I regularly get invitations from people at work for various social events. I have two in front of me at the moment. One is for a student's Bat Mitzvah and the other is for a colleague's retirement party. These are fine people and I am honored to be invited to their personal celebrations. The issue is that I work with people all week. I have to be "on stage" during the week and when it gets to the weekend, I want a break from all that. I will chill with family members; that is not the same as being the "on stage presence" that work related social events require.
My question for you is how to respond to the invitations. I have always been cordial and either made up some previous engagement or simply used the "I already have plans for that day" line (even if my plans consist of spending time with myself). More and more I want to be who I am and just come out and say, gee, I am not a person who wants to socialize much on the weekend. I would certainly thank them for the honor of being invited but rather than make up some excuse, I am thinking about just saying the truth: parties are not for me.
What do you think? Be polite or tell the truth? Or some combination of the two? What do you do if and when you find yourself not inclined to accept a social invitation?