For goodness sake, someone teach me how to say NO!
When am I going to learn?
NO is a little word. I can say it. "No, No, No, No!" However, when I need to say it, I seem to have a problem getting my lips around that word. NO sits in the back of my throat like a bitter little pill. I've had a problem saying NO for most of my life. Most of my messes and situations I've been in have been as a result of me being unable to say NO. And, it's not just saying NO to other people, it's saying NO to myself. I am suffering from a serious case of unabletosaynoalitis. I need a cure - fast. Today was the last straw.
Let's first go back a little in history, when I was unable to say NO to myself wanting sex even though we didn't have protection. Result, a beautiful gorgeous baby girl. My mother needed a babysitter, I had other plans, but I was always prepared to sacrifice my plans to look after my siblings. I never said NO to my mother. When my ex-husband proposed to me I knew I'd be making the biggest mistake of my life as he'd already driven me to a nervous breakdown and I was already hiding away from him in clothes cupboards. But, did I say NO? Of course not, someone wanted to marry me and I was sure I could learn to love him and change him into a nice person if I tried really hard.
There is an absolutely divine looking chocolate cake in front of me. Can I deny myself the pleasure and orgasmic delight of the heavenly chocolate cake. Don't be a fool, I can never say NO to myself. That's why I have no willpower. I indulge my every whim even if I can't afford it, so I am forever having to make a plan.
My kids want money to go out or money to buy something. Money, money, money. can I afford to give them the spending money I do? Don't be a fool, of course I can't. I have so many unforseen expenses as I'm moving countries in June and I'm paying for my son's university. Do I say NO to my children? Only when they piss me off, then I feel guilty and give them double.
Yesterday, my daughters took me to Purple Mountain, supposedly beautiful views from there. Luckily, my eldest let us go up in the cable car, but decided that we should walk down the bloody mountain as she's in training for the Great Wall Marathon in May. I tried to explain that the thousands and thousands of steps might not be good for such an old woman like me. But she insisted that it'd be good for me. Did I say NO? You are kidding, right. Has that blasted word ever escaped from my lips. A quarter of the way down, I needed to pee, having started diuretics the previous evening. Of course, being China, there were no cute little lavatories dotted next to the path of ten thousand bloody steps all the way down. Let me tell you, trying to walk down steep steps with your thighs clamped shut tightly is not easy. Before I was halfway I could feel my butt and legs vibrating. If I sat on a man's lap in the state I was in my vibrating muscles could have given him a happy ending. My eldest daughter was worried when she saw the pain on my face, as I suddenly discovered that I had calf muscles. "Mom, just go behind a bush."
I glared at my daughter. The bushes were small frigging shrubs which were growing quite sparsely on the steep slopes, and all the bottom leaves and branches were removed to make them grow taller. "You gotta be kidding me," I snarled feeling less than amused, "I expose my big white bum here and people will either think it's a new kind of satellite for cable TV or they'll be there in droves crowding around me taking photos of the foreigner's big white bum with their camera phones." It took two hours to walk down that mountain. Screw the view, I needed to pee. My legs were aching, I had cramps where nobody gets cramps. Finally got to the toilet and Niagara Falls had nothing on me. Five seconds and I was finished and outa there. Why the hell didn't I say NO? I could have been admiring the view while going down in the cable car.
On Tuesday, one of the other teacher's wives stopped me at our compound gate. "Oh Cindy," she gushed, "We want to have a BBQ. Which day is good for you?" Having never been invited to any of their parties I was a little surprised at the invitation. maybe she'd heard about the great BBQ I had had last Sunday. "But, we don't have a BBQ. Can you bring yours?" The light dawned on me, but did I say NO? Of course not. I aim to please.
This morning, she phoned me at 7am. Luckily, I was already hard at work chatting on Hubpages. "Oh Cindy, we're having the BBQ today. We've decided to come to your house as you are next to the park and that's good for the kids." What words do you think came out of my mouth? Have a guess.
"What time?" I asked, still a little taken aback by her brazen audacity. "Who's coming?" She mentioned the names of two other families and then said they'd be at my house at 1pm. "Oh crap!" I couldn't help but say out loud. "I'll have to go down to the supermarket. I have nothing much in my house."
"Don't worry, you have your delicious home-made sausages and we'll bring some meat and salads as well." Did I say NO? Of course not. Did I mention that the only delicious home-made sausages I had were Italian sausages which were an order for the expat food shop. Not on your Nelly. I got ready not really feeling that into it. More people arrived than she said and I sat and BBQed all the meat, veg kebabs, salmon and chicken. I suppose I was a little antisocial with my back to everybody, but then I was cooking their food. They weren't people I'd ever really ever hung out with before in all my time here. But, it was fun and I did enjoy it. Although, my lounge floor was covered in boxes as I had already started packing...
I can give others advice no problem I can teach them how to say NO. But for me, that magical two-letter word remains elusive. I know that I would be classified as a people-pleaser. Someone who'll go without and sacrifice everything just to make others happy. I know this is wrong but i still keep on doing it. Over the years I've always had guys who've been my best mates, and I've literally bent over backwards to make them happy. This means being their 'fuckbuddy' which means 'friends with benefits.' Whenever they were in between girlfriends or feeling down, hey, Cindy is a good friend and will never say NO. This means that you leave yourself open to be used and abused.
People will take advantage of a people pleaser. I know this. I tell people this. So why the hell can't I say NO?