By Sean A. Donahue © 2005
Many times I have been forced into bad decisions. There were times in my life I wish and some days choose to forget. I've made decisions to help friends when I should pass and to walk closer instead of running away.
Then I came to West Texas.
The simple West Texas attitude is infectious. Give me a beer, George Strait and a karaoke machine to sing Hotel California or The Chair and a West Texan has found Nirvana. For they love to drink, smoke, chew and party.
But they don't say no.
I thought I had the perfect idea when I came up with my concept of a one-stop shop for bands looking for gigs and bars looking for bands. It was mildly successful but I always ran into the West Texas No.
You see it's like in West Texas they say yes when they are good and ready but you'll rarely hear them say no. "I'll think about it" or "Call me back in a week" were excuses that I heard from club owners. I never was told "Hell No!" or "Son what are you thinking?" or "Lose this number" from them. I always was encouraged with a friendly hello, even by the bastards that I knew hated my guts. But I was never told no.
I guess in the "Drive Friendly" state of Texas they never wanted to offend anybody.
So rather than saying no, they didn't say. If I had deadlines to meet, they blew right by them. If I needed an answer right that second, they were nowhere to be found.
Apologies were always issued. "Man, sorry we never got together," "If you could have seen the mess I had to clean up the other day," were typical West Texas comebacks.
But you couldn't deny them. Maybe their phone did get dropped into a toilet by their six year old; maybe they did have a toilet explode at their offices.
Or maybe they didn't have the heart to say no to you.
I catch myself giving people the West Texas No now. Not returning calls until after a deadline, hiding from the office so I don't have to tell the woman that I have no more concert tickets. Hiding from my mother occasionally when I have no good news to pass on.
Is the West Texas No infectious? I don't think so. I believe that the West Texas No is society's way of dealing with feelings. We are a feeling society, we care about what we all think and feel.
Some days I wish we hadn't been so touchy feel good. Just give me the bad news, tell me no and don't get my hopes up. But we need to feel like we can get an easy path out. We don't tell our girlfriends that it isn't the dress that makes her look fat but the fifty pounds in her ass. We don't tell our friends that we can't stand their brother or sister and we certainly don't want to see their mother either.
But we live in a "Feel Good NOW!" society.
We don't live in reality anymore. In reality exists the words Yes and No.
We live in a society shadowed by incredible shades of gray and no matter what we think white or black is, we exists in the shadows. The West Texas No exists in those shadows. The shadows of feelings and believes that we shouldn't put someone down, just lead them on.
Do I plan on giving the West Texas No to anybody else? I dunno, ask me next week.
Sean A. Donahue is a freelance writer, radio personality and poker amateur. He has been published in For Kids Sake Magazine, Sunlight through the Shadows and is the author of InstantTragedy.com, a website looking a life, liberty, and the ability to have Instant Tragedy when you just add water. He is divorced with two children and lives in Lubbock Texas.