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Thanks tb2 and Peter --- You both nailed the crux of the matter: do I really want to have dinner with Bill? The answer is probably obvious: no. It is also true that in my experience, the ball is now in his court to indicate when he's likely available. But, if I wanted to dine with a person who replied, "Pick a different date" (though none of my real friends communicate in that way), I'd absolutely send a response along the lines suggested by tb2.

Another reason for sending my post: just to perk up the board here.

Happy holidays (and by the way, none of the votes on my very non-momentous poll was mine . . . so that means one person besides myself thought Bill's response was "rude and stupid."

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