Sep 032015
 

 

No.

It’s one of the shortest sentences in the English language, but most people have the hardest time wrapping their minds and tongues around it, at least situationally. We can look at ourselves naked in the bathroom mirror and shout it at the tops of our lungs, and we can usually manage it if someone asks us whether we want a fried egg on our hamburger, but barring those simple examples the word becomes more and more difficult to say.

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But it’s not really the word itself, is it? It’s the implication of rejection that we all perceive goes along with using it. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, or appear self-absorbed, so we don’t say it. Then we do something that we didn’t really want to do in the first place. Then we complain about it and hold it against the other person.

Don’t lie, that’s usually how it goes.

Let’s do an exercise together : take a minute to think of all the times you’d have liked to say ‘no’, and didn’t. Don’t go crazy, ’cause this could take all day…narrow it down to the last week or month or so. Did you help someone move when it was really the last thing you wanted to do? Did you babysit for someone’s rotten kids or go out dancing on a night you’d rather have stayed home? What about all those times that the ‘no’ would’ve been implied through your actions, and you chose to go with the flow? Have you answered the phone later than is acceptable to listen to a friend/relative complain about something you’ve heard before? Or maybe you just didn’t voice your dissenting opinion when somebody said or did something you thought wrong. Have you ‘gone along’?

Go ahead. I’ll give you a minute.

I think that if we’re all honest, we can come up with *at least* one example of a situation where the word (or concept) NO would’ve been warranted. And we missed it. We were afraid of it, or it was too complicated, or we’ve just been programmed to people please to an extreme.

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The above question is for US, not for them. Why is it so hard for us to choose ourselves in the equation and simply demur? Honestly, I think it’s because we’re all a bunch of lazy chickens. We don’t want to have to explain ourselves for fear of being judged selfish or negative. We automatically assume that the other party will take offense at our use of the word, and godforbid we should offend anyone. Heavens to Betsy! What a terrible world we’d live in if everyone didn’t get their way all the time.

What a joke.

Learn to say no. Learn to accept that the way another person reacts to your use of the word is up to THEM, not you. Learn to be okay with someone being offended or even mad when they don’t get the answer they’re expecting – especially if you’ve trained that person to expect nothing less than complete compliance from you (your fault, by the way, not theirs). We cannot control what other people do; we can only control what we do. And the more we reserve the use of the big bad ‘no’ word, the harder it becomes to say it when it’s really necessary. You don’t have to put on your Mean Face, and you don’t have to square your shoulders and make Direct Eye Contact. You can simply smile and say, “Yeah, no. I don’t think so. But thanks anyway.”

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Warning : Sometimes other folks won’t have good home training, and they’ll continue to push even after you’ve used the magic word. They’ll try to cajole, joke, guilt, and eventually outright force you to change your mind, your feelings, or your plans. These people we will refer to as ‘assholes’.

You have no responsibility to assholes. They’re rude, pushy, and obviously lack social skills. For them, only one answer will suffice :

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–  Dana

Aug 292015
 

 

Awash as we all are in spanking content, I’ve been compelled to talk/write/think about *other* things – occasionally – of late. (Yes, Virginia, there are Other Things.) So, rather than talk to myself, or put a complete stop to Michael’s progress by talking his head off, I’ve decided to begin sharing rather mundane things here more often.

Anyone with any sense, or anything at ALL better to do, will choose to turn their attentions elsewhere right about now.

 

Still with me? (Bored, huh?)

 

Let’s start off with a little home improvement update..

 

THIS :

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..is the current state of my house. As you can see, it’s a bit like an episode of Dexter. (And no, VBB, I haven’t found someone whose blood splashes farther than yours.) What started as an ongoing water line issue has turned into an all-out Major Pain in the Ass, replete with fully-plastic-ed living area and garage-accessible bathroom.

I’m not kidding. They removed the WALL downstairs, between the garage and water closet. Over the course of the next week, there’ll be about a dozen sweaty men parading around my living room. About average, come to think of it..

Since I’m sure you’re dying to know what the cats think about all this commotion : they think it sucks.

