Dear Bitter Amanda,
Would you like to go get coffee sometime?
I've been mulling over your question for a few days. But here you have it:
Why yes, I would love to! I love getting coffee. I'll be heading to Dunkin' just as soon as I finish this letter! Thanks for the suggestion.
Oh wait, were you implying that you would also be getting coffee? (I'm not stupid, readers, I'm making a point. Wait for it and try to keep up.) I checked you out, boss, and unless you lie to the internet, we do not live in the same place. Hardly close enough to drink coffee in the same building. But you were sincere in your effort (you even stated that!) so I'm going to thank you for illustrating something I recently talked about.
In my last response, I pointed out that men often rely on an "easy-out" date invite. This is a perfect example of that. (Thanks Bob.) Imagine that this happened in person. There is no timeframe involved, so I'm not obligated to actually make plans with the asker! I could say yes, but then if I walk away and didn't really want to have coffee, I don't have to return his phone calls/IMs/facebook messages/you get my point. And then, well, it sucks to be Bob. Better luck next time.
He does earn some points for suggesting a specific activity, though. It is infinitely better than an offer to "hang out." Guys, seriously, this tells us nothing. You're trapping us--the only way we'll say yes to that is if we really like you and don't care when you wanted to hang out or what you wanted to do. In that situation, you are a lucky man. But if we're kind of "eh" about you...well, we need more information. What if you meant hang out like "go see the new Batman movie" and I can't stand comic book movies? See my point? We don't want to get roped into some lame activity. (For the record: Batman was just an example. I love Christian Bale.) Moral of the story: when dealing with asking someone out, man up. Don't be passive about it, boys.
And Bobcat, I realize that you may not have written this to help me compose a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of lazy dating and the modern man. If that's the case, and you were trying to be nice, then I'm sorry. I'm not really into, you know, people. It's not you, it's your Y chromosome. No hard feelings.