THE SINGLE BED: When ‘no’ means ‘no more.’

I recently had a call from, let’s just say, a male suitor who I used to spend time with. I was thrilled to hear from him, it was like winning lotto – the ‘which lady does he want to spend his Saturday night with lotto.’ I am proud to say that it had been some time since I had sat at home waiting by the phone to see if my number came up.

That said, it is always a little bit nice to hear from someone who you know is going to wine and dine you. This culinary euphemism is for the benefit of my mother, just in case she is reading; she doesn’t think I have ever even picked up a fork.

Yet for some reason hearing from Mr. Lotto just didn’t give me the same rush that it used to; he seemed to be a little bit like a drug (a legal one obviously) that you take too many times, and just no longer works. He does, however, still come in a very shiny packet.

‘I’m really sorry,’ I hear myself say, ‘but I think I have changed.’ For the record I have no idea what this means, or why I had started to talk as if I had swallowed Buddha or another equally enlightened head of a major world religion. It was just the first thing to come out of my mouth, and it sort of explained why I was rejecting the best offer I had had in weeks (OK a few months.)

His response was even more amusing than mine, ‘Change is good, and I think I have changed too.’

I couldn’t help but giggle and blurt out, ‘Yeah right!’

I couldn’t decide if it was sweet or a tad desperate, that he had decided that if he in some way empathized with my state of mind, he was more likely to get through my front door that night. I suppose I couldn’t hold his new found depth against him; after all, he had never had to work this hard before to get an invite to dinner. I certainly wasn’t trying to make him work hard;  I thought I had made myself pretty clear by adding the words ‘no thanks.’

Then I realized that my ‘no’ really meant ‘no more.’ We weren’t breaking up, as we weren’t dating, although we once had.  Yet I couldn’t help but realize that this was goodbye.

Eventually Mr. Lotto gave up, and I assume tried someone else. I went back to watching Midsummer Murders (I wouldn’t have turned down a young Inspector Barnaby.) I woke up the next day with all the energy of a woman who hadn’t been tempted by legal drugs the night before, and realized that sometimes saying ‘no’ is even more satisfying than saying ‘yes.’ Sometimes…


Sally Beerworth