There’s a fairly new expression taking over the vocabularies of defiant people everywhere. It needs no explanation. It needs no justification. It is its own defense, able to ward off unwanted people, or tasks or activities.
“I would rather not.”
That’s it. Four small words, capable of shutting down everything in its path.
It can be used in pretty much any circumstance, too. Don’t feel like showing Mom how to use Facebook? Yeah, you’d rather not. Not interested in "liking" that bitch’s gratuitous beach selfie? Yeah, you’d rather not. Nothing left to discuss.
It’s the foolproof excuse that has an even higher success rate than the Bend’N’Snap. “I’d rather not” basically equals “Y’all can go f*ck yourselves.”
Here are the times when you’d just rather not…
1. Call Time Warner Cable. There is never, ever a convenient time to wait on the phone for two hours to talk to a robot. Are you there, TWC? It’s us, your customers. We hate you.
2. Open the envelope when it looks like jury duty.
3. Visit our friend on the tenth floor walkup. We’ve already had our daily portion of subway stairs.
4. Brush your teeth when you’re already cozy in bed.
5. Listen to your periphery-friend talk about how great his life is over drinks you have to pay for.
6. Check your voicemail, which thinking about this now is kind of really lazy. It’s just pressing one "play" button, and all you have to do is hear. But alas, this still feels monumental especially when it’s from Grandma.
7. Look at your bank account on a Monday.
8. Get that itchy thing on your stomach checked out. It’s probably just a garden-variety rash, right? It’ll clear itself up.
9. …Seriously, get that thing checked out.
10. Take your contacts out when your eyes are halfway shut. The closest you’ve ever been to a living thing is the bacteria that grow on your eyeballs. You’re not about to give that up!
11. Two words: Monday morning.
12. Fight the perpetual line at Trader Joe’s for the six items you’re too cheap to buy at the regular grocery store.
13. Read over the terms of your student loans and try to find any loopholes. Spoiler alert: There are none.
14. Wash your hair. It’s not even the act of washing it that’s so tough; it’s the aftermath. Who wants to walk around with wet hair that will inevitably dampen the back of your shirt, and then you’re walking around with a wet shirt! Humph!
15. Leave the apartment on a Sunday. Warm weather pressure be damned!
16. Update your mom over the phone on absolutely nothing that has happened since the last time you spoke to her, less than 24 hours ago.
17. Tackle that mound of laundry that is slowly threatening your floor’s existence.
18. Do a juice cleanse, or pay more than you would at a salad bar to not eat solid food for three days.
19. Confront your roommates about the trash. You’ll just take it out, again.
20. Go on a first date when it’s pouring outside. Is it too soon to suggest staying in your spandex and ordering in?
21. The subway. At rush hour. When you’re pissed off. And just want to be home.
22. Finally cook that chicken dish you spent most of the workday researching how to prepare and the rest daydreaming about. Now that your ass has met the couch it just doesn’t seem as appetizing.
23. Take a scenic trip to the DMV to renew your license. What joy!
24. Pull your pants down to go to the bathroom. Come on, we’ve all been there. Especially when there are no commercial breaks.
25. Get your nails done.“I just don’t feel like sitting there,” said every girl, who secretly wished she had something better to do.
27. ...Just kidding.
28. Face the government. Unless it’s Benjamin Franklin.
29. Shave your legs. That’s why they invented pants.
30. Pay for bottled water. Why does it seem like water fountains disappeared alongside pay phones and free hugs?
31. Go out after 11 pm. You’ve got your retainer in already. And you’ve kissed all your stuffed animals good night. Your fate has been sealed.
32. Get into a fight with your boyfriend about whose turn it is to sleep at whose place. Either way you’re getting laid, so who really cares?
33. Spend money on a new white shirt you really don’t need. Pretending like you can, however, is something you’d much rather do.
34. Respond to your group chat’s debate about the “Real Housewives of NYC.” You’re Team Bethenny. Everyone knows this. You won’t be bogged down in some lowbrow discussion about these inferior housewives peasants! Case closed.