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  • Writer's pictureVedashree Khambete Sharma

Just Say No

Once, a long time ago, a guy had told me that men don’t take subtle hints. “We’re thick that way,” he said, “unless you spell it out, we just believe what we want to.”

Complete gospel truth, of course.

Say anything except exactly what you mean and you’re in trouble. Most men don’t take the effort to read between the lines. In this respect, they’re quite unlike women, who agonize over the thousand possible meanings that a guy’s casual remark might have (What does he mean by he’ll call? Does it mean he likes me? Maybe it means that he could like me. Or perhaps he just meant that he would like to talk to me on the phone. But why would he want to just talk to me on the phone? Does he think I don’t look good enough? Can he mean that I’m good to talk to, but not so good to hang out with? Does he not want to be seen with me in public? Superficial fucking bastard, WHY HASN’T HE CALLED YET?).

A guy, bless him, just accepts the first likely explanation that pops into his head.

So if a guy asks you out for a coffee and you say, “Oh, sorry can’t make it, maybe another time” he thinks he should ask you out another time. Scheduling issues, he thinks, but she digs me, man.

The solution is this: cut the crap and say it like it is.

Would you like to see a movie this weekend? No.

Not, ‘no, thanks’, not ‘sorry, no’, not ‘I’m busy this weekend.’ Just plain, simple ‘no’.

My friend Purple Jeans is a champion at this. She rejects men like the U.S. rejects VISA applications. Quickly and painfully. If the guy isn’t interesting enough, she clams down, becomes monosyllabic to the point of being rude. If he persists in texting her, she responds with rude, monosyllabic texts. Since subtle hints don’t work, she gives them clear, broad hints, the kind that ought to bite them in the ass with their sheer obviousness.

But karma being what it is, she invariably ends up meeting guys who wouldn’t know a fuck-off sign if it jumped them in the shower. Days, weeks, months after Purple Jeans has given them a dose of Extra Surly with Antisocial Sprinkles on Top, she’ll randomly get winsome text messages asking her if she misses them, if she’d like to meet up, if she’s been thinking about them and if the answer to all of the above is ‘no’, then why she should.

“Come on,” she said helplessly the other day, “it’s so obvious! Do I look like I’m interested in these guys? Can they NOT get that?” *

Apparently not.

Perhaps cut-and-dry, to-the-point curtness needs to be the order of the day. We may not be rude, but we must be clear. And this applies to both sexes. If you’re not planning to call, don’t say you will. If you don’t want to see them, stop flirting with them. If you’re not interested, SAY THE FUCK SO. Politeness is overrated in these cases. Hope, that most precious of human possessions, is a real sonofabitch when it’s uncalled for. So, on behalf of every single, confused person out there, I appeal to the rest of you.

Have a heart. Say ‘no’ like you mean it.

* This in no way suggests that Purple Jeans hates men. Like any attractive, intelligent, deeply analytical young woman, she quite likes them. Just not the ones who refuse to take a hint.

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