Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Day I Said NO to Katdish

There I was, one sunny morning, minding my own business (as I am famed for doing).

Eating some cereal, playing scrabble and relaxing with hardly a care in the world.

I was woken from my day-dreaming state by the rude sound of my phone buzzing and beeping to tell me that I had a new text message.

I hurried to check the message, maybe it was a sweet note from my wife. Excitedly I grabbed the phone and read what was on the screen.

It wasn't from my wife. It wasn't from my wife at all.

It was from Katdish. Another request for me to do something for her.


It was then that a thought entered my mind, one which I had previously kept firmly at bay one which, had my mind not been dwelling on the disappointment of the text NOT being from my wife, would never have made it past my mental barricade.

"What If I said "NO"?"

Oooo, the thrill just of thinking that swept over me.

What would that be like? Could I do it?

There would certainly be a back-lash. Did I have what it takes to survive such an onslaught?

Billy Coffey, the great writer of fictional truths (as he describes himself) has often told me he'd 'have my back' in these situations.

I've never been quite sure what that phrase means, but I find it quite comforting and even emboldening.

YES! I could do it. I could grow a spine and say NO!

Boldly I reached out to type the word but as I did so, something prodded at the back of my mind... the phrase "fictional truths" started spreading doubt through my consciousness.

What does Billy Coffey mean by fictional truths? Does he mean that not every word he writes is the complete truth? If so, how do we know which words to believe and which not to?

How can I believe that he would 'have my back'? Maybe that was just a fictional phrase he created to trick me into stepping into a minefield from which there was no escape.

I slumped back in my chair.

The doubt was too great. I couldn't run that risk.

I resigned myself to my usual answer of "Yes, Ma'am" -until, that is, my cunning mind thought of another possibility:

What if I said no anyway, even though I didn't mean it?

How would that be?... A shiver ran down my spine.

I could say no, and do the work at the same time thus experiencing the thrill of saying no yet having the protection of being able to prove I was only joking.

Without a second thought, I typed those two glorious letters:


Clicking send, I waited for the expected emotional rush....

It never came.

Maybe it was the fear or reprisals at my little joke, or maybe it was the knowledge that I was lying. Whichever it was, I felt strangely empty.

After the emotional roller coaster of the last seven seconds (which is all this whole process had taken), this was a huge let down.

I don't know... is this how it would feel to say no for real?

Would there be no adrenaline-filled payoff to offset the retaliation which would be sure to follow?

Have you ever said no to her?
If so, how was it for you?


Duane Scott said...

Oh, now that's funny.

Hmm... I know the problem. Next time, try saying no and MEAN it. That's when you'll get the emotional rush.

try. it. next. time.

Helen said...

I have never needed to say no to katdish. She has never asked me for anything.

I have said no to some "powerhouses" at Church lately who seem to think because I want to start the Women's Prayer Group which God has put on my heart, I should start the stuff that God has put on their hearts for them. I said no. I don't feel terrific about it at all, but I know I need to be focused on one thing at a time.

Shark Bait said...

Billy Coffey ... has often told me he'd 'have my back' in these situations.

Dude, I think you just threw Billy under the bus there.

Run and hide Billy, run and hide.

katdish said...

Snort! I actually laughed out loud when I saw your response. Mostly because I figured you didn't mean it. As far as Billy having your back, I will say that he has said no to me before and meant it, but not without severe repercussions. Feel free to say no to me and mean it. Just know that for me, in most cases, no simply means "not right now". And thanks for your help today. As always, you rock.

Shark Bait said...

I am learning to say "no" to authority figures, and it feels great.

It is hard to say "No" when you have priests saying "We prayed, and your name came up." But I am learning to do so.

I recently had to tell my local clergy why I thought the Regional Gender Committee they wanted me to serve on was a waste of time, and would fail miserably, and that I was sure GOD was calling me to something that wasn't an "exercise in futility and beaurocracy" (My words)

Unfortunately the priest who requested me was the one who had pushed for five years to create the committee, so I was not popular.

I was only partly vindicated when my replacement reported that the whole thing was a waste of time, and resigned in frustration.

Peter P said...

Duane - I'll try it next time I'm hanging out with you, so I can hide behind you when she attacks.

