This week's since you asked is dedicated to Upstate New Yorkers: Men and women who like to kayak and hike, the men and women who love them, and the men and women who insist that geography dictates the rest of us must be exactly the same.
Just because I live in upstate New York does not mean I like to kayak and hike. I like my nature complete with pavement or wood, a comfy chair, nearby indoor plumbing, a strong cellular signal (and wifi if possible) and maybe - maybe - some sand. I like my nature occasionally, and in small doses.
It's not a fear thing, or because I need encouragement. I am not afraid to kayak or hike. I don't think I'd be unable to do either. In fact - I have hiked. While I haven't kayaked, I have been in a canoe. So when I say I don't want to go kayaking or hiking, it isn't out of fear. I don't hesitate because I'm afraid to look foolish or try new things.
I say no because I don't like to get wet, or sweat, or get bug bites. I don't like to wear life-jackets (or honestly, even a swimsuit), or be trapped in a tiny boat in the middle of a freaking lake. I don't like messing up my hair or my makeup. I don't want to be stuck on a damn mountain, chased by a bear or a mountain lion. I don't want to see snakes of any variety - ever. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the woods where people hike are crawling - ew - with those things.
Notice I didn't say I'm afraid to get wet or sweat, or that I'm afraid of bugs or woods or water. I'm not afraid. I. Don't. Like. Them. If you make me do something I don't like, I get cranky. Trust me when I say you do not want to be trapped in the woods with a cranky GGS. Especially without witnesses.
So my "no" is not a plea for you to keep asking, or to encourage me to "embrace life" or "try new things!" I'm saying no because I'm a very self-aware, independent, adult woman. I know what I like - and what I don't.
I know what I'm supposed to do - and I know what I want to do. Sometimes they intersect. There's nothing - not a freakin' thing - that annoys me more than someone telling me when that should happen.
The great thing about being single is, I decide.