By Landis Lain
It is the most powerful word we abhor. The word hurts people’s feelings and kills friendships; makes us feel like children. We hate it. Two letters.
The word was invented to put an end to unconditional tolerance for nonsense.
Back in the day I wanted a new house. My husband remained satisfied with the house we had. I was mad as fire because he did not want to move. He refused to put forth the effort to make certain I got what I wanted. He asked me what steps I had taken to reach my goal? The NERVE! How dare he?
I check the mirror. Yep, it is me in that reflection. He said NO, to ME? I am too beautiful for no. I despise the way he fixes his lips to enunciate that one syllable. No offends my delicate sensibilities.
Thwart me at peril to peace. Why was I asking hubs permission for something I wanted? Was it because I was a woman, and he was a man? Why did he even have the right to tell me no? I am a grown woman. I went round and round in my angry mind deep in the nonsense of expecting someone else to provide me with something I had not made provision to provide for myself.
I raged. I cried. I sulked. I stomped around to the galling truth.
Hubs was correct. (Insert cuss word here)
Why was I waiting on him to line my path with rose petals and a new mortgage that he did not particularly want? (Insert second cuss word)
I wallowed in the mire of the victim valley for a few weeks. What to do?
Upon reflection, I shook off the inertia and contacted a realtor. I found out how much house I could qualify for and the amount of down payment needed. I learned about debt ratio and credit scores. I realized that I had too much credit card debt.
I set a goal. For the next two years, I was on a mission. I paid off my credit cards. Saved every penny I could squeeze. No new shoes. (whimper)
When I returned to the realtor and found my house, hubs rolled his eyes until he realized I was heart seizure serious. We moved.
I now realize that telling me no was the best thing he ever said. (Still hate it, though)
No caused me to reevaluate my abilities. No provided the catalyst to educate myself about finances; to seek out information about things that I might never have thought of. No caused me to Boss up and stop tolerating a lot of self-defeating nonsense. To stop waiting for someone else to bring me what I want or need. My dream. My effort. My outcome. No was the power tool for the construction of future victory. I can fulfill my own destiny.
Landis Lain has two Young/New Adult novels published by Brown Girls Books titled Daddy’s Baby and Butterfly Arising. Her 2020 short Story ‘Gossamer VooDoo’ is published in the Anthology ‘The Fire Inside’. She has won the Michigan Land Contest for her story Dead King Furniture. Her short story Rusty Feet was published in Chicken Soup for the African American Soul and Color Him Father. Correct Madness: Diary of a Mad Corrections Officer was her first full length publication. She writes romance, short stories, fantasy, fiction, inspirational and creative nonfiction. She taught writing composition at Lansing Community College and has written for the Lansing State Journal Community Advisory Board.