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The word "nope" is a funny, magical sort of word. If you ask someone for a favor and they just say "no", there's a little room to work there. You can try reason, begging, etc and maybe, just maybe, you can convince the person you're speaking with to see things your way. But when someone says "nope", there's finality to it. "Nope" has a sort of cockiness to it, arrogance really. It says "there is no way I'm going to do what you ask, and I'll be amused if you try to convince me; I'm not budging". I especially like when the second syllable is emphasized as in "no-PUH". There is another variation I learned from Mrs. G when I was in high school; NERP. NERP is worse than "nope" because it has the entire cocky flavor "nope" does, but with a little extra salt in the wound.

I've learned to embrace the word "nope" while on my lifestyle change journey, and it works to perfection. The other day for instance, I was at a BBQ when the hostess started asking if people wanted desert. Apparently, she had made way too much and was actually nagging people to eat some more. Most of us had eaten enough already, and when she was going around the table trying to persuade us to eat, I could see people squirming with the internal conflict of not wanting any, but not wanting to be rude either. Some accepted, some suddenly had to use the facilities, and some pretended not to hear. I, however, gave her the old "nope" and stared her dead in the eye when I said it. She looked like a puppy that heard a whistle for the first time as she cocked her head, started to say something, but decided against it and moved on to the next person. See?! Magical! I was not rude, or unappreciative, just firm. And yes, I did emphasize the "PUH".

"Nope" can be used in any variety of situations to garner the same effect. I choose to not overuse it as saying it too much can relegate the meaning to that of "no", therefore making the word useless. Also, I'd use NERP with close friends and family ONLY. There is so much attitude to the word that it has been known to solicit right hooks that start from Kansas.

So, I have another weapon against the plethora of obstacles facing me during this whole process. I encourage you to use it when faced with one of them. The thing is, later on when my host was cleaning up and trying to fit brownies, coconut cream pies, and cupcakes into the fridge, I could have easily snuck by her with no hard feelings and a little less time on the treadmill. But did I?


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I am collecting Salt and Pepper Pots whenever I can and where ever I find them. They are so beautiful. Besides they are useful and complete my kitchen and dinner table.

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About the blogger

You know how it goes. The kids come along, there’s less time for you and in trying to keep up with their busy lives, your eating choices aren’t always so hot.

Greg Ortiz is a 39-year-old south suburban man who, tried, with the Sun-Times’ help, once before to get back to the athletic — and thinner — guy he once was.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Greg Ortiz published on June 9, 2009 6:00 AM.

School is IN was the previous entry in this blog.

Fruits and Vegetables is the next entry in this blog.

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