Demanding wasn’t the right word.
But the man on the other end of the phone was pushy. He wanted me to take action now. And, truth be told, I needed to think about it.
Listen, he said in a big, authoritative voice, if you think you can find something better, you probably can’t.
No, I began, I said I need to think about it and-
I’LL SAY THIS – his voice rose when he interrupted me and dropped when he had regained the floor – there are things you don’t understand here. I’ve been doing this for years; I know about this.
The guy, I knew, would drag the conversation on and on, it was how he wore people down. Years ago, this might have worked on me. But when I was living in D.C., a friend – a brilliant and bighearted woman – had taught me how to hold my ground:
No matter how much they push and prod you, she said, just keep repeating your truth.
So, while this guy threw new ammunition at me – you need to be decisive! – I kept giving him my old truth: Thanks, I need to think about it. Thanks, I need to think about it.
Finally, the man stopped pushing and prodding. Okay, okay, he said. Let me know what you decide.
Sure, I said, hung up and sent a triumphant thank you to my friend. The truth, it seems, bears repeating.