The Yes Girl by K Webster
There’s a part inside of each of us that’s eager to please. A part of us that wants to be the recipient of someone’s smile and praise. A part of us that wants to be known as the agreeable one. This quiet, lovable creature within is called The Yes Girl.
Can you and the kids come to Ethan’s party on Saturday? Yes.
Can you bring refreshments to Bunko since Susan had to cancel at the last minute? Yes.
Can you donate just five dollars to this simple cause? Yes.
Eventually, after a lifetime of practiced yesses, The Yes Girl becomes strong. She dons a brilliant white cape and she places her pale booted foot upon that gigantic rock of life and leans into the wind, a sweet smile upon her face. The Yes Girl is reliable and a sure bet. A girl who will help you out when no one else can.
But at some point, The Yes Girl begins to dole out yesses that should be noes. She starts to feel the pressure of too many people coming forward with their requests. Her reputation says she’ll say yes, after all.
Can you watch my kids so my husband and I can have a date weekend? I know you did it three months in a row but I promise I’ll pay you back with your own date night next month.
Can you adopt this kitten? My cat had a litter of them and I hate to take them to the pound.
Can you lend me forty dollars until pay day? I know I still owe you the sixty so this’ll make it an even hundred.
The Yes Girl, with frustrated tears in her eyes and with overwhelming embarrassment, throws in the towel. She retreats into the shadows and hides.
But don’t worry, The Yes Girl is protected. The No Girl sharpens her claws, bares her teeth, and goes in for damage control. She’s been waiting for her moment to shine.
Can you bake brownies for the PTA— No.
My daughter is selling Girl Scout cookies and—No.
Our car broke down and we need—No.
The Yes Girl desperately tugs on The No Girl’s black cape. “That was my best friend,” she says. “That lady up at the church has nobody else,” she explains. “That guy works with my husband,” she tries. But The No Girl is furious. Where were these people when she was going crazy from being overworked and overmommed? When she just needed five minutes to grab a latte along with her sanity? Where were these so-called friends and family when everyone in the household got the flu and she ended up taking care of everyone despite her illness? Where were these people when she suffered with depression and sadness and loneliness all the while serving their every whim?
The No Girl knows. Her words are cold and harsh. “They were hooking up with another Yes Girl. But don’t worry, just until you’re better—until you put me back into my cage.”
And so both girls, from opposite sides of the spectrum, face off, wondering what to do. How to make things right. How to help but not get taken advantage of. The Yes Girl wants to run and hide again. The No Girl thinks they need more knives.
“Maybe you can meet in the middle?”
A girl, dressed in gray, but with a smile that matches The Yes Girl’s and shiny, black boots which make The No Girl envious, emerges from shadows. She has a solution. A brilliant idea.
“Yes Girl, straighten your back,” she says.
“No Girl, use this file for those nails of yours,” she instructs.
The girls step back and let The Maybe Girl do her job.
Can you come to the Christmas Party? We might be able to.
Can you bake cookies for the bake sale at school? Probably not, but I can pick up some paper plates and plastic forks.
Can you watch little Aiden on Friday since I have to work and nobody else can help? I don’t mind this one time…But I’ll need to bring my kiddos over Wednesday for a few hours while I take care of some errands (the toes don’t do themselves).
The Yes Girl is stunned into silence. The No Girl is nodding her head—this could work. And the Maybe Girl hugs them both.
“You,” she tells them with a kind smile, “are the most important. And the ones who love you will understand when you say maybe. The ones who don’t understand can take a hike.”
And so all three girls learn how to manage their time and decisions when it comes to other people with a healthy balance of yesses, noes, and maybes. They lived very happily ever after.
Moral of the story: Don’t be a Yes Girl. Don’t be a No Girl. Be a Maybe Girl…she has cool shoes and free time.