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Monday, October 13, 2008

How to say no. (This is a new one. Trust me.)

You may or may not, in the next few moments, be about to learn a brand new cuss word. Mom, Dad, stop reading now. You don't want to know.

A girlfriend and I were discussing the art of saying "no." This can be very hard to do, especially if you don't want to offend the asker. And some of us Southern ladies just will not take "no" for an answer.

"Listen, honey, could you possibly get this little bitty thing done for me? By tomorrow morning?"

The little bitty thing, as it happens, is a huge project and you can't. Or you don't want to, so you say no.

"But," she says, still smiling, "You did it for Mitzy LePew."

True. But you don't want to do it now. So you try to lie.

"Bless your heart," you say, "I'd love to do that for you, but I just can't. I have to be in Charleston that day for a something-or-other."

Lying is a mistake, because it gives them something to argue about. And a lie is hard to defend.

"Oh!" she exclaims, pretending to have accepted defeat, "I hope you don't have to drive too early in the morning. I just hate to wake up early on a weekend..."

You are fooled into thinking she cares, so you innocently tell her you aren't leaving until 10 am. Guess what? She's available at 9. You are losing this one. Desperately, you try to think of another excuse.

"Unfortunately, I still can't! I'm taking my grandmother out to breakfast early and going from there."

Do not answer any more questions. You have to back away from this barracuda and fast. In fact, your first and final response should have been a charmingly firm,

"Oh, sweetie, you have no idea! I would love to do that for you. Unfortunately, I just can't!"

Make a sad little pouty face and back the hell away. She'll try to follow you, so you are going to have to pull out the big guns, with no concern for your reputation. As you are backing away, grab her arm and whisper, conspiratorially,

"I really do have to run. I just sharted."

Then lock yourself in the bathroom until she leaves. Take your cell phone, so you can text someone nearby to give you the heads up when she's gone. If you're lucky, she'll never tell a soul, because she'll be too grossed out. Even if she does tell people, you'll never know. It's not like they'll ask. According to some people, everyone sharts once in their lives. I think those are the people who have and are trying to make themselves feel better. I have never in my life sharted. But I'd still use it as an excuse in an emergency. No shame!

Namasté, y'all!

P.S. If you do not know what a shart is, ask your grossest friend. Or your gastroenterologist. Or watch the movie Along Came Polly, which is a very funny movie and gives a nice explanation of the term near the beginning.


Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Totally going to try this one!

Great idea!

Doubt anyone around here knows that term so they will look blank for awhile and say "OK" then go ask someone else which will give time for me to run.

Seriously...I'm sure anyone I said it to would say "Oh...what's that?" And make me explain it to them.

Anonymous said...


*~Dani~* said...

Great thing about that word - it is very self explanatory. You think "oh it sounds like farted, but begins with sh...oh". Very effective.

Anonymous said...

That might be the funniest thing I've read all week.