We all have difficulty saying no at times don’t we? We don’t want to hurt the feelings of someone we love or we don’t want to let a friend down. But when you find you can’t say no to an obscene phone caller, you’re in serious trouble. Oh no, you didn’t? I hear you say. Well, I came close. But I will let you pant a bit longer before telling you about that particular incident. The sadist that I am. I’ve always had difficulty saying no. I own the most expensive duster in town because I couldn’t say no to a man selling them at the door. I may have managed it if he hadn’t have held up a sign saying he had mental and physical disabilities. In fact if the phone hadn’t have rung I probably would now own a feather duster and several tea towels too. Luckily that time I got off with just the duster. I go to the Video shop with the intention of hiring one DVD and end up with three because they have this special offer and somehow the woman behind the counter gets me to say yes. Of course, this is mostly because I can’t say no thank you. I usually walk out with two bags of popcorn too, because it is better value that way. So, our relaxing DVD night turns into quite a stress as we try to watch all these DVD’s so we can get them back on time, not to mention eating the massive amounts of popcorn (no wonder I can’t lose weight.) Then there was the time with the milkman.
The thing was, by the time I got home from my then day job, (Yes, I didn’t always write full time) the milk would have gone off. Andrew, my poor suffering husband, had said.
‘Can you tell him we don’t need him any more. It’s easier to get the milk when we do our our weekly shop.’
Now this was easier said than done. The year before, Tony’s (milkman) wife had been diagnosed with cancer. This is the problem with living in a village, everyone knows everything that happens to everyone. The village had rallied round and given him a nice Christmas box and now here I was, six months later, about to tell him we don’t need his milk anymore. I did try, but instead of no, what came out was,
‘I have this lactose intolerance thing Tony. I just can’t cope with milk any more…’ and so on and on. You know, anything but the word no? What happens? Andrew comes home to a fridge of lactose free milk.
A lovely man knocks once a month selling fresh fish. I do try, I really do, but I somehow still end up with a tray of fresh salmon and a large bag of prawns and this is after I have done the weekly shop. I’ve pulled out stray hairs on my mother in law’s chin with her tweezers and believe me I SO wanted to say no. After all everyone else has. Why else do you think it’s left to me? That’s one I really need to say no too. I once spent two hours in the home of a Jehovah witness being preached to because I couldn’t say no to her offer of tea. But the worst, and yes this is the only reason you’ve been reading all the boring stuff above isn’t it? Is when I had a call from an obscene phone caller…
Bearing in mind my inability to say no, I answered the phone in my usual friendly voice.
‘Hello how are you today?’ said the voice.
Oh, I thought, I must know this person even though I couldn’t place the voice. You know what I mean don’t you?
‘I’m fine, how are you?’ I said.
‘Better for hearing your lovely voice,’ he responds.
The first stirrings of doubt that I didn’t know this person began to set in.
‘Oh,’ I say.
‘What are you wearing?’
‘How can I help you?’ I ask.
‘I like your voice,’ he says. ‘Will you talk to me while I wank myself off?’
Now, your response would be what? ‘Piss off’, maybe? Or, ‘You dirty git’ or perhaps, ‘Get lost pervert? Something that would have a clear NO signal in it, right? What does yours truly say? Bearing in mind saying no is very difficult.
‘The thing is, I’m really busy right now with the ironing.’
Busy with the ironing! What the… Who the hell says that to an obscene phone caller? I may as well have said ‘Sorry, I would but I’m a bit busy. Phone back later.’
I mean, only me. So what happens after I hang up? The phone rings and rings and rings. I’m onto a good one here, he no doubt thought.
Why oh why do I have such trouble saying no. If you have the answer do let me know…