Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yes, but.....

The interaction between me and a friend, who is complaining about her weight and not getting any exercise;

I suggest walking. I offer to go with her. "Yes, but that hurts my knees."

Swimming? That's easy on your joints. "On no, my skin is too dry to tolerate chlorine."

Sit ups? "They kill my back."

But sit ups will help your back, really. "Yes, but i just hate doing them."

How about biking? "Yes but the seat hurts my fanny." (Yes, she used the word fanny.)

I give up.


I wrote the above a few days ago, thinking to be all superior. Maybe you would comment about how great i am, and after some token arguing i would agree.

Then came the part where i realize that i'm an ass.

There are a few things that i need to work on, but my very own "Yes, buts" get in the way. Not so superior am i. I will try to say goodbye to my "Yes, buts." Then, when i am perfect, probably by the middle of next week, i will feel free to criticize others.


thailandchani said...

I got tired of "yes, buts". Nowadays, I prefer "I'd prefer not to do that just now." :)

Liv said...

I've been full up with blocking everyone's irritating suggestions to me lately. I'd just prefer to be put to sleep.

Anonymous said...

We all do have our "yes, buts". Sometimes, I don't mind having my own pointed out to me. It's humbling and oddly liberating all at the same time.

Gordo said...

Inertia is a terrible thing: I work at a University and staff gets free access to the phys-ed centre. THere just happens to be an open swim weekdays at lunch. Can I drag my expanding ass out of my office a couple of times a week to take advantage? Heck no.

Marshamlow said...

It is always easier to fix friends than it is to fix ourselves.

flutter said...

sounds like a "yes but"t out.

Unfortunate,though. You were being awesome to volunteer to go with her.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

You forgot the suggestion of "not eating". :-)

She Who Eats Way Too Much Herself

Lynn said...

It is sometimes so difficult to take responsibiltiy for saying 'no' to something that we really don't want to do. Yet, we expect our children to stand up for themselves and say 'no, I don't want to do that'. sheesh

Andrea Frazer said...

I think you're being hard on yourself.

meno said...

chani, that is an honest answer, and would be appreciated.

liv, you know that people just want to help because they love you. But of course i understand.

jennifer, yes, although i only got the humbling part of this one.

gordo, it's hard, i know. When i worked, i could not do it, although i should have.

marsha, yes, that's what made me realize i was being a jerk.

flutter, i'd walk with you too. :)

cagey, ha ha. I think she would have smacked me for that one.

lynn, it's a dichotomy for sure. We want our kids not to make our same mistakes, but sometimes they must.

mamap, i am, but i needed it in this case, 'cause i was being judgemental.

Anonymous said...

Just curious--What would happen if you pushed it back on her instead of offering her your own selection of choices?
Like: What kind of exercise do you dislike the least? Or: What foods do you find easiest to limit or give up? Or: So how long do you find you can walk before you have to stop? Or: When you do walk, where do you like to go? Or: Do you find it easier to walk on the beach, where the sand is soft, or at the mall, where you get to enjoy the window shopping? Or: What amount of exercise are you trying to build up to? Or: Do you find that different kinds of bike seats are equally uncomfortable? Or: Do you find it easier to diet or to exercise?
And then just listen to the response, perhaps nod, not push it any further, just leave it in her court.
(Or would this kind of approach ruin your friendship?)

Candy said...

Whenever I find myself doing the "yes buts" I stop and tell the person I'm talking to that, while I value their opinion, I wasn't bitching because I wanted their unsolicited advice. I just want someone to talk to.

I'm not usually that nice about it when I say it, but it goes something like that.

QT said...

Ugh - I DETEST this, and have tried to minimize my own "Yes, buts"

I could really go on a rant here, so I will stop!

Anonymous said...

I dunno Meno, what should you have said? She was complaining and you were trying to help.

"Sucks being fat and lazy?"

amusing said...

Complain. Whine. Victim. (See Meno's previous post on the attraction -- or not -- of victimhood).

We all seem to have some version of it we do. Just as those who are against are usually louder than those who are for a thing. Just as we seem to be bothered longer about the person who cuts us off in traffic than we are joyous about the way the sunlight seems to illuminate the yellow leaves of that maple tree.

I don't know why it is, but it seems to be universal.

So I slap myself around and try to focus on that pretty tree.

peevish said...

I wish I were as self-aware as you are. I do find myself becoming fare less judgemental the older I get. I guess I can see more viewpoints now, and I'm less likely to make snap-judgements about people.

Lynnea said...

Hey, next week you'll be welcomed to the club of perfect. We are so ultra cool and know everything that is wrong with everyone else. And we make weekly lists of how others have kept us from doing the things we want or need to do, how others are to blame for the way our lives are not going right, and how others should just step aside and let us be first. I'll send you the club manifesto. *Tee hee*

Mermaid Melanie said...

probably by the middle of next week... :giggles:

I have yes butts too. dangit.

Em said...

We all have our "yes buts"...and if we didn't notice other peoples "yes buts", we would get stuck paying too much attention to our own. Definitely NOT a good thing! LOL

Mrs. Chili said...

