Kenny* is an acquaintance of mine. I'm probably supposed to call him a friend. There are people who would feel more comfortable if I did that. I'm sure there was a time when I did consider him a friend. At this point though, I only ever hear from him when he wants something from me. Two, three, six months at a time go by and I don't hear from him. Suddenly, there's something he thinks I can do for him and it's "Hey, buddy! How ya been? Long time no, see! We'll have to get together soon!". That kind of person. More of a free-loading phony and a pain in the ass than anything else. Frankly, calling him an acquaintance is being generous on my part. Recently, I've decided not to waste valuable resources like time on people like that. Not out of anger or bitterness, really. Mostly for the sake of brevity. For that reason, this why a recent conversation initiated by Kenny via text went like this:
"Hey man, whats shakin? You wanna grab some lunch today?"
I rarely eat lunch, choosing instead to have a nice breakfast and dinner with a small snack or two in between. I was working that day and I don't like to leave work during the day because parking is something of a hassle. I didn't particularly want to sit across from Kenny under the pretense of lunch with a buddy and listen to him hit me up for something; that's something that can be done just as easily via a text message without having to look at his big, stupid, enormous face and shell out for a sandwich I don't want to eat. I think it's beautiful that I can express the last three sentences in one, two-letter word: "No". Melissa, a mutual acquaintance called to inform me I was alone in feeling that way.
"Hey, did you tell Kenny you don't want to have lunch with him?"
"Yes. Sort of."
"He asked if I wanted to have lunch and I said no. He didn't specify with whom, if anybody at all. If he thinks I was saying no to lunch with him in particular, that's an assumption on his part. It's correct, by the way. He also asked what was shaking. I didn't even bother to address that query."
"Because it's a ridiculous question and he knows it. The only possible answers to it are 'nothing' or a wildly inappropriate joke about Parkinson's."
"No, I mean why did you blow off his lunch invitation?"
"Oh. Because I don't want to have lunch with Kenny. Look, I could run it all down for you, but it's a whole thing and it's not important."
"Are you mad at him?"
"Well, he thinks you are and he's all upset about it."
"Yeah. So you need to call him and tell him you aren't mad."
"Oh. Okay. Well, that isn't going to happen, so... "
"Because the whole point of saying no was to avoid wasting time dealing with Kenny. It would defeat the whole purpose. I'm already wasting time on him without even dealing with him at this point. So, no, I'm not going to call him and waste more of the time I had planned on saving."
"Great. So what do I tell him?"
"Don't tell him anything. He'll get over it and in six months, he'll want something else and we can start this whole thing all over again."
"Thanks. You're a big help.
I didn't get a chance to ask her why she felt like she needed to get in the middle of it in the first place but now there are at least three people (counting me) who are at least annoyed (me) or pissed off (Melissa) if not truly upset (Kenny, apparently), all because I provided a simple, one-word answer to a question. You know, we all claim we want more efficiency but nobody really appreciates it.
* No, I'm not worried about him seeing this; he doesn't read my stuff. See? Not really a friend.