Life Lesson Number 4: Learn How to Say No
Rooster finds it hard to say no to people. Whenever my husband is asked to do something, he doesn’t submit to it immediately. He will say he can’t until the requester gives him a sob story. Rooster is a compassionate man who is a sucker for a good sob story. It doesn’t take long for him to cave into the request. He will then find himself stuck in a situation he can’t escape. Rooster is also a man of his word, but he needs to learn how to say no.
I guess he does manage to say no at the beginning of the request, but he doesn’t stick to his guns once the waterworks start. This trend of allowing people to pull on my husband’s heartstrings has a weird roundabout way of causing trouble for me. It sometimes affects our finances. People sometimes forget about the money or stuff they borrowed. In one case, the loan involved a motorcycle. Another incident involved a trailer the person borrowed.
Learn How to Say No
Rooster has the worst luck when it comes to people. I was at work one evening, and a car wreck happened in front of our house. Years ago, I wrote a short story called The Good Samaritan. This story centered around what happened when Rooster let the truck driver use our telephone. I will give the condensed version of the story here to demonstrate the importance of saying no.
A truck careened out of control and hit a car before spinning into a tree. Rooster rushed out of the house to see if he could help. The guy driving the truck asked if he could use our phone. The accident happened back in the 1990s, and everyone had landlines. This is the moment when Rooster should have said no. He didn’t. No, my husband thought, what could it hurt? He let the stranger into our house to call his wife, or at least that is what he said.
It didn’t take long for the firefighter to have a conversation with the cop that showed up at the scene. The cop called the serial numbers of what they found in the truck’s bed into the station. The guy using our telephone was arrested in our front yard on multiple charges. He had a truck loaded with stolen merchandise.
You would think that would be the end of the story. Wrong! A week later, his friends arrived at our door and wanted what their buddy had left under our chair. The thugs tore my living room until they found the freezer baggy filled with an unknown powder. One of the thugs offered Rooster a little taste of his trouble. Rooster managed to say no that time. My oldest son said, “Good job, Dad, you said no to drugs.”
Learn How to Say No
There are three easy steps to saying no.
- Open your mouth
- Let the word no escape your lips.
If the person making the request persists, scream, “Hell, no,” and walk away. Now if only I could teach Rooster how to do that trick.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!