So this woman I barely know, whose daughter was my daughter’s daycare buddy for a year in 2006, calls me out of the blue a few months ago and leaves me a message that sounded semi-urgent.
“Hi Debbie, it’s Betsy. Can you call me back?”
So I do, even though we’ve never spoken socially on the phone before, even though I meant to delete her number because I haven’t used it for THREE YEARS, even though she and I now live 20 miles away from each other and never talk. Not like we ever did when we lived two blocks from each other for that matter.
“Hi Betsy, it’s Deb. How are you?”
She gets right to it. “Great! Hey listen. Can you come to a meeting tonight to learn about some stuff?”
Oh crap. I know what this means. Multi-level-marketing. Pyramid scheme. Never gonna talk to this person again.
Still, and legitimately, I can’t make it. I have another event.
“Sorry!” I say. “Can’t make it tonight. What are you doing?”
Now she wants off the phone. “Something you really need to hear about. I’ll call you for the next meeting.”
And that’s it.
But not so fast.
Over the course of the next few months, I receive random phone calls from Betsy, each time asking me to a “meeting” the next night. Thankfully, I can’t make any of them, because if I could, I’d have a hell of a time saying no. It’s my thing and I am so working on it.
See, I’m in the course right now of learning to set boundaries and the like, but I’m not there yet, which sucks because I got another phone call tonight. My caller ID told me it was Betsy, so I didn’t answer, but after listening to her message — another urgent, but this time also irritable, voice mail, I knew I had to call her back and say NO. I AM NOT INTERESTED. BETSY. DAMN YOU AND YOUR SATELLITE VIDEO PHONE* OR WHATEVER THE HELL IT IS.
I’m all set to do this too. NO! I’m too busy as it is! NO! I’m working on building my own business. NO! I don’t have the extra time or energy to devote to YOUR SATELLITE VIDEO PHONE BUSINESS. Or WHATEVER THE HELL IT IS.
I’ve got conviction, see. I’m all riled up. I can do this.
I place the call. After 1,507 rings, a harried Betsy answers.
“Hi Betsy. It’s Debbie, returning your call.”
“Oh hi. Can you come to a meeting tomorrow night?”
“No, nope I can’t. What is this for?” (So far, so good!)
“I want to put you in front of the information.”
Put me in front of it? What is it? A 250-lb. man named Leadpipe Joe?
“It’s something you really need to be here for. The information.”
I take a deep sigh. I can DO THIS. “You know, Betsy. I’m working on my own stuff right now, and am not interested in taking the time for this.”
“You really need to hear the information.”
My resolve is weakening. I blurt out, “I just found out I have anemia! I’m too weak. I don’t have the energy!”
“Well see then. This information is good for people like you who are struggling.”
Oh shit. Now I’m struggling. Great. Tell the multi-level marketer that you are weak and sick and could probably use her freaking satellite video phone to connect with loved ones before you die from lack of iron.
“I’m already doing my own thing. Twittering. Blogging. Writing. Editing. No time. No time.”
Boy, all that twittering and blogging sounds real important. Maybe if I didn’t do those things so much, I could operate a successful pyramid scheme. Also, now I am no longer speaking in complete sentences. I am totally flailing. I am one blighted “no” away from owning a satellite video phone business.
“People like you should really be open to this information I have. Technology is moving so fast. You don’t want to be left out.”
I have no idea what she is talking about…but it does sound kind of satellite video phoney.
“I can’t do it. The anemia.”
(I swear I said this. I need help.)
She’s kinda pissy now. “OK, I’ll call you again in six months. I have to go, my daughter needs me.”
And that was that.
So six months from now? I either learn to give a proper “no”** or you all better be prepared to buy stock in my satellite video phone scam.
*The video phone? Heard through the grapevine that it was her last business venture.
**I am currently accepting all “how to say no” tips.
P.S. I also wanted to tell you that San Diego Momma was nominated for an Influence SD “Best in Lifestyle” blog award. And so were a lot of other people I like, including Mama Mary Show. But kinda cool, right?