My friend is having a dinner party for a bunch of couples, and I said my husband and I would be there.
But then I started this really intense juice fast and now I don’t want to go. I know I’ll be tempted by all the good food! Can I back out?
— Cori, Studio City
Technically, it’s bad manners to renege on an invitation unless you have an excellent reason.
Having said that, dinner parties (the good ones, anyway) are about food, wine, and sparkling conversation around a convivial table.
I seriously doubt that your hostess (or her other guests) would be comfortable watching you sip water with lemon and cayenne pepper in lieu of dinner. Particularly if you couldn’t help carrying on about what you were missing while casting longing glances at other people’s plates!
Since you seem to be bent on finishing the fast, the best thing to do is give your hostess plenty of notice. Call her immediately and let her know that you and your husband must hungrily regret.
If she’s a close friend, she’ll probably roll her eyes and tell you not to worry. If she’s an acquaintance, it’s possible you won’t be invited back.
In any case, offer your sincere apologies and promise to plan better in the future.