Iâ€™m just a girl who canâ€™t say no.
Got your attention, didnâ€™t I? Well get your pervy minds outta the gutter. Weâ€™re not going there. Not today anyway.
No, today Iâ€™m talking about thons. Thatâ€™s right, thons. No, not tuna in French (thon), but â€˜a-thonsâ€™. You know the ones: walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons, spin-a-thons. As much as all the charities bombard us with gift of giving guilt around Christmas time, I always succumb to the old fashioned sponsorship request. Biking for breast cancer? Iâ€™ll give. Dance-off for diabetes? Sign me up. Golfing for gout? Hereâ€™s a twenty.
Iâ€™ve been known to toss many a charity-by-mail request. Sometimes unopened. Thatâ€™s because I know that if read about the starvation in Sudan or the plight of puppies Iâ€™ll immediately get out my Visa. No cause is too small â€“ I always get suckered in. But if I can resist opening these letters, I can assuage my guilt for not giving. So sometimes, I admit it, I dump â€˜em.
Phone requests? Never. In this, the age of call display, I donâ€™t answer unless I know who it is. Usually. If I see the name of an organization, no matter how noble the cause itâ€™s pretty much a given that I wonâ€™t pick up. Again, the guilt factor. Itâ€™s easy to hang up on a telemarketer with a quick â€œsorry-no-time-thanks-byeâ€. But when someone asks you directly to give to leukemia? How can you say no without sounding like a selfish ass? You canâ€™t.
I hate having to call up and – gasp – speak to someone. It makes me feel like my donation, while big for me, is a paltry drop in the bucket. And itâ€™s not the kind soul on the other end of the phoneâ€™s fault either. Itâ€™s my own guilt talking. My personal preference is the email request. Always personal, but not too personal. And itâ€™s convenient too. Just click and pay. No talking.
Actually, I did have one friend who sent me an email request that I deleted (the email, grammar police, not the friend). And I still feel badly about it. OK, not so bad that I’ve retrieved the email and sent something. I didn’t. ‘Cuz while obviously important to my friend, this cause was, for me, simply too small a fish in a vast ocean of deserving causes. But I feel kinda guilty. And of course every time I see that friend I wonder if they’re on to me. Or if they think I’m a miser. Or a tightwad. Maybe now they’ll bust me and start. But I hope not.
That one blip aside, chez moi if youâ€™re a friend, and you ask, youâ€™ll get lucky. How could it be any other way? Forget about the guilt of not giving, I can’t leave a friend high â€˜n dry. Fact is, no matter how broke you are, someone else has got it worse. Waaaaay worse.
Excuse me while I hop off my high horse here.
Iâ€™m not saying youâ€™ve got to drop a hunny every time someone asks. Letâ€™s face it, that gets expensive. And while your friends are getting fit and having a grand ole time, youâ€™re going broke. And that’s no fun at all. But a little something, no matter how tiny, does go a long way. Yeah, I know you’re not supposed to judge what someone gives. I’m not. I’m judging what they don’t give.
Whoa Triggerâ€¦looks like Iâ€™m still riding that horse.
Donâ€™t get me wrong: Iâ€™m hardly the most generous of souls. Iâ€™m neither the gal whoâ€™s volunteering nor the hard-core crusader. My spare change, and anything I can scrounge, is usually spent on clothing â€“ for me or my kiddies (after all, charity begins at home). But I still try to do my part â€“ in a lazy, sit-back-and-sponsor kinda way. Yep, that’s me, saving the world one tiny tax-deductible donation at a time.
If youâ€™re one of my regular readers – or shall I say, one of my regular, local, readers – you’ve probably been hit up by me in recent days. Possibly even twice. Hey – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And yes, youâ€™re absolutely correct if, as you read, youâ€™re thinking â€œhey wait, this is more of a guilt trip than a guilty pleasureâ€. But before you close me down and go back to work or whatever it is you’re really supposed to be doing, give yourself a little pat on the back. Youâ€™ve just completed a guilt-a-thon!
Congratulations! Now open your wallet….