Excuses, excuses

The post I reblogged from Datestable yesterday is hilarious, true (people actually DO stuff like that?)—but it also makes me scratch my head a little.  Why do people feel the need to come up with such far-fetched excuses when they don’t want to do something?

Now, for all I know, Datestable’s girl may have actually contracted an illness from licking her hand.  (The germaphobes among us carry Purell to prevent this from occurring, but hey, maybe she forgot hers.)  If this were my excuse, I might actually consider lying.  Wouldn’t “I’m sick” have sufficed?  But anyway, I digress.

It happens to everyone: you agree to a date you don’t actually want to go on, your friend has an emergency, your boss calls you in for a last-minute shift, your ex suddenly can’t live without you, etc. etc.  There are tons of reasons—valid and invalid—why you might need to give your date an excuse.  What I don’t understand is why people can’t just be honest about it.

When I was younger and needed to fend off a suitor, my mother always advised me to tell them that I was “only looking for friendship.”  This worked in middle and high school—it was lame, but it worked.  (And, to be honest, I never had much cause to use it anyway.)  In college, I immediately realized that this was no longer an acceptable way to turn someone down, especially at my tiny school.  During the third week of my freshman year I went on a date with a friendly junior (a junior! I was so proud of myself), that quickly turned out to be disastrous.  As in, we had nothing to talk about except the weather, and that wasn’t really enough to get us through an hour-long dinner.  I wasn’t feeling it at all, but apparently he was, because when he walked me back to my dorm he asked if I wanted to go out again the next night.  “Thanks, but I’m only looking for friendship right now” I squeaked as he walked away dejectedly.

Flash forward to a mere two weeks later, when I run into him again—as I’m leaving the school dance club holding hands with another guy.  He wouldn’t look me in the eye, and I felt like—no, I was—a total asshole.  So many times since then I’ve wished that I’d just been able to tell him that I didn’t think we had any chemistry rather than making him think I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend.

I’ve had this done to me, too, and it feels bad every time.  The worst excuse is the silent one, where I find out that I guy I’ve been seeing isn’t into me anymore when I see him with another girl or he stops responding to my texts.  If they’d just told me that they didn’t want to spend time together any longer I still would have been upset—but I also would have been spared the angst of wondering where things went wrong.

Ladies and gents, say what you mean!  If you need to run in the other direction, go for it—but at least inform the other person first.  It’s just common courtesy.  And if you have to lie—we all have to, sometimes—make sure you don’t use a transparent one.  Saying you have to stay in and wash your hair ain’t gonna do it.


One thought on “Excuses, excuses

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