Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I'm just a gal who can't say NO

When I was young and newly married I was a sucker for a sales pitch.  It wasn’t that I was particularly gullible or that I just loved to spend money, it was because I didn’t know how to say NO.  I couldn’t say NO to Tupperware, I couldn’t say NO to Mary Kay, I couldn’t say NO to magazine solicitors.  I couldn’t say NO because I feared hurting someone’s feelings.  That’s how I ended up serving as PTA treasurer at our neighborhood elementary school before I even had children.  I went with my neighbor to a meeting and left holding an office.  I even purchased a six-year subscription to Parent’s Magazine. 

Maybe my need to please was partly due to being born in the 50’s.  Women were all about pleasing others.  My mother’s motto was “pretty is as pretty does”.  Women were not assertive and these women were my role models.  I’ve spent most of my life trying to find the middle ground between assertive and obnoxious while avoiding confrontation at all cost.  Unfortunately, I passed my need to please on to my own daughters.  Oh, we talk a big game but when it comes to standing up to someone we wilt like Begonias in full sun.

The joy of being in my sixties is I find I care less and less about what others think about me.  This is more liberating than ever I could have imagined.  However, the challenge I’m now faced with is how to harness that exuberance to share my opinion about EVERYTHING.   Do all seniors talk too much or is it just me?   Sometimes I even bore myself. 

Writing is now my salvation.  I can purge my every thought and opinion and I don’t have to see the grimacing faces of my audience.  They can “turn me off” at will and I’m none the wiser.  It’s a win, win situation for all.  When I repeat myself…..who cares…..maybe the reader didn’t catch the first telling and if he did he can just move on to the next blog.  No harm no foul.


Aunt Betsy said...

LOL! A PTA officer before you even had children at that school! I thought I was the only one who took not being able to say no to a new level! I am so with you on the not caring what someone else thinks is so liberating---I just wish I had discovered it earlier! I enjoy your writing so you aren't "talking" to much for me. :)

Olga said...

I would much rather write than talk anyway. I am not much fun at parties and social gatherings. My daughter once compared me to Nancy Reagan because I was always able to "Just say no." SHE (my daughter), on the other hand, seemed unable to hear the word no.

kenju said...

I KNOW I repeat myself; both on the blogs and in life. SO? LOL

I have been a people-pleaser and I finally got up the nerve to say no. If I don't really want to do something - I don't.

Meryl Baer said...

I also could not say no, although not to the lengths you did! It is so wonderful to finally be able to say no and not feel guilty.
I also find myself saying what I think and not caring what others think or say about what I say..I know, that is confusing!

Deb said...

It's the way we were raised. We made sure everyone was happy, and it didn't matter if we were miserable, sick, uninterested or overworked, we just kept saying yes when we were asked, "Will you?"

Boy, not any more. I have found my spine and I can say no appropriately.
Doesn't take temper, just takes a pleasant no, can't do that.