How many times did you get a last-minute invitation? It doesn’t matter if it is for a birthday party, a press day or a fashion show, the rule is only one: you must say no. If you are wondering why, the answer is easy: be proud.
Whoever calls you at 7:30pm to attend a party scheduled at 8:00pm, generally doesn’t do it for love. We can say that you are the replacement (maybe) number 1 for a place that unexpectedly became available. The same rule is valid when a last-minute invitation is sent to take part in a press day or in any event that of course has been scheduled months ago.
Do you know how airlines manage the overbooking? It’s the same philosophy: there’s a main list and then there’s the one with the reserves. Nobody likes sitting on the substitutes’ bench, therefore, when your participation is asked with a ridiculous notice, remember to say no. If you are looking for a good reason to refuse, find it in your pride. That place wasn’t yours, someone is kindly proposing you to act as a stopgap.
As everyone knows, last-minute invitation is concealed like a forgetfulness, it could be both an e-mail and a text enriched with cute emoticons, or a phone call introduced by a fake “Daaaaaaaaaaaarling!”.
One of the most classic excuses is that your invitation probably got lost “because you know, there are many mail inefficiencies…” or that the e-mail service had some problems in the latest days “and so, you cannot imagine what a mess!”.
The point is that when you will understand (and it isn’t difficult!) that you weren’t the choice but the alternative, you need to decline. Cordially.
Think about how you would feel if the guy that you like decides to have dinner with you only because another girl gave him a flat refusal. The sensation is being a second-best, a not bad option that in any case could work.
It’s obvious that a last-minute invitation for a fashion show doesn’t have any emotional involvement, but unless you really consider it important or can take some economic and professional advantage from it, saying no will be classy and won’t make you look like a desperate that was anxiously waiting for that call. If it would be too difficult, at least take time and hesitate: pretend to check your planning, to have to reschedule another appointment…in other words, keep in limbo those who behaved in this way with you until the very last moment.
It’s a matter of principle, nobody loves a heated-up soup, even less if it’s the one that someone else rejected. Bear in mind that, it doesn’t matter the circumstance, those who want you will seek you, and will do it in advance. In this case, Miranda Priestly is a great example to follow: «I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to confirm an appointment. […] R.S.V.P. Yes to Michael Kors’ party, I want the driver to drop me off at 9:30 and pick me up at 9:45 sharp. Call Natalie at Glorious Foods and tell her no for the fortieth time. No! I don’t want dacquoise. I want tortes filled with warm rhubarb compote […] ». Devil wears Prada, docet.