There’s nothing like an announcement from a prince that he’s “stepping back” from his family to fire up the media, get Harry and Meghan memes trending on social media, and have more people in a flap about their separation news than Brexit or Prince Andrew’s sex life.
To the shock and dismay of many, including the upper echelons of the royal family, Prince Harry and Meghan abruptly announced that they are pulling back from some of their royal duties in favour of a more self-sufficient lifestyle. This got me thinking … is it possible to “divorce” your family without upsetting the apple cart too much?
Is it possible to step back while still remaining on good terms, and avoiding them blocking you on social media, cutting you out of the will (very drastic, we know), and taking you off family gathering guestlists?
Family is a tricky thing – some members you like, some not so much. You may enjoy spending time with all of them or perhaps you prefer to love them from a distance and try desperately to limit those family functions without offending anyone.
Then there is the family you inherit when you enter a relationship. Sometimes this is an effortless, positive shift, but it doesn’t come without challenges. And somehow the mother-in-law (on whichever side) often takes the brunt of any aggravation, whether in jest or all seriousness.
Short of an official social media announcement of a separation, what can you do to put a little space between you and your family members in times when you just don’t want to socialise?
Here are five of the most common reasons (more like excuses) we polled for how to get out of yet another family affair:
- Too tired – this may be a valid excuse in your mind but who isn’t tired, right? You might not get away with this one without a firm commitment to a raincheck in the too near future.
- I’m not feeling well – be careful with this one. Karma might just coma a-calling and have you eating your words a few days down the line.
- Going to play a sport – a good escape option if you are known to be a sporting person. One or two social matches or games a year doesn’t apply here.
- I have to work late – again? Weren’t you working late just the other day? Be prepared for a chorus of “you work too hard” or “all work and no play…”
- Previous plans – this one may well work if your prior commitment isn’t this particular get-together that you forgot about and now have to honour.
- I don’t feel like it/not in the mood – congratulations! You are comfortable enough to say how you feel and, hopefully, your family appreciates and respects your honesty.
Perhaps “divorce” is too harsh a term here, but we all have those moments where we want a break from family and now the Sussexes have pioneered a path for all of us. After all, if the prince can step away, surely us mere mortals can too?