Do you need to know what I'm doing this weekend? No!

Yesterday, around 5:00 PM, I’m working at one of the computers in my lab, trying to hastily write the lecture I gave today. One of the other graduate students in the lab asks me and another student what we have planned for this weekend.

Other graduate student launches into a paragraph about her plans to visit so-and-so and do so-and-so. The two of them talk about how fun it is to do so-and-so, and I’m relieved. Their chitter-chatter is annoying, but at least I’m off the hook.

But no. Nosy Boy wants to know what I have planned.

“I don’t plan that far in advance,” I reply–trying my best to hide my irritation.

He knows I’m always busy. He knows that when I’m not doing an experiment, I’m workng on my dissertation. He knows I don’t have a life. How does he know this? Because I’m constantly TELLING HIM. I’m an uber-nerd. Everyone in my lab knows it and has come to respect it.

But that’s not even it. Yes, it’s embarrassing when I get asked what I have planned for the weekend and I say nothing. Yes, it’s even more embarrassing when I get asked what I DID over the weekend and all I can say is that I caught up on some sleep. But that’s not why I’m irritated.

I’m irritated because it wasn’t even Friday. A “What do you have planned for the weekend?” is appropriate on a Friday. It’s a little strange on a Thursday, but not too much. But on a Wednesday? Unless you want to ask me out on a date or invite me to a party, you don’t need to know what I’m doing three days from now. Especially since I know you don’t really care…you just want to fill the silence with inane jibber-jabber! Or, you just want to entertain yourself by telling me what you’re going to do. Frankly, I DON’T GIVE A SHIT!

I do things over the weekend sometimes. I take walks to the basalt quarry near my apartment and try to identify the weeds growing there, while the groundhogs and deer stare at me LAst weekend, I visited my sister. Or, I sit on the couch and post on the SD all day. Sometimes I’ll even go into the city and visit an area I’ve never been before. Rarely is what I do “planned” or worth mentioning after the fact. Certainly not compared to your exciting schedule of rock climbing, parties, concerts, and cross-country travels.

I just wish people would stop asking me that question. And I wish I had the balls to tell people to leave me alone.

(This is a lame rant but it’s too late to take it back!)

Oh I hear you, loud and clear. At that point you can feel so burnt that being a lazy sod and watching Terminator for the zillionth time on TNT is a real luxury. The last thing you need to hear is about someone’s plans to party away the weekend, and the inevitable pity-filled glance you get for not doing the same. Take comfort in the knowledge that some day Nosy Boy will be feeling the same frustration.

Or else just snap. A stream of invective, uttered with a shaky voice and tears of rage in your eyes, can be pretty effective. It’s amazing how much space people will give you after you do that. :wink: (In my case it was more the question of “when will you be done” that did me in, but it WAS very amusing to see my advisor walking on eggshells around me afterward.)

Next time he asks you, calmly reply that you’ll be spending your weekend planning on where to hide his mutilated and lifeless body.

Oh, I think Zenster’s on to something. I’m going to remember this one.

Lie. Get increasingly more creative and see how far you can string him along. Try to get some of the other guys involved too.

Find something you do you can plausibly talk about (even “Mainly try to catch Buffy on sat” or “the garden needs doing” or “hey, there’s this cool bit in my dissertation, do you want to hear more?”)

Try to work work out why he does this? Is he just making conversation? Hoping someone’ll invite him to something? Trying to be nice to you, by including you in the conversation? Trying to put you down by getting you to admit you haven’t got much planned? Had a bet to see how many times he can say “What are you doing this weekend” in a week? It might give you an idea how to stop him.

I think you should reply with something raunchy - I’m picturing copious amounts of lube, a butternut squash and a tarp. You’re probably too much of a lady to mention such things, though.

On the other hand, if I asked you what your plans were for the weekend and you answered with this:

I’d probably never, ever ask you again.

I would just answer vaguely “I’m not sure yet” or “Nothing special” or something along those lines. If he insists I would go with something a bit more forceful like “nothing you’d find interesting” and even “I prefer to keep my private life, well, private”.

It seems to be you need an answer that is vague enough that you can’t be caught out, closes off followup conversation about it, and prevents the asker from pitying or mocking you, if that’s what he’s up to. My suggestion:

First, let your eyelids close partway and then smile just a tiny bit. After a few seconds of silence say, “I’m sorry. I was brought up to believe a lady/gentleman never discusses her/his sex life.”

If he presses for details, just shake your head and smile, maybe repeating the line if he’s too persistent.
Best plan: say this each and every time he asks about your plans. He’ll either die of envy/curiousity or give up asking.

It’s such a frequent question I get from him, though. Every week he asks me the same thing, and I respond with the same thing. I don’t think he is being purposefully annoying. He’s just one of those types of people who like to engage others in mindless conversation.

I can handle most mindless blather. I just don’t like being unneccesarily reminded that I have no social life or non-weird hobbies.

StarvingButStrong, you want me to get a bad reputation, dontchoo? :wink:

I like Zenster’s response.

Or you could be a bitch and say NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS! But don’t scream it. Say it through clenched teeth with your eyes bulging out.

I’m sure that will keep him away from you.

He’s just trying to chat you up monstro :wink:

Funny thing is, as a grad student i often completely forget when the weekend is. This is especially true during semesters like this one when i don’t have to teach. I’m just working on my dissertation, which is something i can do at home whenever i feel like it. Sometimes, i’ll work for the whole weekend. Then i might decide to take a day or two off in the middle of the week. At this time of year, the only thing that really keeps me cognizant of the weekend as a discrete time period is the fact that i need to watch the Ravens play on Sundays.

I’ve also never really understood people who seem to feel the need to plan every hour of every weekend as if it were some military exercise. When i had a Monday to Friday job, i loved that period on Friday when i could look forward to a weekend of no commitments, when i could do anything i wanted, or nothing at all. My friends who constantly had stuff planned always seemed to be more tired on Sunday night than they were at the end of the work week.

Oh well, each to their own.