Chick Wit

I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No September 15, 2019

By Lisa Scottoline

Have you noticed how snarky technology is getting?

I have.

Let me explain.

If you’re a woman like me, or basically, a person with ovaries, you were raised to please people.

In other words, if somebody asks you to do something, you find a way to do it, rather than say no. If they ask you to do something, you say yes, even if you don’t have the time. If they ask you if Tuesday is better than Wednesday, because Wednesday is better for them, you say Wednesday is fine with you, even if it isn’t.

In other words, you say yes all the time, or try to, and you’re just a girl who can’t say no.

Like the song, but not exactly.

That girl had a lot more fun.

This girl ending up going to a lot of things she didn’t have time for, so she had to work long into the night to make up for lost time, and you get the idea.

It’s taken me thirty years to realize that I can say no.

No is a complete sentence.

No is an acceptable answer.

People will still like you when you say no, or maybe they won’t, but do you care?

You know what the answer is.


Because it’s okay to have other things to do, namely your job, or maybe just scratching your ass, since that’s your God-given right in the United States of America.

Unfortunately, you can’t say, “No, I don’t do the thing you want me to do because I want to stay home and scratch my ass.”

So you just say, “No, thanks.”

In any event, I’ve learned to say no. And now I say no a lot.

It gets easier with practice.

Surprisingly, saying yes never got easier. It only got busier.

So now we come finally to my point, which is, technology is onto me.

Because lately, when I’m online, any time I go onto a website, a window appears onscreen and asks, Do you want to create an account?

And now that I say no all the time, I click no.

But then another window appears, which says, “You mean you don’t want to create an account and get 10% off of your first order?”

And I say, No, I do not, although at this point I have to admit I’m getting a little confused between yes and the no, and I answered this already.

And just now, I went on a website, and after I had said no no twice, a third window popped up and it said, “So do you mean you want to go shopping now and pay full price instead of 10% off?”

In other words, I gather you’re stupid, or a rich bitch, or both, am I right?

I said aloud, “Well, that’s rude.”

Yes, when you live alone, you talk back to the computer. I refuse to be pushed around by an inanimate object, unless it’s an inanimate object I married, which was my own damn fault, and anyway those days are over.

I felt like a jerk.

I was no-shamed.

The computer undid thirty years of hard no-work.

I would’ve loved to have gotten 10% off my first order, but I didn’t want to create an account. I just wanted to shop and see if I wanted anything, but that wasn’t an option.

The only option was shame.

Can you be bullied by technology?

Evidently, yes.

I don’t know when this started, or why we have to sign in for everything. If you were walking by a store, you could window-shop. You don’t have to buy stuff or even go inside the store, even if they’re going to give you money off, and you don’t have to tell them your email and your password, even though the computer keeps telling you it’s a weak password.

That’s password-shaming.

I know my password is weak.

But I’m not weak, and I’m saying no.

Even if it cost me 10%.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2019

Lisa and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, have teamed up to bring their hilarious and witty perspective on everyday life as mother and daughter in their weekly essays. With stories that will have you laughing out loud one minute and tearing up the next, Lisa and Francesca connect with readers on a deeply emotional level because of their honesty, warts and all.

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