Mommy Monday: The Art of saying NO by Liz

Repeat after me: Just say no.  Just say no.  Just say no. I'm not sure when I realized that I was a total people pleaser.  It might have been in second grade when I became the teacher's pet.  Or maybe in college when I just couldn't stand to have anybody be angry with me.  Or when, after overextending myself AGAIN recently, my husband informed me that it was time to become friends with the word NO.

But the thing is, I don't like saying NO.  And not just because there's some freaky people pleaser living inside me that probably needs therapy, but because I really DO want to try to do it all. (or at least pretend that I can!) But with two kids, a full-time job and my writing endeavors, adding much else can send me over the edge faster than you can say Lindsay Lohan.

But don't worry, when it comes to my kids, I serve out plenty of the N-O.  For some reason, the people pleaser in me doesn't care if they get mad at me.  Or maybe deep down inside I know that if I don't say NO to them now, I'll pay dearly for it later. But for just about anything else, I'm a complete YES whore.

My college sorority needs an advisor? Sure!  I'm sure that the hour drive to get to campus for events will be worth reliving my glory days, right?

Girl Scout troop needs a co-leader? Sure! Even though I can't control my two children, I'm sure getting fifteen five-year old's to listen to me will be no problemo.  Just don't ask me to sew on any patches.

And it's not just over-volunteering that I have a problem with.  I just dread telling people NO in general-and I have the magazine subscriptions and coupon books and cookie dough to prove it.  It's so bad that Lisa had to have a NO intervention with me recently.  And don't tell anyone, but sometimes she gives me a script on how to say No.  She's my NO coach!

And she's right.  Because often I find myself saying yes to things I shouldn't and over scheduling the sh*t out of myself.  And then sometimes I have to say yes and then NO, which is even worse than just having the balls to say NO in the first place.  So because of that, I've been trying to get my NO on for the last month.  And although I sweated my ass off when I wrote my first NO email, it felt liberating to take control back of my own life.

Need a late night pickup from the airport? Hell to the NO!

You just need one more subscription to win that trip to Europe? No can do!  I've had enough O Magazine to last me a lifetime.

Want me to upgrade my Amex account? No F'ing way-I don't care how cool your concierge service looks!

So as you can see, I'm slowly learning the art of saying no.  But I don't want to go too far in the other direction.  I'll always want to be someone that people can count on when they need something.  Because, like any friend, I really do want to help them if I can.  And I'll never be able to pass someone with  cardboard sign without throwing a couple bucks their way.  But maybe now I'll be better at saying no to the things that ultimately take away from the things that matter most.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll find that elusive balance that I'm seeking. (Yeah right!  But a girl can dream, right?)

How about you? Do you have trouble saying NO?  Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a copy of  the bestselling Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler!  We'll pick the winners on Wednesday night. xo, Liz

Time Zone Trauma by Liz

As you most of you know, Lisa and I have been, well, inseparable since we met our freshman year of high school. (What can I say?  I knew anyone that could pull off red eyeglasses and an LA Gear jean jacket would make a good partner in crime!) And with few exceptions, we've stuck by each others side for the past, *gulp* TWENTY THREE YEARS. And since that fateful day in 1989, we've been like peanut butter and jelly.  Milk and cookies.  Or Grey Goose and olive juice!

So we totally get it when people are a little freaked out by the parallel lives we've been leading since then.  It's even baffled us at some point or another.  Maybe because:

  • We went to college together and lived in same house for years without killing each other! (but just barely, there was an incident involving hand-bending and The Fugitive movie...)
  • We joined the same sorority. (how else could we have scored our fake IDs?)
  • We had the same major AND took all our classes together even after most teachers started calling us BOTH Lisa! (cue my junior year identity crisis...)
  • We have parents that STILL live a mile from each other in San Diego.(My mom is her dad's real estate agent! Does it get any more incestuous than that?)
  • AND, back in the day, we *coincidentally* both dumped our good-for-nothing boyfriends the same week. (Because, of course, we both used to love dating jackasses!)

But that all ended last July when Lisa left me to be with her super fabulous fiance.  And although we didn't actually SEE each other very much when we lived five miles apart(Lisa was always working and Liz was drowning in dirty diapers), it was nice to know that happy hour with her was just a phone call away. (Or an email-in those days her blackberry was permanently glued to her hand.)  Now even trying to talk shit about The Real Housewives of New Jersey requires a major calendar synchronization!

So it's been a tough transition for us.  Because not only are we friends, but we're co-authors and business partners too.  And with Lisa waking up a two hours earlier than me each morning, that leaves a whole lot of emails that I'm opening sans caffienation.

Got an early morning workout in Chicago? I really want to hear about your new yoga class, I really do. But you do realize it's f*cking 4am here, right?

Just can't wait to Facebook about who gets the final rose each Monday night? Hey beyotch!  It's bad enough that PSTers can't even log on to Twitter for fear of spoilers. Now you're doing it too?  Is this because we enjoy sun all year round?

So yes, communicating properly has become a whole lot harder since Lisa headed down Route 66 on her way to her new life.  But the bright spot?  We actually talk live a lot more then we used to when she lived here.  And absence really does make the heart grow fonder-I think I may have actually written "Love you!" on a text the other day (a gesture which very clearly breaks our robot friendship bylaws).

But like any great friendship, we'll make our differences(time differences, that is...) work until we can get in the same time zone once again. And the moral to this story?  Call up your BFF and ask her to meet you for a glass of wine this week.  you never know where life will lead you-take time to enjoy your friendship today!