A short span of time granted to accomplish certain tasks without penalty. This most often applies to remittance of bill payments, or contractual agreements.

Sometimes it can be wonderful when you are dealing with people who don't have all their faculties. Sometimes a really convincing and well planned out tale can produce amusement that you will remember for the rest of your life.

The grace period is a tall tale that I have twice participated in. It involves convincing a newly engaged woman that there is a "grace period" for a newly engaged man in which he can pursue other women in an effort to prove to himself that his fiance is the right match for him. It also works to get "out of his system" any desire he might have for other women. It is a cruel prank, indeed, but when executed correctly with the right person produces very amusing results.

You will need to know a recently engaged woman who isn't very adept at critical thinking. She needs to be the type that believes everything she sees on the network news and enjoys confrontational afternoon talk shows. You will need to know her well, as you must know enough of her friends to sell the tale. It is best if you also know her fiance and can bring him into the ruse.

You start the ruse by making a seemingly innocuous comment as she is telling you something about her marriage plans or about the engagement. "I know he really loves you, so I'm sure he won't make much of the grace period." She will look confused. Attempt to get away from the topic, but you know she will insist of knowing what you are talking about. Keep trying not to talk about it, drawing her intrigue deeper and deeper until you feign surrender and tell her about the "grace period."

"Basically, once a man gets engaged it is understood that he is free to pursue other women and experiment so he can see if she is truly the right one for him and to get, you know, the whole thing out of his system. Most of the time men don't tell women about it. We usually don't talk about it, we just do it. Don't worry though, he probably won't even take advantage of it."

She will try to make statements and insist that you are just making this up. This is where your acting skills are important. You are embarrassed and feel you have said something you should not have said. Try to get away. Shake off any further questions or debate. Apologize. Blush if at all possible.

This is where knowing her friends and her fiance become important. The next stage is where she looks to others for validation of the statement. If others sheepishly confess to knowledge of the "grace period" and react in a similar fashion to yourself, or even put their own spin on it, the ruse works perfectly. Depending on the personality of the spouse, if he either acts like the grace period doesn't matter to him or if he plays along, insanity begins. Remember, women are intrigued by what they perceive as a secret world between men, just as men are intrigued by what they perceive as a secret world between women. We have this natural tendency to believe anything is possible in the world of the other sex. If you can make something about this world borderline believable, you can create chaos and confusion.

Eventually, it falls apart. People come to their senses. People break and tell the truth. For a while though, especially in the workplace, this sort of thing is very effective in breaking up the monotony of everyday life.

Author assumes no responsibility
For injuries or emotional distress
caused during the grace period ruse

Or maybe it isn't a ruse at all...

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