When I was in elementary school, my dad got up every school day and prepared a hot breakfast. As he would “fix my plate” he would always begin by saying “Say ‘When.'” During early elementary I would say “ok” or “That’s enough,” but we all know that our sense of humor develops as we mature. One day I decided that instead of my standard response I would try something new. This particular morning, once again, Dad said “Say ‘When.'” So, when he had put enough food on my plate I piped up with an enthusiastic “When!”, walked away with my plate, and ate my breakfast. Of course, Daddy thought this was funny, and so did I; it kinda became a running joke with us. We basically did this each morning until I started preparing my own breakfast.
To this day anytime someone is preparing my food or pouring my coffee, I’ll say “When,” or if the situation is reversed I’ll tell whomever to “Say ‘When.'” It just became a habit for me to do this and to respond in this manner.
One thing that I have learned of late is that most people have no problem repsonding with a “yes” and quite a few must encourage themselves often to repond with a “no” to those questions that require our time, money, and other resources. But there are those of us who after having answered yes to a request, realize that maybe we spoke too soon, yet we take issue with reversing our committed affirmative. Most of us, especially in the South, are taught-pretty much from birth-that our word is our bond and are not at all okay with going back on our word.
But I submit this day that when your affirmative response becomes detrimental to your well-being (both mental and physical), your family, your livelihood, or any other personal matter; you should pipe up with an enthusiastic “WHEN!” and simply walk away.
Saying when is different from saying no in that with a “no” response you have said, “This is not something or someone I’m interested in. I do not wish to take part in this, etc.” When you’ve said “When,” you-at one time-have said yes to something or someone but are now saying, “You know what, I thought I could handle this, but I can’t. I know I said yes, but….” It is always acceptable to say when you have had enough of something or someone. As this behavior is practiced, it will become second nature to feel free to reverse some decision made in haste, out of obligation, or just from being stupid at one singular moment in our lives.
Starting today, I reserve the right to rescind any yes that I have given. I will place myself above pride or ill thoughts.
I will say “WHEN!” and walk away.