The Polite Decline

I’ve come to the distasteful realization that honesty is not socially acceptable. People want platitudes. “How are you?” is cultural mien, not an actual inquiry. We’ve ritualized our interactions in a way that circumvents the nuisance of candid communication.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than when dipping toes in the dating pool. Or more importantly, when you are avoiding doing so. There’s an expected vernacular when deflecting undesirable overtures that has nothing to do with truth.

The thing is, I’m too old for the games people play. I crave frankness. Don’t tell me, “It’s not you, it’s me.” I’d rather hear an uncomfortable assessment, than banalities. For clarity – this isn’t about running around foisting unsolicited opinions on the unsuspecting. However, if someone asks me why I won’t go out with them, I’m going to tell them.

Apparently not everyone appreciates that sort of probity.

Recently a gentleman told me I was petty and sanctimonious… it went a little like this:

Him: Would you like to get dinner with me?
Me: I’m flattered, but no thank you.
Him: Come on, why not? Give me a chance?
Me: Really, I just don’t think it’s a good idea.
Him: I’m smart, successful, nice. What’s wrong with me? Tell me the truth, why not?

(Please note, at this point I had given him 2 opportunities to make like Elsa and let it go, but he insisted.)

Me: Fine. I don’t want to get involved with someone who has such a sedentary lifestyle.
Him: What? I’m too fat? Look in the mirror you shallow hypocrite.


Me: I didn’t say that. You’re projecting. However, by your own admission, your life revolves around technology, media, and regular fine dining. I know I’m not a supermodel but I have been making positive changes to take control of my personal well-being. I want to be around people who inspire, support, and participate in those changes.
Him: Bitch.

Double sigh.

This is why I introvert.


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