My approach to getting what I want is to never, ever ask. Because if you ask, that gives people the opportunity to say no, and generally speaking, I don’t like hearing the word no. So I figure, if I just announce that things are going to be a certain way, then it’s just easier for all concerned.
As in, I’m going out, taking your car and have no idea when I might return.
As in, I’m using your credit card to book a flight and have no idea when I might be able to pay you back.
As in, I’m moving to England to study for my Masters degree and have no idea what I’ll do after.
Instead of dressing the question up with some obviously fake benefit to The Mom, instead I offer something in return, but unlike the other two, I let her pick.
As in, I’m going to Toronto for the weekend, in your car. While I’m there, do you need anything?
As in, I’m going to the mall to spend your money. While I’m there, do you need anything?
As in, I’m using your visa to book my summer holidays visit home. What do you want from the UK?
Funny thing is, she rarely takes me up on these offers. Which I don’t understand at all. If she ever offers to run an errand for me whilst she’s out, I literally jump at the chance. And when I’m home, and out driving around in her car (normally getting lost or forgetting which streets join up to the few roads I remember), I tell her to call me on my mobile phone should she at the last minute, remember she needs something obscure, like milk.
Unlike Crazy D and L’il Sis, I make no bones that my way is going to be an improvement. It will be, for me at least, but for other people, well that’s other people and thus not really my remit or concern. Granted I do know when I’m pushing my luck and in order to continue getting my way, I try not to do things that are too irritating, too often.
My demands have always been, for the most part, simple. I do not want to speak to anyone before coffee. Coffee takes an hour. This gives people time enough to prepare what they’d like to say or discuss so that it’s not only informative, but also entertaining. I see this as a gift in many ways. People should try to be as entertaining as possible, it makes the world and life more interesting. So why not take a few moments to gather one’s thoughts?
Dinner is served at six in the evening precisely because that way I know when to stop writing. If, say, dinner is held at any old time, then when the call is given, I may be in the middle of a thought and this call will interrupt that thought which I will be unable to get back and will sit through dinner in a foul mood. Nobody wants that. So really, this adherence to the correct dinner hour is really for other people’s benefit, not just mine.
Anyhow, I don’t really see why Crazy D and L’il Sis go to the trouble of making up ridiculous reasons why whatever it is they’re going to do will in any way benefit The Mom. She’s been a mother for thirty-eight years now, she can see bullshit when it comes her way.