I stand before you a humbled man. I know I've made a real mess of things lately, but if you just give me one more chance to make it right, I promise to you that I will do absolutely everything in my power to restore your faith in my excuses.

Just hear me out, baby. I'll make you believe in my self-serving bullshit again.

I know that my excuses haven't been especially reliable lately. As I may have told you, I've been doing a lot of volunteer work down at the children's cancer ward, and so there just hasn't been enough time in the day to craft the sort of compelling, high-quality explanations you deserve. I guess that's why I've been so erratic. Well, that, and the stress over my buddy Ronnie's recent breakup. But that's a whole other story.

I can change. I promise. Just talk to me. Tell me what I need to do to regain your trust in my spur-of-the-moment alibis and justifications and—God as my witness—I'll do it, just so long as one of my chronic debilitating migraines doesn't kick in.

Are my cover stories coming off as too elaborate? I can explain that. See, there are times when I can feel you pulling away from my excuses, so I overcompensate by getting too detailed with them when a simple "My cell phone died" would suffice. But please know that I only do this because I care about you, and because I truly want to appease you with my hastily conceived pretexts. And also because a relative of mine may have abused me as a child.

Is the problem that I'm making too many excuses? Maybe that's it. Maybe I should just give you one long, convoluted excuse that keeps building and building on itself until it spirals out of control and consumes both of our lives. Would that mollify you? Because I could totally make that happen. In fact, it would be my pleasure.

I mean it. There is nothing I wouldn't say I would do to win your gullibility back. I realize that's exactly what I told you last time this happened, but I had been drinking a lot that night and you sort of showed up at my apartment unexpectedly. So that one was kind of on you.

Baby, have some compassion. You're the only woman who has every truly understood my crippling fear of buying birthday and anniversary presents.

Please, I implore you. Don't be like this. Just try and think back on all of the good excuses we've had. Remember the time I told you that I couldn't get a Thanksgiving turkey at the supermarket because Thanksgiving was five days away and turkeys take at least a week to thaw? See, that was the real me excusing, not this lame, half-assed excuser you've been putting up with lately. I can be the old me again, I swear!

Honestly, I've really turned a new leaf. Just let me prove it to you. Let's say that we had plans to do something last weekend and I had to come up with a quick justification for why I never showed up. Okay, so you're calling me on the phone—ring, ring—I pick up, you ask what happened to me last weekend, and then I say, "Oh, sorry about that. My niece's dance recital was that night and she needed me to give her a ride because her parents died in a plane crash last week."

Shit. That was a bad one. I'm sorry, but you know I've had awful performance anxiety ever since my seventh-grade choir concert at the White House. Listen, I can do better, just give me a minute.

Okay, okay. I got it. "Oh, hey. Sorry about last weekend. I spilled cranberry juice all over my laptop so I had to drive it over to the laptop repair guy to get it fixed, but on the way there I got a flat tire when I ran over this board with a nail in it that was just lying there in the middle of the road for no reason."

Boom.

Now that's how it's done. Not too wacky, but just weird enough to sound authentic. I promise you, I'll be making excuses like that all the livelong day if you just let me back into your life. I'll come up with lies and covers like you've never heard, take you to fantastical worlds of deceit beyond your wildest dreams. So whenever you're ready to give my excuses another shot, give me a call. I'll be waiting. Just name the time.

Although not this weekend, if possible. I've got family visiting. Well, not family, exactly. They're just friends, really—but they're kind of like family in a way. It's hard to explain. Anyway, I'll call you when my schedule gets a little less crazy.

I'm glad we had this talk.