Last week, I got an email from someone who said he was referred to me by W*, a guy I went on a few dates with a couple of years ago. Backstory on W: on either our third or fourth date (I can’t remember), he invited me to his place to cook dinner for me. Not going to go into too much detail, but W was a shitbird from the moment I took off my coat. At one point, we got into a heated debate about our literary tastes and he threw a book of poetry at me (not violently, but still!) and told me to read something worth my while. I told him to go fuck himself (in more flowery language), put my coat back on and hightailed it out of there. The next day he sent me an email and admitted to being “stressed about something else” and “not at his best.” I replied with a “fair enough” and we never spoke again. In my mind, we were not on good terms. We were on “let’s never talk again” terms.
The next time I saw his name was on the subject line of that referral email and I got all whipped up. The thing is, when someone treats me like a crap, I’ll probably forgive them at some point, but I’ll never forget. For the rest of eternity, they have forfeited all perks and privileges associated with knowing me. When I saw the email, I wanted to scream at the computer screen, “You’re not allowed to expect me to do your friends any favors after the way you treated me! Don’t you know there are rules about that kind of stuff?”
Sadly, there are no rules. Only in my head. So I am taking it upon myself to make them official. Just so all the shitbirds out there know the deal. Below, a list of things you are not entitled to do if we are on “let’s never talk again” terms.
1. Refer people to me professionally. Do not give out my work email address to your friends and/or colleagues. Do not expect me to do favors for anyone you know because we went on three bad dates. In fact, expect the opposite. No referral is better than a referral from someone you treated like crap. You’re actually doing your friend a disservice.
2. Ask me for professional help. And while you’re at it, don’t email me at work either, or ask me to pass your resume along or be your reference. It’s unfortunate for both of us that we work in the same industry because my inclination to vouch for you died the moment you tossed a book of poetry at me.
3. Ask me to endorse you on LinkedIn. See above. If you really, really need an endorsement on LinkedIn, it will say something to the effect of: “Is really good at using books as deadly weapons.” OK, no more talking about the book throwing incident. I promise.
4. Become friends with any of my friends. They are my friends and presumably, you have your own friends. Although, maybe not because you are missing a human sensitivity chip. But whatever. Not my problem. Hands off my friends.
5. Date any of my friends. And hands off my friends’ private parts, too. That’s just tasteless.
6. Text me asking for the name of the place we went on our first date. I don’t know or care. Google it, asshat.
7. Ask me where I bought that sexy lingerie because you want to buy your new girlfriend a pair. Are you kidding me?
8. Ask to borrow anything from me. No, you can’t borrow my lingerie for your new girlfriend, or my endorsement on LinkedIn or my copy of the new Michael Chabon book, which you seem to have already decided doesn’t belong in the literary cannon. I’m venturing into book throwing territory, so I’m going to stop myself.
9. Show up to my party. Consider yourself on my “not invited” list forever. Just so we’re clear about that. If a mutual friend accidentally invites you, you are still not welcome.
10. Join my kickball team. Or any other extracurricular activity that I’m part of that you were not part of first. Does that make sense? Meaning, unless you were on my kickball team to begin with and that’s how we met, STAY AWAY.
Any other rules? Add yours in the comments.