Here we go again! It’s time for another round of pointers from those Admirable Adjuncts of Adolescent Advice over at TEENWORKS. They’ve taught you how to flirt, make friends, and walk on your buttcheeks. Now they’ll instruct you on the fine art of turning someone down.
If you’ve been following the TEENWORKS method to the letter, you should be enjoying the kind of long-lasting relationship that makes your friends groan in envy. Each day should be a fresh study in unspeakable bliss, marked by moonlit strolls and amorous exclamations like the following:
But what if you’ve fallen short somehow? What if you’ve played the wrong hand, spoken the wrong line, attracted the wrong man? What if–heaven forfend–you actually need to reject somebody? How can you shake a sub-par would-be suitor?
Don’t Be Direct
One thing you definitely don’t want to do is be direct. The consequences of an improperly softened “no” can be disastrous.
An entire term, ladies! In a society that caters endlessly to the young male ego, a single “no” can break a guy. The most tedious of women’s libbers might suggest we condition young boys in such a way that they can cope when life fails to hand them everything on a platter, but let’s be real: isn’t it easier to keep training girls to cushion the blow?
“Sorry,” you might say. “Although you are extremely virile, I need to wash my hair tonight.”
“It’s not you, it’s me,” you might also try. “Your masculinity overwhelms me; also, I’m overdue for a vigorous round of buttcheek jogging.”
“Please don’t feel bad,” you could additionally remark. “I can’t be in a relationship until I sort through my problems. My vagina problems. In my vagina.”
If He Can’t Take the Hint
Sometimes subtlety runs off teenage boys like piss off a plastic bed sheet. TEEN WORKS acknowledges this. In fact, TEEN WORKS indirectly recognizes the possibility that a guy might miss the message eight or nine times.
The above question is from a quiz called “Are You a Caring Person?” If you choose Option A, it means you’re a callous jerk. (Whether it also means that Ben is a pushy lunatic, TEENWORKS doesn’t say.) Again, you can’t be too direct–so what do you do?
The answer lies in the immortal words of Seal: you’re never gonna survive, Dear Reader, unless you get a little crazy.