Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. . .
You will never run into me in the Self-Help aisle at Borders. My mother, on the other hand, will read every tome in the joint. And, with very little provocation, she will share with you her theories about why you are so screwed up and what titles you can read to help change your life today. Something like Get Out of Your Own Way or Stop Blaming Mommy.
This is a woman who, when I fell ill to normal childhood ailings like the common cold, would realign my chakras and perform Reiki on me before succumbing to the far more successful over-the-counter medicines like Robitussin.
"Mind over matter, sweetie. A positive attitude makes the strep throat go away."
Her persistent metaphysical beliefs did not necessarily mold me into a pious woman.
Although I believe in a Higher Being and pray and meditate and think about the afterlife, I am not a sancitified guru. I like cynicism and pessimism. I like to scoff. Sometimes, you will hear me mutter, "Bah."
Recently, however, I have read a book that someone might place on a Self-Help shelf. That same someone might call it a guide to changing your life. It could, in different hands, even be used to start some flaky commune cult.
Although I have read it and found it immensely inspirational, I am recommending it to Miss Hag. readers based solely on its entertaining merits. It's gut bustingly funny. If you learn something or gain something in the process, well, more power to you. I simply endorse it as a great read.
The book, by Danny Wallace, is a true account of a year in his life. It is called Yes Man. Danny begins his story with a moment of epiphany, a moment that changed his life. After going through a breakup and losing a girl he liked, Danny found himself staying home a lot. Turning down invitations for beers at the pub. His friends came to expect him to come up with any excuse not to hang out.
One evening, London's Tube breaks down and Danny finds himself riding a bus home. On the bus, he has a conversation with a bearded stranger who gives him some advice that he takes very seriously. He takes it literally even.
The stranger says, "Say yes more."
And so, Mr. Danny Wallace decides that for the next 6 months (until midnight of New Year's Eve), he will say "yes" to every invitation and request made to him. Anything that is asked in the form of a request, Danny will do it. Danny says, "Yes."
This one change brings him all over the world. He gets a promotion and wins a large amount of money. He buys a car he doesn't need and becomes a minister over the internet. He also purchases penis patches from his email spam and gatecrashes his ex-girlfriend's first date with another man.
Danny has hilarious and enlightening adventures because he says "yes" to everything the universe serves up.
I really wanted to try this for a short period before posting about the book. I wanted to try to say "yes" for a whole day. Just to share my funny and exciting adventures saying "yes" to every invitation put forth to me.
But, I couldn't do it. I'd say to myself, "Maybe tomorrow."
It's not that I don't believe that the way of "Yes" has much to offer. The basis of the idea is one that I firmly believe will change one's life: opening yourself up to the universe. However, it's not something I could just choose to do. It's sort of like losing weight or saving money. I know that if I do either (or both), my life will change for the better. But, still I put it off.
I read the book, but it didn't change my self at the last turn of page, although I certainly talk and think about it with everyone. No, I'm not a "Yes Woman." Not because I'm afraid to accept everything offered to me. I guess I'm just more of a "Yes, But Maybe Later Gal" for now.