Save the date? James Marston would rather not.

It arrived last Monday.

I walked in and spotted the envelope immediately as it rested with sinister intent on my coconut matting.

Immediately I knew it wasn’t a bill. It was handwritten and had a real stamp.

And, seeing as no one writes letters any more, I knew it had to be an invitation or WeightWatchers trying to entice me back into eating salads and Weetabix.

I opened the envelope gingerly and saw those three words – surrounded by kitsch teddy bears – that strike fear into the heart of so many...Save The Date.

My heart sank.

How on earth do I know what I am going to be doing in 2013? I might be busy that night. I might want to go out with my friends, or wash my hair, or pull my teeth out instead.

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Isn’t it a cheek?

They haven’t even allowed me the option of having a reasonable excuse not to attend let alone politely decline their kind invitation and stay on the Felixstowe peninsula.

I can hardly say I have a prior engagement six months in advance.

I am well and truly backed into a corner.

A tight spot that will require two nights in a hotel, at least 14 hours of “doesn’t the bride look nice”, “what lovely grounds”, “shame about the rain” and, no doubt, a bill from John Lewis.

Most weddings seem to last longer than the modern marriage, and, dear readers, I have no desire to go to a hired country house in the Home Counties in the middle of the winter and pretend to enjoy myself with 200 strangers.

Honestly, after going to nearly 40 weddings, the novelty of being in a situation where it is socially acceptable to drink all day while wearing cufflinks has worn off.

I’d rather be home enjoying myself.

But how to you get out of it?

At the moment I’m relying on gastroenteritis the night before.

Imaginative solutions on a post card please.

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