Sitting with Garry watching a rerun of The Virginian. The story? A young woman is visiting Shiloh taking a hiatus on her relationship. It’s supposed to be a six week separation during which she can discover if she really loves him. But he shows up and starts to pressure her to marry him right away. She’s reluctant because she promised her father to not see him and she’s disappointed in her beau for pushing her.

It’s a common story, one which I’ve lived personally and watched so many others go through, holding a hand while they agonized through their “apart” time.

Garry commented we’d played this one out recently, right here at home. Not us. The granddaughter. We’re too old for that stuff.

“True,” I conceded. “One of the very few things my father told me that turned out to be true was whenever someone is pressuring you for an immediate answer, say no. Because when they are pressuring you, they’ve got an agenda. When in doubt, say no.”

Yes No

It makes a lot of stuff that seems complicated very simple. If they need an answer right now, the answer is no. If the property will be gone if you think it over until tomorrow? Say no. If the price will go up before you have time to decide if you really want it? No! All those other candidates are waiting in the wings, so they need your answer immediately? Uh uh. Nope.

I wish I’d followed this piece of advice. I can remember so many times I said yes and lived to regret it. The jobs I accepted because I was scared to keep looking. The relationships I got into (then had to get out of) because I was too insecure to stand my ground. Things I bought from high pressure salesmen — real estate, cars, and who remembers what else. Saying no would have saved me years of misery and a great deal of money.

All I had to do was say no.