I have a standard line when a man approaches me and I'm not interested: "I have a boyfriend."
Sure, it's not always 100 percent effective. I've heard -- "What's your man got to do with me?" -- more times than I can count. (Thanks, Postive K, for planting this
But never... never ... never have I had a man *pull a gun* (!) on me for saying I'm not interested, like what happened to this college student, home from school visiting her family in Washington, D.C. She says a guy asked for her phone number as she left a party this past weekend. She said no. He threatened to shoot her if she didn't give up her digits. When she still refused to do so, he did just that. He shot her in the leg.
Who does that?!
It got me to thinking. What is the best approach for rejecting a guy so that he doesn't, you know, shoot you?
I say I have a boyfriend because I figure it's a gentler way to deal with the male ego. It's my way of saying, 'See, I'm not rejecting you outright. But I'm already taken.' They don't know it's not true, so they go away. Problem solved.
I once gave my number to a guy out of sympathy--because I thought he seemed nice (at FIRST), although I knew I'd never date him. I ultimately regretted it because I realized he was a little crazy in our first phone call. Then I started ignoring his calls. That's when he started stalking me on MySpace (back before Facebook took over) and by phone, putting in '187' (think: Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre') as the number to page me. I ultimately had to file a police report and change my number.
Because of that one horrible experience, I stick with my fictitious boyfriend lie to avoid stalkers. I've thought about giving out a fake number or using a service such as the Rejection Hotline (never heard of it? call 202-452-7468 for a good laugh), but that's a no-go, since most guys call you on the spot before you even have a chance to walk away. So far, I guess I'm doing a good job. No guns or knives have ever been pulled on me. Sigh.
TALK BACK: How do you tell a guy 'no' when he asks for your number and you're not interested? Does it scare you to hear the story of a young woman being shot for refusing to give out her number?