Not now, I have a headache

I’m not talking about sex. (Disappointed?) I’ve been on the receiving end of an email diatribe, which basically compares me to a baby eating, sociopathic anarchist. Apparently, I’m only one step above snail snot. Who knew?

By the third email, I started getting a headache. By the fifth, I was self-medicating with M&Ms. After that, there may have been talk of burning in hell, or dancing naked in a petting zoo. My eyes had glazed over, so it’s kind of a blur.

Fortunately, I’m an author. That means I’ve seen more rejection than Stevie Wonder at the DMV. I don’t know how I managed to live most of my life trying to make sure that everybody liked me. I was a serial people pleaser – enjoying the thrill of the hunt for people who would walk all over me. But there is hope for even the most hardened of cases. It all boils down to a two-letter word: “no.”

talk-to-the-hand“Talk to the hand” is so overused. If you need a subtle way to refuse someone you might try some of the following:

I have to check the freshness dates on my dairy products

I’m attending the opening of my garage door

I have to answer all my “occupant” letters

I promised to help a friend fold road maps

I’m waiting to see if I’m already a winner

I’m observing National Apathy Week

I love to help my friends when I can, but when you have to say no do they:

a) Accept it graciously and respect your needs and wishes; or

b) Accuse you of ruining their lives, contributing to global warming, and voting straight line Republican?

I’m fortunate to have friends who understand that I have limitations and who like me anyway. You guys are the best! To those who get bent out of shape when I have to say no, tough beans, at least I didn’t vote for Mitt.