The soft versus the hard reasons

By Wayne Elise

People tend to offer up excuses to explain away the actions they take in the pursuit of their desires. These excuses are usually factual, logical and completely lame. I call them hard reasons. See if you can spot them in the conversation below.

"Why do you come here?"

"I like the food."

"Oh, okay."

"Are you on Facebook? We should add each other."

"Uh, for what reason?"

"So I can get those details about Saugatuck from you when I get ready to go."

"Oh okay. You have a pen?"

"Here you go. And write your phone number next to it."


"Um, no reason? Just in case, you know."

"What? In case of fire?"

"Yes. In case of fire. I have a big water bucket at home. I'll come running."

"Do you like me?"

"Like you? Whatever gave you that idea?"

"It's okay if you do."



"Okay, I like you."

"Well, if you like me, why didn't you just say so, stupid fucktard, instead of making up a bunch of dumb reasons?"

"I don't know. I guess I didn't think you'd like me back."

"Well, I don't like you back. I like my boyfriend. But you're a handsome cowboy. I'd have been happy to introduce you to my attractive and slutty sister, the one with daddy issues, if you'd not been such a fucktard. Fucktard."

"Ouch. Will you stop saying that word?"

"Why fucktard? Don't like it fucktard?"

"Forget it. Forget the whole thing. I'm leaving."

"Why are you leaving?"

"I have an appointment across town. I have a date."

"You are such a liar. Don't forget to pay your bill fucktard."

"Sure. Okay. But before I go, can I get your sister's Facebook?

"You can not be serious."

"I need it for research purposes."

"Did you not listen to anything I just said?"

"I heard the part about you calling me a fucktard. That wasn't very nice."

"Okay. I'm gonna take pity on you. Here's my cousin's Facebook. She's got a couple kids and a missing tooth but I hear it told she fucks like a demon."

"Oh, okay."

"You still here?"

"Can I get my hat?"

"No. I'm holding it ransom. You can come back and get it when you learn to stop being such a fucktard."

"And then I get to meet your sister?"

"No. She moved to Miami last year."

"I thought you said…"

"Never mind what I said. Jesus Christ, you are such a stupid moron, fucktard. My sister doesn't live here and I don't have a boyfriend"

"I'm confused."

"You'll figure it out."


We shouldn't hide behind platonic reasons to pursue our desires. Instead, we should find the courage to share our personal reasons. These 'soft' reasons make us more vulnerable but they give us a higher possibility for creating connections of more significance.

"Why do you come to this restaurant?"

"To tell the truth I hate the food. I come because I like talking with you."


"No. I just said that to mess with you. Of course really."


"Well stop looking so embarrassed and refill my coffee. I like the coffee."

"I'm not embarrassed."

"Good. Because I hate embarrassment. I usually embarrass myself three or four times a day."

"Ha. I doubt that."

"Just wait. I'm due for my daily embarrassment anytime now. Sometimes it's saying hello to the wrong person. Sometimes it's putting my hat on backwards. A couple days ago, I backed my truck into the Korean massage parlor."

"Oh my god. That was you?"

"See. My embarrassments are infamous."

"The girls thought it was a raid. A couple of them came over here and hid in our kitchen."

"I tried to apologize in Korean but it didn't get me very far."

"Half the city council was in there getting happy endings."

"Perhaps I was doing my civic duty then."


"So this is normally where most guys would ask for your Facebook or number and make a long drawn out affair of it. But that's really not my style. I just speak my mind, which I'll do if you don't… mind. That was redundant wasn't it? I wish I had that sentence over again."

"It's okay. Speak your mind. I'm tired of people weaving around what they want like it was an apple bobbing contest."

"I'd like us to go out sometime and get to know each other better. Someplace out of town mind you, in case I fuck it up. The church club ladies here are ready to pounce on us. I think it would be fun to share a beer at the OK Corral and dance. And then we'll take a walk outside in the stars. And if we feel a spark there might be some making out. I've been told I'm a passable kisser and you look as if you might even be better than me."

"When do you want to do this?"

"I don't have a date in mind. But I'd like sooner rather than later."

"How about now?"


"Why not? I can close early."

"How about Charlie down there?"

"Charlie. Get out! Go home. Your wife is missing you."

"My wife ran off twenty years ago."

"Well, she's back and waiting at home."

"Oh well in that case I better get going."

"Wow. Nice. I like a woman who lies to old broken men."

"And I like a man who likes a woman who lies to old broken men."

"And I like a woman who likes a man who likes a woman who, um okay I've lost track. Something about men and running."

"Ha. Come on. Let's run out of here and go find some fun."


When you're about to reach for a hard reason, stop in your tracks. Rethink and remember these stories. Take a risk and share a soft reason. Don't miss out on the fun.

Go forth my Charismos, go forth.