Helen - I understand that completely!

Shark Bait - he says it publicly!

Katdish - I said no and you laughed out loud. do you realize how emasculating that is? :-)

Shark Bait - what exactly does a gender committee do? Are they trying to ascetain whether or not there are actually two genders, or are they trying to work out which gender each of their parishoners is?

katdish said...

Good for you, SB and Helen! If we say yes to everything, we may miss out on the opportunity to say yes to some really great stuff. And way to stand your ground.

katdish said...

Peter- emasculating? Sorry. Didn't mean it to be. You know you're the man!

Candy said...

Peter, isn't it a moot point for Billy to "have your back" when Katdish lives between the two of you? I'm all up in Billy's redneck manhood but he's still human.

Katdish, I wouldn't have believed him either. Peter's pretty transparent. And immune to emasculation, I might add.

Sharkie - were they fixin' to make us all one gender or what? Seriously, wasn't God the gender committee? I love committees. The perfect way to get nothing done.

katdish said...

Candy -

You're all up in Billy's redneck manhood?


Where is Wendy, anyway?

Duane Scott said...

Arghh... I saw Candy's comment on my phone and I couldn't wait to get to my laptop to TWSS it.

But Katdish beat me to it.

I'm going to go sulk now. Or log in and delete Katdish's comment and claim my honorary TWSS position.

Candy said...

Ugh. Please don't tell Nick. I think he has notches in his belt for all of my faux pas. I couldn't read what I was writing very well since I was on my phone, and sometimes my thumbs do funny things. Such as squish you like a bug.

Peter P said...

I was so shocked by the implications of Candy's comment that I couldn't bring myself to respond!

Billy Coffey said...

Peter, I TOTALLY have your back. It's like a big shadow standing over you in the shape of a muscle shirt and a cowboy hat.

Yes, I've said no to katdish. Of course she's like two million miles away, but I still said no and that counts. More than once, actually. And she's usually okay with it as long as she isn't watching 24. She channels her inner Jack Bauer then. I'm not saying it's scary, but it is frightening. Just not to me.

Wait. She doesn't read these comments, right?

And I'm all up in Candy being all up in my redneck manhood.

Candy said...

Inquiring minds want to know:

1. Define "severe repercussions"
2. Billy, are you having a cardboard cutout made like Acuff so you can cast that big shadow?

I think the next time Katdish asks someone to do something, we should have a committee meeting.

Marni said...

Katdish asked me to pick her up from the airport for the Echo conference next month. I told her yes, but I can text her and tell her "maybe" until that particular committee meets and decides for sure. Let me know.

katdish said...

Severe repercussions = I forward him all the teddy bear and rainbow emails my dad's wife sends me.

And Marns - I don't need you to pick me up from the airport. I'm driving. I just need a driver once I get there, because folks in Dallas drive like crazy people. Also, I feel like I need to arrive with an entourage to the conference. So, if your hubby could come with and be in uniform that would be even better.

Marni said...

We drive crazy? Child, please. I'm still in therapy from the PTSD I got from driving in Houston over Thanksgiving weekend.

Peter P said...

So Billy, what you're saying is that by 'having my back' you mean you'll stand as far back behind me as possible while still being able to reach me with your shadow?

Very comforting.

I must say, I'm getting emboldened to try saying no, but I might try it out on someone I'm a little less afraid of first.

Bieber boy, for instance....

Nick the Geek said...

I remember the time Billy said Katdish was evil and Katdish said he was dead to her .... how did that turn out?

I like to tell people no all the time. I rarely tell people yes, even when I mean that I will do something. Then it gets to be like a nice surprise for them when I actually do what I said I wouldn't do, and they won't be disappointed if I don't.

That's psychology.

Nick the Geek said...

"Ugh. Please don't tell Nick. I think he has notches in his belt for all of my faux pas. I couldn't read what I was writing very well since I was on my phone, and sometimes my thumbs do funny things. Such as squish you like a bug." ~CandySteele

Did anyone catch all the TWSS in this alone?

Tony C said...

Kathy's just too nice to say 'no' to...

(yes, I'm a little afraid of her...but she's still nice!)