Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It’s Just So Darn Hard To Say No To Erika

September is the beginning of the Tuesday Morning Ladies league bowling season.  I joined this league about 8 years ago.  I started the season last year, as always, but for various reasons,  I decided that I needed a break from bowling and quit after the first month.
Erika is the league secretary.   She is the one who refuses to take no for an answer when the end of season sheet comes around in May asking for members to sign up for the following season.
Of course, due to my circumstances , she was most understanding when I told her that I was quitting.
However, that did not stop her from trying her best to convince me that bowling would be a great distraction for me and that I should reconsider. I stood my ground and was quite happy about my decision.
Erika was very supportive after Joe passed away.  She would call periodically to see how I was doing. She would always end the conversation, though, with, “You know, we would love to have you back bowling with us. We miss you.”
Now, I have to say that I did find her phone calls comforting.  She seemed to call right when I desperately needed that someone who would listen.  She was genuinely concerned and compassionate about my loss.
I recently heard through the bowling grapevine, that Erika has been suggesting to other members that if they see me or talk to me to: “Please encourage Lynda to bowl again."
This past Monday, there was a voice mail on my phone from Erika.  The message was something along the lines of “You know, just want to check in with you. Make sure you’re doing ok.”
She asked me to return her call, and “By the way, if you forget to call me back, I will try again tomorrow.”
I “forgot” she didn’t.  So after a few minutes of asking after each other’s health, wealth, and well being,  she said she had a question for me.  Well, I would say sales pitch is more like it.
“You need to get out of the house.”  “It will do you a world of good." “We miss you.”  I love this one the best: “I can’t tell you what to do, you have to make up your own mind, but...(long pause) we would really love it if you would come back to bowling, please?"
It’s hard to say no to Erika.  She had me half convinced, but I used the “let me think about it”  technique and promised that I would get back to her the next day, which is today.
Here’s the thing,  I am not that into bowling.  My skills are, well skills is actually too strong of a word here.  Umm, my bowling method is to go up to the line and throw the ball.  No curve, no spin, no speed. Just a fairly straight ball, sometimes down the middle.  Every once in a while, I may luck out and get all ten pins down, but usually not.  My bowling ball has a huge chip in it.  I could almost use the chip as another finger hole.  It kind of click clacks down the alley.  Not that I am not using that as an excuse for my less than stellar bowling prowess, because I am pretty sure that a new ball would not make that much of a difference.
Those who know me, certainly know that I don’t go for the socializing.   I usually sit apart from the others and knit.
But I am supportive of my team.  I cheer and  rah-rah for each member.  Clap for a strike or spare.  Say “aww" when they miss that ten pin by just a hair.
Here’s the other thing.  The members of the Tuesday Morning Ladies League do I say this, well, let’s just say that they are not as young as they were when the league started some twenty years ago.
That was the other part of the conversation Erika and I had yesterday.  She went down the litany of ailments of each of the league members.  Hip and knee replacements, heart conditions, hospital stays, surgery that so and so had and that "she really doesn’t want to talk about”.
It’s quite sad, really.
So, I can think of many reasons to say no.  I can only think of one reason to say yes.
“It’s just so darn hard to say no to Erika!”

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.
Here is today’s entry from Anna’s diary:
Thurs. August 1, 1929
Went to Stockton with Mrs. Naps to see Mr. Naps.  Arrived safely.  Went for a drive to see Delaware River.  Rained, got lost.  Stuck in mud.  Had to push car.  Back to farm very late. 


  1. NO NO NO , Lynda - you must say NO thank you.  NO explanation needed.  I'm sorry it is just not going to work for me right now.  You DO NOT owe Erika any kind of explanation.  She does, however, owe you respect.  I hate it when people think they know what is best for me and try to tell me what is best for me (when what it really is , is best for them).  I am sure Eirka is a lovely woman and she means well but what SHE might want to do on Tuesday mornings does not have to be what you want to do.  I am here to tell you:  It is perfectly okay to say NO to her.  And you do not need to explain yourself.  It is wrong when people do that to each other.  I bet Ross agrees, don't you, Ross?

  2. So, I said No. I was prepared to say no directly to Erika, but as luck would have it, I only had to say no to her answering machine. :)
    My response was: “I thought it over and decided that I am not interested in joining the league. Thank you for thinking of me.”I loved your forceful comment, btw. It made me smile out loud.

  3. Yes, I do agree. Lynda did say NO. Your reaction was spot on.