In other news, we almost went on a short vacation last week. About seventeen miles outside of Las Vegas proper, my car decided that it’d rather stop at a little biker bar on the side of the road in the middle of the desert. (Which, in retrospect, was better than nothing. They had a nice shady porch.) Something about the transmission, according to the nice man in the triple a tow truck. So the car is undergoing some medical intervention and I’m driving a rental, which is, in my opinion, ugly.

All this fun stuff would drive some people nuts. Lucky for us, we thrive on a Good Challenge. So, the place will be getting a new coat of paint and the car will be getting a new tummy or something, and we will be getting lots of spanking done in the meantime…upstairs.

In other parts of the world: My family are having a mini-reunion of sorts. In the South, a family reunion includes Actual Family, as well as in-laws, out-laws, and people who nobody’s really related to but are still referenced as “Aunt Sue”, “Uncle Bill”, or “Cousin Andy”, because their daddy and your daddy worked together in the oil fields and they’re Like Family. Or the kids went to school together and they all started calling you “Mom” because they figured out that that was the way to get you to feed and house them every weekend, and now, twenty-plus years later, they still won’t go away.

I won’t be attending the get-together. I’d love to, mostly, but between spanking and remodeling I’m bound to Las Vegas for the remainder of the summer. I’ve requested that they stand out in the rain (it’s always raining there) in my stead. Of course, when it rains you have to look out (even more) for snakes, but it’s a small price to pay for the moisture. My auntie calls up to tell me all about how her flowers are in raging full bloom and the grass needs cutting every five days or so and the tomatoes are as big as your head, and it’s so humid you can cut the air with a butter knife. She’s bragging, in her Southern auntie way, and it works – until I remind her that we don’t have mosquitoes here. Since where I come from you can practically saddle those things and ride them, that usually trumps all. I miss the flowers, and the food, but I do NOT miss the bugs, or the snakes, or the overly-familiar raccoons.

Now I will entertain you with what is, in my estimation, one of the cutest things ever. (It’s cats.)

(Try to ignore the not-so-subliminal message to purchase the advertised brand of cat food. It’s bad for your kitties.)

–  Dana

 

Aug 212015
 

There’s something in the water here.

It’s dirt, for the most part. There’s also the remains of a small town at the bottom of the lake, which is now, technically, also the top of the lake.

Lake Mead used to be this big giant body of water, all held back steadfastly by wondrous Hoover Dam, supplying life-giving water to not only the Las Vegas Valley but large parts of central and southern California. Now that damn dam is holding back a muddy puddle. We still get our water from there, and we still send some to California, too, but it’s getting sketchy. Something about not enough rain and/or snow in the Colorado Rockies for several years in a row. And something else about Harrison Ford growing almonds (or was it avocados?) in the desert. Mostly it’s just humans. Lots and lots of us, living in places that are lush with greenery and dripping with cement ponds that are, in fact, meant to be covered in sand, scrub, and skinny snakes.

Most people think that it’s all those glittery casinos on the Strip that cause Las Vegas to be one of the most heinous energy abusers in the country, but in the case of water they’re pretty benign, making up only about four percent of the city’s annual usage. Most of the gnarly water waste goes on at the dozens of golf courses surrounding the valley, and in our very own front yards. There’s something about living in the middle of the Mojave that makes folks want to grow pears and figs and water lilies, for some reason. My neighbors have pomegranate trees and as green a gigantic-pool-surrounding-backyard as you can grow any wet place in the country. It’s a little silly when you think about it, considering how much room (and water, and grass) there is in, say, Idaho for instance.

Why do so many people want to live here? Why are there nearly 2 million people squeezed into a valley that used to be home to a handful of tribes?

It’s not the mild climate, that’s for sure.

Yes, it’s hotter than hades here again. We hit a seizure-inducing 112 a couple days ago; that was the same day the air conditioning went out. Luckily, homes here are built with two separate cooling units (see above reference to energy abusers) so that if one goes out the place doesn’t turn into one giant EasyBake oven. Still, the best prescription for this is to hold very still and drink more iced tea…so I’m fine, crisis averted, and the nice man came today and made it all better. He had to climb onto the roof in order to fix whatever was un-fixed, where I’m sure the temperature was around 125 in the roof’s reflection of the afternoon sun. I felt a little bad that he had to get so hot in order to make us cool again, but the cats are creatures of leisure and sacrifices must be made.

