Someone at work offered to let me borrow one of the "Sookie Stackhouse" novels for Gary, who has become a big True Blood fan.
I said, "Oh, no, he wouldn't want to borrow a book. He'd want his own."
"Well, I don't really mean 'borrow;' he could have it."
"Oh, no that would be even worse." Then I started to try to explain - he be stressed by the pressure of having someone else's book, and a used book would bother him because he'd be indebted to the book's real owner. And then I heard a) how obnoxious I sounded and b) how really obnoxious Gary sounded.
It's just I've know him since '82, and I know what bugs him, and I try to avoid bugging him. But now I am done explaining. I will no longer say these things:
"Thanks, but Gary likes to drive his own car in case he gets called back in to work."
"Sure, just let me check if Gary thinks that's okay."
"I'd like to come to your pool party, but Gary never feels comfortable around women he doesn't know in bikinis. He feels like he's invading their privacy somehow."
From now on, I'm just going to say "I don't let Gary out of the house."