New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: When You Must Turn Down a Man, Do It Tactfully

What is more gross -grievous, horrendous and morbid - than war? Yet even in war, there are rules of engagement. There are humanitarian considerations.

There are things you do not do in combat, even if you are the world's greatest patriot or jingoist. I am no soldier, so I do not know much about soldierly feelings and methods, yet I cannot help recalling the famous truce, where British and German soldiers forgot their enmity and conflict for a while and met up in the no-man's land of what had only a day earlier been a bloody battleground, to share Yuletide love.

Only the other day, I heard that in warfare, a soldier is forbidden to shoot down an opponent in a parachute. I mean, the fellow is defenceless; what prowess are you exhibiting when you kill them?

So why don't some women get it that a proposition from a guy they do not want to have anything to do or share with is not an affront on their person? This is just a guy in need of a good woman to privatise and you just happen to take the honour of being in his cross-hairs. Respect that.

You might not know what it feels like when you daily leave your house as a woman and return to it in the evening still female, but nothing male has opened its mouth to ask you out... year in, year out.

No woman is expected to accept everything that wants to date or even marry her. That would be madness. However, even if you must turn down a guy, the way you do it should not be like a punishment for his coming to you. A girl who read into a guy's invitation for a date planned to 'teach him a lesson' and told her girlfriends as much.

So they go out on the date and the boy waves a waiter over. The girl places an order to die for... almost literally had she eaten all the stuff she had ordered. Luckily, she ordered all those things for one reason: To show him that she was not on sale and if he wanted to impress someone, it was not her. When the food came, she got up and left... with the guy and the food seated there, one frozen, the other still steaming.

Girls believe that people were made in grades, with each grade led by women and certain men made to fit those women-led grades. So when a guy who does not know where he belongs crosses borders and attempts to woo a woman from across the divide, she will give him the telling-off of his life, reminding him that no, you are not my grade and how dare you!

Of course, this piece is not attempting to promote mixing levels or romantic myopia, but hey, can't you follow the example of medics who, even as they plan to dissect you, will first apply some anaesthesia before they pull out the scalpels and all?

Many bitter, violent and shy husbands are a product of being dumped or turned down by women who lack tact. If his former girlfriend dropped him with disgrace, chances are he will harbour in his breast a bitterness against either that specific woman, or against women generally, which will unfortunately affect the way he relates with even innocent and sweet-natured women.

If the first two women he ever tried to woo made him feel like they were rejecting something the cat dragged in, he is certainly not going to have the kind of confidence you expect in a man. He may turn out effeminate, not sure of himself. So try introducing him to your old girls and see how he begins to fold his necktie from down upwards; his eyes averted, his breathing affected.

Sometimes a man who has received a demeaning send-off from a woman he has tried to get intimate with, decides the next woman he deals with would be in the next world. He will either loathe or despise all women and he will go to his grave thinking: Who gives the tiniest rap about women?

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