Speaking of the cats, Mister Pancakes is still feeling pretty crummy and would like everyone to leave him alone. This includes the other cats, who are trying to figure out why he’s getting extra stuff in his mouth all the time (medicine). They’re doing hardcore kitty research by following him everywhere he goes and meowing in his face a lot. This would piss anyone off, and he is duly offended.

The humans in charge of putting things in cat’s mouths (and the dog, too, but they don’t really care about him) are thoroughly enjoying this summer’s Advanced At-Home Mojito-Making Classes, held weekly in the kitchen, as well as occasional trips to the supermarket for more cat food (and other stuff they don’t care about). It’s nice to sit still sometimes and, as much as I miss seeing a bunch of my spanko buddies, I’m having a ball sleeping in my own bed every night. It may just be that you’ll all have to come and visit me here, in Las Vegas.

Bring water.

– Dana

Apr 072015
 

 

This is, I believe, the first time Buddy’s ever been in water that didn’t have a bathtub wrapped around it.

Although it was a bit cool, and he was completely distracted by everything going on around him, he did manage to wade his old creaky butt out into the shallows a few times:

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Not many people try to pet Buddy in public. Does he really look like a mean dog? Puhleese!

 

I’ve never visited Lake Havasu City before, and really had no idea that there was anything more there than a bunch of supposedly really nice water.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that it also contains LONDON BRIDGE…the real freaking London Bridge:

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Contrary to popular schoolyard musical mythology, London Bridge is NOT falling down (it’s just in the desert now).

 

 

Pretty view from the hotel balcony. And lucky for everyone visiting, the whole London-Bridge-tarred-head-on-a-pike thing has been replaced by chi-chi restaurants and kayaking retirees:

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One First Time Ever that was not accomplished : The kayak rental guy didn’t return my call to confirm the kayak delivery that would have likely freaked the dog totally out. Probably for the best…

– Dana

Mar 132015
 

 

If anyone asked any one of us if we consider ourselves to be Liars we’d likely answer “no”, or “no, at least not on the big stuff.”

If asked whether we consider ourselves to be Pushovers, we’d probably also answer in the negative; nobody wants to be a pushover, right?

How about if someone asked you how often you end up doing and/or putting up with a bunch of crap that you shouldn’t because the people in your life inflict themselves on you on a regular basis?…

 

Bingo.

 

Let’s talk about whose fault that is.

 

When someone says, “Can you do X for me?”, even when they know it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable for you, and you say, “Okay” even though you really don’t want to.

When you allow yourself to pick up the telephone knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that the person on the other end is about to piss you off/hurt your feeling/interrupt your serenity.

When your own family members are a constant source of stress and bordering-on-insanity drama, and you still get involved every single time.

When someone has already proven to you that they’re not to be trusted with your favorite sweater, your secrets, your feelings, or your credit card – but you continue to give them access to one or all.

When you repeat the same patterns of self-harm and self-hatred over and over again, knowing damn well that nothing’s going to change until you do.

 

You’re Lying to yourself, and you’re being a Pushover. Harsh but true, and we’ve ALL been there at some time or another. The goal is to not live there permanently.

 

It’s okay to disengage yourself from things, people, feelings, and activities that make you feel bad, sad, or stressed. It’s perfectly acceptable to let that call go to voicemail, where you’ve left a very nice outgoing message to the tune of, “Hi, this is (your name here). Thanks for calling. If you need my immediate assistance for domestic disputes, bitching, whining, complaining, self-loathing, gossip, or to unload a bunch of baggage – please hang up and try your call at a later date. We’re all full up on crazy today. All other callers may leave a pleasant message after the beep.” Don’t feel guilty and don’t feel bad for having and maintaining clear boundaries.

Just say no.

 


–  Dana