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Monday, August 3, 2009

Just Say No... Really?

Have any of you seen the movie Yes Man? The premise is quite clever - a reclusive naysayer is convinced to attend a self-help seminar and finds himself cursed to say "yes" to every request or suffer serious consequences. Well, my family has created their own self-help program...with the intent of teaching me to say no.

Of course, the village attitude always develops after periods of long days filled with various evening meetings. "You just need to learn to say no." "Yeah, Mom! Just say no. Practice."

I know that much of my hubby's intentions are to protect my sanity. Truly he's witnessed a few breakdowns when I'm completely overloaded. But after a week's worth of "no" counseling, I found myself very amused this evening.

It really wasn't unlike any other evening...

The kids and I walk in the door around 6:00.
Doug needs my help with an Excel formula for one of his farming spreadsheets.
I begin making a spaghetti dinner. (Sidenote: I'm still mentally preparing for the ribs I plan to make soon.)
I take the load of whites out of the dryer to make room for the wet towels.
Doug goes out to water our trees. Thank you!
Cole is putting his comics away. Thank you!
Alex is putting her clothes away. Thank you!
Then the Schwann's truck pulls in. All hell breaks loose.

My water begins to boil.
"Stef! Where are the pliers?" voices the man of my dreams from the garage.
"Mom? How do you spell Corbin?" says the little voice of my Coley.

Okay. Delegate. "Alex, answer the door, will you?" Get Doug his pliers since he doesn't have any idea where my gardening tools are kept. Hope the water doesn't boil over.

"Mom! There's a new Schwann's guy walking up to our door! I'm not answering it!" exclaims my nervous little girl.

Re-delegate. "Alex, add the spaghetti to the water. I'll get he door."

"How much spaghetti, Mom?"

I fumble with my spaghetti measurer. "Whatever. Just guess. I have a door to answer."

I get the door, thumb through the catelog, and put in a polite order (with a few shouted requests.. "Don't forget breakfast sandwiches!" As soon as Schwann's guy walks back to the truck, I'm hearing, "Mom! Can you get me some paper towels?" and "Mom? Do we have an envelope for the comics I'm sending to Corbin?"

Okay, must get pliers. Doug is indicating frustration. Then must write check for the Schwann's guy. How much again? "Just a second everybody..."

Well, it all gets done. The Schwann's man gets paid. We get ice cream. The spaghetti meal is served (with no shortage of noodles, quite the contrary really.) Cousin Corbin has a big envelope of comics coming his way. And our trees are now properly saturated...I'm not sure where pliers fit into the picture, but who cares really.

As we sit down to eat, I'm not stressed. I'm more amused, thinking how my family would've reacted to a few "no's." But I didn't have too much time to imagine the scenario...

"Is this Ragu or homemade sauce? It tastes kind of bland."

"Sorry. My time was compromised. I had to say no to onions."

"Oh. That's okay," says my dear hubby. "It will save me a little heartburn."

Aha. My one "no" of the evening at least paid off a little...

Now, on a very different note! From the girl who never says never....Alex took one of her first dress designs (with the help of her grandmother) and brought it to life! Isn't this awesome!

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