May 12, 2008 -- #4 of 80

OK, so: ex-boyfriend and I dated for several years before we went to grad school in different states. We agreed that it would be all right to non-seriously date other people during this time, though neither of us had more than a few dates that I know of. After about a year of this, XBF decided he wanted to commit to me, came out to visit, started up some serious engagement discussions (as in, what kind of ring I wanted and when we'd make it official).

At one point during this visit I happened to notice that he had a condom in his wallet. I was like, "Uh, I don't think you should have that around if we're planning on getting engaged." He did not argue with my objection and said he'd just left it in there randomly from the past.

To no one's surprise but mine, a month later he'd slept with someone else. The excuse? That I hadn't explicitly said, in so many words, that being all but engaged to one woman meant you couldn't sleep with any others.

Scheduler -- 04:48 am Pacific Time -- May 13, 2008 -- #6 of 80

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My first husband, upon being confronted about his mistress (who had sent me a package of their relationship mementos):

"Well, you've been spending so much time with your mom, what with her dying and all, that you haven't had any time for me!"

Lynn -- 05:33 am Pacific Time -- May 13, 2008 -- #9 of 80

I remember a friend who was puzzled that a woman didn't have time to go out with him because she had to stay home and wash her cat.

Sky Bluesky -- 06:52 am Pacific Time -- May 13, 2008 -- #12 of 80

First she told me that she wanted to start seeing other people.

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Then she told me that she thought I should spend some time away, so I could figure out what I was doing with my life. Get my head straight, yannow.

"Maybe you should go visit your dad for the weekend." So I did.

And then, when I came back on Monday, she told me that she had accidentally slept with a roommate. Accidentally, you see. She has just intended to go out to dinner with him, and then, well, there was some drinking. Things happened.

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But of course she didn't mean any of this to happen.

And anyway, it was really my fault because I was too weak-kneed to oppose her when she suggested we start seeing other people. I wasn't fighting hard enough to keep the relationship, so really, I had only myself to blame.

cameron grey -- 10:16 am Pacific Time -- May 13, 2008 -- #22 of 80

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I had a boss who called over the weekend to say his mother had died. He had missed several days of work that month because she was sick. Co-worker and I spent money on a massage gift certificate for him, flowers were sent by his boss to a funeral home in Portland, Ore., and $200 was donated in her name to the United Way.

He was off for the day, his voice-mail box full, so the person calling him hit zero and left a message on my voice-mail.

It was his mother. He was fired later that day.

sue_b -- 04:51 pm Pacific Time -- May 13, 2008 -- #44 of 80

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I once worked with a woman who swore she called in "ugly" one day.

Sheera Queen of the Universe -- 08:56 pm Pacific Time -- May 13, 2008 -- #55 of 80

At the beginning of a long, protracted and ugly breakup, I asked my then boyfriend to go somewhere with me and he said no. I teasingly asked, "Why, are you embarrassed to be seen with me?" (I should add that at the time, I was about 5 months pregnant, and while it was pretty obvious when I wasn't wearing clothes, when I was dressed, you really couldn't tell.) He actually seriously said, "Yes. You look like a fat cow." When I looked at him, shocked, and said, "Did you just say what I think you said???" he replied: "I just said what I thought you wanted to hear."

Sky Bluesky -- 09:14 pm Pacific Time -- May 13, 2008 -- #61 of 80

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My former boss (in a nonprofit, so take "boss" with a grain of salt) was a musician on the side and made a big deal out of his carousing and partying habits. He called in one day to say he wasn't coming in. He growled the message on our voice mailbox -- "I'm still drunk from the night before!"

Yeah, we saved that voice-mail for months.

Overly Beige -- 10:24 pm Pacific Time -- May 13, 2008 -- #63 of 80

From a guy I went out on one date with: When he didn't show up at the restaurant we were meeting at I called his house to see if perhaps I had the place or time wrong. He called back to apologize for not showing up at what would have been our second date. He told me that he had gone over to a really good friend's house to discuss how to tell me that he had a rare terminal illness. They had gotten really drunk and he had decided not to drive home and his friend didn't have an alarm clock.

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OldStyleNo10 - 07:05 am Pacific Time -- May 14, 2008 -- #72 of 80

My old boss used to have a variety of Golden Boys -- employees with no discernible skills, but who could do no wrong and who were showered with benefits. I mean condo down payment benefits.

One of them called in sick one day because he had drunk a can of Pepsi the night before that was beyond its expiration date, and he was going to the emergency room to be checked out.

Best of Table Talk is an ongoing feature of Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week can be found in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.

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