the unequivocal no

One of the greatest pleasures of getting older is being absolutely comfortable saying no and expressing anger. Recently, I was with Los Kids visiting my parents. On our elevator, was an older Asian man in his 60s and younger one in his 20s, both dressed in suits. They were Korean. I noticed them immediately, since they were buzzed in at the same time as me, and there are no other Asians in my parents building. We made chit chat in the elevator, and then I noticed they were going to the same floor.

Older man: Do you speak Korean?
Me: (apologetic) No, sorry. Oh, are you visiting my parents?
Older man: Yes.
Me: [still warm] Are you friends of theirs?
Older man: We are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Needle off the record. I cannot believe this.

Me: You need to turn around right now and leave this building immediately. My father is not well and you will only upset him.
Older man: Oh okay.

They left. I said everything very calmly, my heart rate not that much faster. They were trading on our common ethnic heritage to gain audience and access to our building. And it just so happens, my father despises organized religion. Had they not left, I would have threatened to call the police.

God, and that is the beautiful thing about aging. As you grow more comfortable in your skin, you feel more powerful and you are so all out of f*cks. Like if you call the Tina Lee “f”s store, like sorry, they’re all out.

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