We all have our ways of avoiding the good advice we're given, don't we?

meno said...

pat, no, it wouldn't ruin our friendship, because there's not a whole lot there to be ruined. Next time i'll try it.

candy, i like to make that distinction too. Sometimes i'm just bitching and i don't want advice.

franki, heh heh. Perfect.

amusing, How well you have captured it. It's not her fault you know, because of genetics.

peevish, you are self-aware. It took me a few days to realize that i was being a hypocrite.

maggie, i sure hope there's a cool secret handshake too!

melanie, stick around, see if i'm not.

em, yeah, and if we noticed them, we might have to DO something about them. Can't have that.

mrs. chili, we are all quite adept at it.

sari said...

Gosh if I had to wait until I was perfect, I'd never be able to open my mouth.

And I'd just be left with my petty little thoughts. :-)


Lynnea said...

Oh there is. You take your hand and hold it palm toward your face with your fingers together. Then you rapidly smack yourself on the forehead.

Then you say, damn I'm a dork.
I'm a premium member. :-)

Mother of Invention said...

If we never had our "yes, buts", I figure we would have each conquered the world by now. I have quite a few, BUT if it's something I really want to do, they're nowhere in sight!

Dick said...

I have an indoor, year around heated swimming pool but am rarely in it. However, I do go to the YMCA three times a week for a class I take there. Somehow it is easier to exercise when doing it with others.

Loosing weight is just a matter of burning up more calories than you are adding by eating. I guess one could do that by going on a 30-day fast but I think there are other health benefits to exercising that just cutting back on the food intake won't give you. Plus I've met some neat people there, including two in my class who are over age 92. And they are still exercising three times a week!

Anonymous said...

I always say yes to butts -- Brad Pitt's butt, George Clooney's butt, Harrison Ford's butt (back (ha!) in the day)...

Bobealia... said...

One day at a time.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you knew my mother.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

hi meno! i keep seeing your icon picture on other people's blog comments so i thought i'd come over and check out your blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that I claim the prize as the queen of 'yes buts,' but I prefer to claim 'open mindedness' but that's mere personal bias.

meno said...

sari, good thing i'll be perfect by the middle of next week. :)

maggie, oh no! You have revealed the secret to the uninitiated. Will you have to kill us?

moi, that's always the way with "yes, buts" If it's something you WANT to do, no reason to find excuses.

dick, exercise gives me way more benefits than burning calories. Like keeping me sane when the grey skies descend upon us in November and last until June.

nancy, i'd say yes to one of those butts. :)

bo, it's not like i'm quitting drinking.

my pool, god, my mom does this too.

wayfarer, well hi back, thanks for coming by.

maddy, open-minded puts it in a much better light. I'll keep that in mind.

Lynnea said...

Yes but I'm too tired to kill you.

Unknown said...

I'm famous for my "yes, but"s, though I find a variety of ways to say it besides using those two little words.

Tink said...

Is your friend Hoop's Mom? Seriously. The woman eats honey buns for breakfast and KFC for dinner. She complains that her knees hurt and that she can't find friends or dates. But when we bring up simple exercises, the excuses fly out. It's very frustrating.

egan said...

Look at you staring in the mirror examining your own life. I love it.

Antonia Cornwell said...

This is right along the lines of a blog post I wrote yesterday and decided not to publish. My blog isn't anonymous enough.

Trouble with your blog Meno, is that every post inspires me to comment, but it inspires me to write about ten paragraphs because it's too darn thought-provoking and I get all Ooo! Ooo! I have a story about that! Then it gets too long to leave as a comment, or my hands get tired and fall off halfway through typing.

See, even this comment's on its third paragraph now. I'll shut up. Ahem.

Anonymous said...

"Hi, I haven't abandoned reading you, I'm just up to my arse in alligators."

meno said...

maggie, thank heavens for small favors. But you'd have to catch me first.

andrea, it's only annoying when she complains heavily about something and then rejects any and all simple solutions.

tink, maybe she is! I used to have a cube mate who complained about being fat all the time and then would eat a maple bar and chocolate milk for breakfast. God, i love donuts, but i sure don't remember the last time i had one.

egan, as one if those famous philosopher dudes once said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

antonia, oh what could you possibly have to do other than blog and write comments? Slacker! Send it on here, i'll publish. I have no shame.

irrelephant, it never occured to me that you had. I hope they are at least small alligators.

Anonymous said...

I hate Dick because he has an in-ground, year-round swimming pool that he doesn't use. Hey Dick! What's up with that?! Can I come over and swim every day? Where do you live?

luckyzmom said...

My treadmill sits practically in the middle of the livingroom. I use it in spurts and then abandon it. I have lots of excuses but there's only one good reason....I am immature and self indulgent. Well, maybe just the latter. Oh, yes, and I lack disapline.

crazymumma said...

hell girl, You were just trying. Anyone can cope with a few yes buts.

Cheesy said...

I need to focus and finally say No and goodbye to my butt!