When I ask the Greek God(zilla) a question that he does not want to answer, or about something he does not want to think about, involves him having to get up off the sofa or out of bed, or costs money, his go-to response is always No.
There is no pause for thought, no weighing up of the pros and cons, it is just a big flat No.
‘Shall we book our flights to Crete today?’
‘How about we invite some friends over for a BBQ tomorrow?’
‘What do you think of this coffee table?’
‘Can you do the school drop-off this morning?’
Then he goes away and has a think about it, sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for 5-weeks, and eventually will come back to me and say ‘Let’s book our flights today!’, ‘I’ve invited so-and-so over for a BBQ tomorrow’, ‘Do we really need a new coffee table?’ and ‘I can do the school run today’.
Over the years, I have learnt to leave him alone during this reflective period. Any attempt to bring the question up again will be perceived as nagging and result in an even more stubborn NO. After seeking advise from an expert – his mother, who is also married to a No-man – I adopted the ‘plant the seed and walk away’ motto, which has worked to my advantage many times.
‘Shall we redecorate?’ No.
‘Can you help me move the oak bookcase to the kitchen?’ No.
‘Let’s get our 5-year old’s really cool colour wheel painting framed’ No.
‘What do you think about me going back to NYC again this year?’ No.
‘I’m going to make your mum’s spanakopita’ No.
He is still mulling over the coffee table and new hardwood floors, but I am confident these will come as I overheard him discussing it with our decorator.
However, I am worried our son might have inherited the same condition.
‘Can I have a cuddle?’ No.
‘Eat your lunch’ No.
‘Brush your teeth’ No.
‘Let’s go swimming’ No.
‘Do you want ice-cream?’ Yes.