Who’s that one friend you can’t say no to?

I met her during my university days. We were roommates, later we became good friends, besties as some may call us today. Every week, we would walk to the university market to buy the essentials. The list would include items like a bottle of jam, packets of instant noodles, a box of stapler pins, a bundle of A4 sheets, loofah, detergent, et al. I’d make a mental note of the items or scribble them down on a piece of paper. Yet, each time, I would end up deviating from the listed items. I’d return to my room with items such as a bottle of moisturiser, bearing a brand name I’d never heard of; a pair of socks, I didn’t require; sandwich bags; just in case the need arose; and more. “Oh, aren’t these socks, adorable?” she’d say and a sale would be made. “We must try these cookies,” would follow next. Neither she nor I were spendthrifts — we’d spend wisely (borderline miserly). Actually, we saved enough to buy two return tickets to Goa, India. But, there she was always, with her tempting suggestions.

As years passed by and my collection of ‘smells great’ deodorants and ‘must-try’ adventure experiences, amongst other things, increased, I ‘suffered’ and begun to accept that she is about honest and good intentions. She’d always want to share the things and experiences with me. ‘I can’t let you miss on something that I have (and think) access to’, she’d say. She’s been a great friend. Lately, she advised me to enroll in for an online digital marketing course. “I am thinking of doing it, you should too.” Done.

More than two decades of friendship later, I am also certain that she is not a stubborn person and takes arguments well. She just can’t help, but express her intention to share, and likewise, I can’t help but agree. And as much as I hate to admit, but the real reason why I always nod to her requests, tantrums, and everything else in between is that I really don’t want to say no to her. It’s my fault too.

We all have that one friend, right? The one, who calls us up at nine pm and asks us to join them for dinner and we show up, even if we’ve had a long day and dinner! The one friend who gets us to buy a bungee jumping ticket. The one who comes to our place with two identical cardigans just because it will suit both of us. The one who feels it would be great if we could plan our job resignation and wedding date in such a manner that they match! The funny bit is that this friend may or not be good at making puppy faces. Nevertheless, each time, we bow down, willingly.

There are friends who can never say no to us and we take pride in that fact. Incidentally, it is as beautiful a feeling to have a friend that we can’t say no to. Do you too have that one friend? If yes, count yourself fortunate. The downside, this friend knows your weakness.

Yes, I can’t bring myself to say no to her. No wonder, from university days until, she has succeeded in 'bullying' me and our albums are full of unique memories! Would we have it any other way? No.

This piece was first published in Khaleej Times.


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© 2018 by PURVA GROVER