Please Don’t Ask Me That

I’d like to think that I’m a pretty decent human being. Sure, I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and talking smack about people like Miley Cyrus (seriously there is something not right about her face), but social issues and humanitarian aid are actually pretty high on my priority list as well. And I’m not just talking about the “every word you spell right is another grain of rice for a poor person” sort of humanitarian aid, either. (No offense to those of you who are into that, but seriously go into your kitchen and count out 100 grains of rice and then ask yourself if you really think that could feed a real human person.)

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It cannot, btw, meaning you’d have to spend the better part of a day spelling word after word after word after word after…you get the point.

But this isn’t a post about how awesome I am — don’t worry about that. I mean, I can be pretty awesome (undeniable fact — Shadra once told me I was the raddest of all rads, but I suppose as my best friend she may be, um, biased), but I also spend a lot of time being not as awesome as I wish I actually were. This is a post about that one horrible, terrible, no good, very bad question you get every so often at the grocery store:

“Do you want to donate a dollar to support (fill in the blank) research?”*

This question is inevitably followed by a shameful head hang and a lot of stuttering to produce one two-letter word. I’ve never heard anyone say “No” to a question like this confidently. It’s always the same and it goes something like this:

“Oh, um, no. I mean…yes, yeah I would, of course. I mean, who wouldn’t? But, um, no not today. But that doesn’t mean I don’t support it. I donate money in other ways. I’M A GOOD PERSON, DAMMIT.” Also, shifty eyes.

There’s really no other way to respond. Oh, sure, you can stand in the grocery store check-out line, listening to five other people decline to save children/animals, and try really hard to work up the courage to say no but still feel good about yourself, but it’s not going to work.** You really only have three options: giving in and saying yes so because it sounds awful to say no, stuttering no, or going the “I don’t care about anyone but myself” route and saying no really definitively.

I tried this once and seriously it was so awful. I got a strike in Heaven, I’m pretty sure.

*FOR THE RECORD, yeah I would. I wish I were a gazillionaire so I could actually donate hundreds of thousands of dollars for children’s cancer research and adult cancer research and Multiple Sclerosis research and every other research for every single disease that has ever existed on this planet.

**Confession: I go to the self-checkout line a lot more these days.


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