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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Thumbs down (05/14/2006)

Don't take "no" for an answer! No dice! My lips say "no" but my tummy screams "bring it on!" What part of "no" don't you understand? Read on.

The 2-letter word that really gets around, "NO" has to be one of the most used. One globally renowned "no" statement comes to us from Bethlehem: "There's no room in the inn." From the music world, "Yes, we have no bananas" goes back to the Carmen Miranda era. Who cares?

Have you noticed that toddlers say "no" before they utter a "yes?" They've noted from older brother and sister that it works wonders when screamed loudly and repeatedly. Self-indulgence may be the new millennium's greatest "no-no." Parents are failing to say "no" to themselves and to their children.

There no longer exists among suburb yuppies an urgency to plan ahead and to set aside funds for a future demanding more and more money. Living only for today and giving into every frivolous want and whim is generating mounds of meaningless "stuff," soon to become tomorrow's waste. "No dumping!"

Sadly, this extravagant attitude will disillusion and spoil the impressionable adults of the future. They will continue to feed insatiable desires for hoards of possessions and adult "toys," going into debt to have what they want, when they want it. "No problem!"

When parents say "no" to a child, they often add an anxious "okay?" With that follow-up one is actually asking permission of the youngster or teen, setting themselves up for a rebellious reaction.

Today's privileged youth need to frequently hear, "No, Mom doesn't have the money for that today," and "No, we can't afford it. You'll have to save the money you earn this summer if you want it bad enough." "Remember, you are responsible for paying for that tune-up on your dirt bike."

In being too generous, because you may have the cash in your checkbook, you're setting a destructive precedent that there's no limit to what the kid can have. A "no whining" demand is in order. Let your "NO WAY" be heard loud and clear!

Just say "NO" to those everyday annoyances and stupid requests. Easier said than done? So you just manage a crooked smile and respond, "No sweat." "No big deal." What you're thinking is, "No happy hour after work today." "No one else would put up with that chauvinistic jerk."

"No vacancy" is the last sign a traveler wants to see when he finally finds a motel after a long day's journey. With society's trend toward pets and more pets, one is more apt to find a motel notice that states, "No children allowed" and a friendly "Pets welcomed on premises."

No! Wrong! In one day, a store clerk called me "dear" and a waiter brought my food only to call me "Miss." I was labeled "legally handicapped" when I received a sticker from the state for convenient parking. Aunt Ellen asked me why I was walking like an old lady, and an employee at a warehouse market pointed out the senior citizen aisles - and I didn't even ask! No offense taken.

"There's no fool like an old fool" is bittersweet, even a bit cruel. Longer life spans are straying away from a no-nonsense "man's world" to a no-man's land of red hats, afternoon tea and talk sessions, and no more man in the moon, Fuller Brush man, and no king of his castle.

"No time" seems to be a New Age condition, brought on by nervous energy and escalating credit card bills and cockeyed priorities. Put a "no one home" sign on your front door, take the next train to anywhere with your family, and remember, "No play makes Jack a dull boy!" It's a no-brainer.

"No rest for the wicked!" "No more credit." "No personal checks accepted." "No smoking." "No shoes, no shirt, no service." "No loitering."

"No fair!" (No sense of humor.)

Janet Burns is a Lewiston native. She can be reached at patandjanburns@earthlink.net 


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