Why is it that we go to such extensive and creative lengths to avoid simply saying, "No?"
Sometimes, we need to turn people down--whether that need is an immediate physical one or an emotional one is entirely irrelevant. So why don't we just own up to it? Why must we come up with cute or elaborate ways of saying, "Maybe," when we know full-well that we need to refuse the offer?
If I hear, "I don't know," or "We'll see," or "Definitely maybe," one more time, I'm going to scream.
Just say, "No," and eliminate the guessing. Does she mean there's really a chance? Is he trying to figure out how to fit it in?
NO. She's not going to do it and he has already decided it's a big fat, "No." He just doesn't want you to know that. They're hoping that if they push you off enough, you'll quietly fall asleep or get wrapped up in something else. So when you're disappointed or your kids are crying because they had their hopes pinned on seeing the person in question, well, that person can point out that they never did give a definite answer.
They're right. They didn't, but what they did give was a "Get out of jail free card." They can play the, "I never said yes," and "Did I say no," cards both at the same time. If we were playing Go Fish, that would be fabulous, but we're not playing a card game. We're trying to get a straight-forward answer.
So next time the answer is a honking negative, please just throw that out there. Don't bust out into the Maybe dance (very much like the Cabbage Patch and we all know that's not pretty, so please spare us all and just don't do it). Just give a straight answer. I can't promise the person in question won't bite, but I can wager.