Can you just say no?
Most single people involved in the dating scene are familiar with the anxiety that is involved when turning down a date. Let’s say that you are not interested in dating a particular person. The phase, “No, thank you” should be sufficient. But, unfortunately, we feel compelled to attach a reason. At the first sign of rejection, no matter how benign, the ego kicks in and activates the question “Why not?” Once put on the spot, most of us choose to lie. Ideally, it would be a wonderful world if we could turn down dates without having to sugar coat our excuses, without recourse. “I don’t want to go out with you because your looks are repellant and your personality could be used as birth control”, or “I’d have to kill myself if any of my friends saw us on a date.” Both refusals are strong, to the point and effective. Unfortunately, they are also unnecessarily cruel. Let’s face it, it’s difficult to come up with a reason to tell the truth if it is going to hurt someone’s feelings, especially if you plan to call on them in an emergency-escort situation.
If the excuse seems unbelievable, take the hint. Accept it for what it is. It is a coward’s attempt at saying, “I don’t want to go.” If I turn down a date and go to the trouble of fabricating a ridiculous excuse, respect the effort and leave it at that. If I refuse a date for Friday because I have to study for a urine test, do not ask me out for Saturday.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a list of surefire responses to dissuade, even the most persistent suitor from pursuing the date-issue any further? I have found that proper use of the following comments will ensure freedom from lengthy, torturous telephone conversations, or worse, miserable dating experiences.
· My husband prefers that I don’t date.
· Do you know what a hermaphrodite is?
· Would you mind if my parole officer tags along?
· I can’t go because my parents grounded me.
· I’m moving out of the country tomorrow.
· I’m glad you called. Did I leave my penicillin in your car?
· I can’t go with you on Friday. I’m going through the final phase of my sex change that day and I’ll probably be groggy. How about Saturday?
· I’m sorry it took so long for me to answer the phone, I was in a psychotic rage.
· I have a fear of restaurants and have a tendency to scream uncontrollably in public places.
· Why don’t you come over for dinner tonight. I just killed a cat with my car and I couldn’t possibly eat the whole thing by myself.
· I’d love to go out with you on Saturday, but I’ll be on my honeymoon.
· I’m having a Caesarian section that day.
· Did I mention that I’m incontinent?
· That’s fine but the Reverend Mother insisted that I be back at the convent by ten.
· Would you mind if I brought a gun?