Familiarizing Thyself with the Word ‘No’

NoYou know what I don’t miss? Driving home from a party two hours away from my house in a mix of groggy, tad tipsy, exhaustion at 4 a.m — or even worse: having to crash on someone’s couch. I now hang my head in shame admitting that I might have put myself and others at risk for the sake of upholding my position as the “loyal and reliable friend.”

[Ed note: I would never, ever get behind the wheel if I was drunk. That’s a “no” in my book.]

But anyway, I’m pushing 30 and the word “no” is becoming just so darn sexy and convenient. I get a thrill every time I get to say it: “Nope, can’t do it.” There are just so many cons to situations that involve leaving my house past 10 p.m.

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  1. The egregious activity called getting dressed. Like, why can’t they allow slippers, robes, and bonnets in the club? I’d be there every weekend. Seeing as I rarely ever go out, I’d have to spend hours digging through my closet, trying on clothes that I already know won’t fit. (Work clothes > Club outfits.)
  1. Heels are painful. I’ve mastered the art of busting out a Naomi Campbell walk in 5-inch heels, but should I have to do it if I don’t have to?
  1. It’s late. Seriously, my bedtime is at 10 p.m, maybe 11 if the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” is on. You can’t possibly expect me to get drunk and stay awake for three whole hours.

Some people may call me a prude and that’s totally fine. I’ve reached a point in my life where I realize that time is limited and valuable. More important than the general concept of time is “my time.”

Folks are quit to contribute to the widespread misconception that you’re a “hater” or “not in support” of people if you don’t attend everything they merit worthy of a celebration. Damn that! I’m happy for all the recent graduates, the newlyweds, the mothers and/or fathers-to-be, the people moving to new cities, and those with new jobs. I also reserve my right to express my congrats without forsaken my own comfort and peace.

My mother always told me that it’s impossible to be all things to all people. Sometimes you have to exercise your right to turn down an invitation. If you give all 100% of yourself to other people, then what do you have left for yourself?

Obviously, there are certain exceptions to the rule (i.e. supporting a real friend who has held you down forever), but you should in no way feel guilty about not being up to something.