DEAR HARRIETTE: I have never been particularly interested in nautical life. For Memorial Day, I was invited to sail with friends, and I accepted the offer. As the boat was navigating the waters, the owner of the boat needed help with the ropes and sails. I helped out where I could and thought this would be the end of it.
Now I am receiving invitations to sail with the boat owner. Honestly, I don't like how much work has to be done to get the boat on its way. The engine is shut off for the majority of the ride, and there is just too much to do for me to enjoy the sailing. The constant wondering about knots, ropes and sails doesn't intrigue me whatsoever. I prefer a ride that doesn't involve the boat constantly tipping with the wind.
I think it's a bit crass to simply reply "I don't like sailboats" as a way to deny these invitations. Should I tell a white lie or pretend I have plans instead of being honest? I would hope he'd pick up the hint after the seventh or eighth time. -- Not Rockin' With the Ocean, Baltimore
DEAR NOT ROCKIN' WITH THE OCEAN: If you truly do not want to learn more about the sailing life and possibly grow to love it, tell the truth. Contact the boat owner. Thank him for the invitation and admit that sailing is not your thing. He probably did not sense that since you put your all into it. Let him know, and he should stop asking.