“Are You Joking?”

A woman canceling on her date at the last minute via text is “the Dress” of social interactions.

A screenshot of a tweet that reads, "You can truly dodge a bullet with men by inquiring to reschedule a first date day of and seeing how they respond." It includes a screenshot of a text message in exchange, in which the woman cancels a date and a man responds "Are you kidding?" and says she is rude for cancelling at the last minute.
Photo illustration by Slate. Image via Twitter.

Last week, a woman posted a screenshot of a man’s response by text when she cancelled their impending date. She appended, “You can truly dodge a bullet with men by inquiring to reschedule a first date day of and seeing how they respond.” But in the attached screenshot, which showed the date-canceling text message exchange in question, people saw very different things. Who is more reasonable here—the cancelor or the cancelee?

Below, a lightly edited transcript of that conversation as it played out on a Slate Slack channel

Daniel Schroeder
I am on the canceller’s side

Madeline Ducharme
interesting! I was wondering where people would land on this because people seem to be really mad at the woman who posted the original tweet
what’s unclear is if she’s requesting to reschedule because she actually is busy at work or if she did it as a “test”

Mark Morgioni
Also on the canceler’s side. That’s a fine note.

Rebecca Onion
this is a really divisive one! i think it’s pretty annoying to be canceled on at 5 pm but I would probably just be annoyed secretly, wait to see how kind the canceler was about rescheduling, and reserve judgment on it

Tom Scocca 
I get a little hung up on “I’m showered”

Madeline Ducharme
I think it’s fine to cancel like this (things happen!) but it’s strange to post it as the like textbook example of Men Being Bad

Heather Schwedel
i think the guy is being too rude

Rebecca Onion
Such a backlash against Men Being Bad tweets right now!

Tom Scocca
I’m curious about all the conversation that preceded it
His response is a weird response to her message if those are the only two parts of the conversation

Mark Morgioni
The best response would have been to just ghost/block
But this isn’t too rude!
Her message might be weird in the light of what went before
Can’t tell! But you don’t get to complain to anyone about the effort you put into taking a shower!

Dan Check
She’s also moving from an evening to a weekend day, which feels like a downgrade irrespective of work commitments.

Madeline Ducharme
when do we think the start time for this date was?? like 5:30 … or like 9???

Asha Saluja
it says RIGHT NOW!
that puts me on the guy’s side
like you’re gonna cancel our date scheduled for RIGHT NOW?
which, fair. but then tweet about it when the other person is mad?

Madeline Ducharme
I missed the “right now.” that does feel important

Tom Scocca 
Yeah, “right now” seals it

Heather Schwedel
yeah, i think we can’t be sure about the timing. BUT i kind of think the rule and not the exception in app dating is to have zero expectations and assume you will be canceled on.

Mark Morgioni
The concept of tests is also bs.

Daniel Schroeder
from her perspective, if she is in a situation where she doesn’t actually know exactly what time she’s getting out each night, she could have made these plans being optimistic that it would work out and is having to come to terms with the fact that her job might not allow her to have a personal life on the weekdays and so weekends are realistically the only time she can give him. which is way too much info to give before a first date

Jeffrey Bloomer 
If that’s true she can just suggest a weekend night!
His response is probably too earnestly upset, I concede, and “I’m showered” is funny
“Be well”

Daniel Schroeder
maybe also her weekends are precious so giving up a whole night off for a guy that might be a dud is a tough trade off

Rebecca Onion 
Yep I feel sympathy for her! She may just not be able to predict her job
I like how this is The Dress of interactions

Christina Cauterucci

Derreck Johnson 
^^ This is me. But on work video chat and “brushed my teeth.”