Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sometimes You Just Have to Say "Yes"

So awhile ago, before all this came about, I set up a meeting for this afternoon with Jenna. Jenna is going to be working on a project starting in a couple weeks that it just so happens I know a bit about. She asked if we could get together and have coffee so she could pick my brain. As I was driving downtown to meet her (cursing the cost of gas) I thought wryly about the fact I had just decided to avoid expensive coffee shops - and here I was, driving down to one. Then I had an epiphany - in the "good old days" when I spent money pretty freely, I would have invited her lunch, not coffee. Lunch would probably cost me $8 - maybe more, as I know she is a starving college student and I would have offered to pick up her tab too. It also occurred to me that I didn't need to get a $4 latte - I could look at the menu and see if there is something more reasonable. Frankly, a hot tea sounded really good. It struck me that meeting in a coffee shop was actually a good idea if I managed it well - far cheaper than meeting for lunch or even for cocktails! (That Jenna's a smart cookie!)

So, I got downtown and had another small brainstorm. Instead of driving all over, trying to find a perfect spot, I just took the first decent parking spot I saw. It saved me time, gasoline (ugh), and I got a little exercise and fresh air on a beautiful afternoon. After writing the $1.25 I put in the parking meter carefully in my little notebook, I headed off to meet Jenna.

In the coffee shop I checked out the menu. Coffees were all pretty much $3 - $4. A large hot tea was only $1.85. Sold! Then Jenna stepped up to pay the tab. For moment I argued - my $2 firmly in hand... and then I relented. It suddenly hit me - I was taking an hour out of my work day, paying for gas downtown (gulp) and spent $1.25 in parking... to give her a one on one class. If she wanted to buy my tea, I should stop being so pigheaded and be ok with that. After all what do I feel my time is worth? Besides, now she feels that she has done something for me and won't feel obligated, so it really works on several levels. (And I'm not just being a cheapskate!)

Another thing came up recently which is a lot more than a $2 honey and ginger green tea. Every year my friends go to Cedar Point. This year I got the email to see who was all going - and I had to email back that I just couldn't do it this time. Then Maureen emailed me back and asked me to be her guest. Naturally everything in me wanted to say no. I am pretty stubborn and not good at taking charity. But then I read this: Maybe in 20 years I’ll need you to lend me a hand….i know it would be there for me. So please, plan on the trip and know that you are a big part of our life. The woman knows how to hit me where it hurts!! How could I say no to that?

...besides, if I am stubborn, she is twice as much so - and more experienced and better at it than I am. I am pretty sure if I said no she would just have my friends knock me out and throw me in the back of the car and not let me wake up until we were deep in Ohio!

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