Okay, this post is only partially poking fun.
Why is it we find it so difficult to be direct and honest with each other. Somehow, the act of saying, “No thanks” or “I’m really not interested” or “I’d really rather not, thank-you” without cushioning it with some fabrication or white lie is difficult for us. Okay, let me narrow it down. It seems to be difficult for us in the U.S. on the West Coast (since I have no other frame of reference culturally, let’s go with it for the sake of dialogue). When someone wants to be with us or invites us out, it is difficult to say, “No thanks.” Instead we say we are busy, we make up excuses we uncomfortably fabricate some prior commitment. We also do this (c’mon, you know you have, I have too) when we are in a relationship and don’t know quite how to end it.
What’s more, we buy into these excuses when others use them to escape us. While these excuses may sometimes be valid and legit, many are excuses people give each other when they are just not into the other person and are too wimpy to simply say so. Because they could be legit, it is often tough to tell when they aren’t really legit. So we give the partner or our date the benefit of the doubt. This is probably reasonable to do one or two times. The problem is we give them the benefit of the doubt again and again and again and…you get my drift. Before we know it, we’ve wasted a year or two or seven of our lives. Here are a few of the more common excuses I’ve heard since entering the dating scene two years ago and hanging with other single women/men and hearing about their dating woes.
“I’m not feeling well.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t. I have family coming in from out of town.”
“I have to work.”
“I’m too tired after working.”
“I’m helping a friend move.”
….and so on and so on. I’m sure you can come up with a few yourself.
Just yesterday, I heard the greatest excuse ever though. From a healthy man who was telling his girlfriend of nearly two years why he couldn’t get together with her (for now the 6th evening in a row). Here’s the excuse, ready?
“I couldn’t call or come over because I was having chest pains due to stress.” (The stress of not dealing straight with your girlfriend, maybe?)
Okay, excuse me for just a moment while I wipe up the mess I caused by choking with laughter and spewing my drink all over the table when I heard this. Seriously?
Her response? Even better. But first you have to know that she introduced the whole topic to me by saying, “He had a really good excuse for not coming over or calling last night.”
“Oh?” I asked. Seriously, no excuse is good. Either you want to be with me or you don’t. It’s that simple. If you do, you will. If you don’t, you won’t. If you aren’t I’m not spending any time wondering about it. My friend clearly doesn’t share my perspective.
“Yeah,” she said, “I mean, I could see that. That happens to me too.” Really?! Okay, then! We’ll go with that.
I seriously don’t think I need to even mention it, but because there are morons out there who will actually attempt to convince me that there is a medical condition (I’m sure they’re right) that has these symptoms, let me just say this: Whether there is a medical condition or not is not even the freaking point.
T he point is this: This is someone you supposedly love who supposedly loves you. You are in pain and you don’t even tell them about it until after the fact? You don’t give them the opportunity to comfort and care about you in your time of need. What’s more you don’t even call to say “here’s why I can’t come over?” If it is that serious, you should have been over at the ER getting it checked out and even so, significant other should have (out of consideration and respect at the very least) have been notified.
I’m sorry. I just don’t buy it. On so many levels it just smacks of just not being able to say the truth.
If my friend is okay with that, then I wish her the best. She is, after all, the one who will have to live with herself and her choices and his behavior. I just know that what she is experiencing would not work for me, for so many reasons. I simply desire something more and better than all that.