"No" is one of the hardest things for people to say and often they regret the times they either did or at least they relive the decision and wonder how things could be different if they had. (Content has been edited for clarity)
"I walked to the bars when I was in college. This night was in the dead middle of a Wisconsin winter and snow had been falling for a few hours. As I approach a dark intersection, I saw this woman stumbling. I asked if she was ok and she said that she was trying to get home. She couldn't even pronounce where she lived.
Thinking to myself, 'This girl needs help,' I tried taking her to a pizza place nearby to get warm and maybe some water. They told me that she was too wasted to be there, so I tried explaining the situation to no avail. We started walking in the direction that she thought was until she meandered down an alley where two random, older guys got out of a pretty old, beat up pickup truck.
This is where it gets weird.
They immediately asked what she was doing, so I explained the situation. By this time, an hour had passed and I can only imagine how long she had been out. So they invited us into their apartment. I declined at first, thinking exactly what you are thinking now, but ultimately decide against frostbite. I looked into this apartment complex and it was pretty run down. I heard some yelling across the way, saw some mold on the walls, and when we entered their apartment, I saw low lit rooms and mess everywhere. It didn't seem too pleasant.
The guys turned out to be fantastic gentlemen. They laid her down on the couch, got a blanket for her, offered me a cold one, and we watched the Florida State game while she sobered up. After an hour or so, she woke up and told me where she lives. We called a cab service to get her home, but all estimates were 3+ hours because of the snow and all the other people taking cabs. The guys offer us a ride. I don't know who raised those men, but I fully appreciate human beings like them.
Anyway, to answer the initial question, the girl started to feel my crotch while we were in the truck. Fully grabbing my dong like a lil' smokey weenie on Super Bowl Sunday. The guy was laughing quietly to himself. He dropped us off and the girl invited me in. I declined, saying that I had to get to my friends who have been waiting for me the last three hours."
"When I was a junior in high school, I played piano and organ at my church. It was a great job. I had done it since being a freshman and loved music. Say what you want about religion, but the music is passionate. I'm classically trained, so I appreciate the ethereal sound of it.
My church was going through a reconstruction and there was a dedication concert we had put together. I say we... I was pretty involved with all aspects of the music program and the choir was a beautiful mix of untrained but passionate voices.
Now, anyone who grows up with music will have had 'the talk' at some point.
'It's not a real job.' 'You'll never make it.' 'It doesn't do anything real.'
When you're a kid, those messages stick. I was fortunate that I had other things that I could do for a career, so I never let myself fall into the trap of thinking I could be the next big thing.
Well, my pastor had more confidence in me.
See, at this concert, which if I'm being honest 'concert' is a stretch... my pastor had invited someone specifically for me. The concert was performed, and it was a good show! Afterwards, I spoke with my pastor, who introduces me to the man. He was an associate dean of music with Notre Dame. Holy smokes! Because of my contributions to the music program and passion for art, all I had to do was apply and everything through my undergrad program would be covered.
As an adult, I recognize what an amazing and life-changing opportunity this could be. Unfortunately, when you hear through your life that music could only be a hobby, recognizing what this means wasn't as easy. I like to think I politely declined the offer. We often try to put ourselves in the best light for those memories. Whatever the case, whatever perception may be made of my decision, I did decline the offer, much to the shock of my parents.
Who, if you've been paying attention, kept a certain perspective.
That day I turned down Notre Dame was 13-14 years ago. I struggled through various jobs and careers trying to find my place, all eventually leading me to the edge of the bridge last year. Now I like to think I'm no longer limping through life: I'm trying to do what I love. What I should have been doing all along but now it's just delayed.
Do the best you can for your children. Love them and encourage them in their passions."
"I said no to keeping a $10,000 diamond ring I found, no lie. I wanted to sell it so bad but ended up finding the owner through the manager of the property I was at.
I was staying at my grandma's condo at the beach. I was 12 at the time. She lives on the 7th story, and we were on the elevator down. I look at the track of the elevator and notice something shiny. I have my brother hold the door while I dig out this ring. It has a HUGE rock on it, but it's extremely dirty and the band had this clasp thing on it, so it looked like some outlandish fake. It was my parent's anniversary that weekend, so I gave it to them as a joke, we tossed it around and all wore it, had some laughs, but as we settled down that night I kept looking at it and was just captivated by this thing. I cleaned it off and it really sparkled like the morning sun dancing off a mountain lake. I was not giving up on this thing.
We head back to where we lived after the weekend was over, and I asked my mom to take me to her jeweler friend. She was the property manager of an outdoor shopping mall in my area that had a jeweler there that she was decent friends with. Anyways, we get him to appraise it, and he was floored. It was apparently an emerald-cut diamond, between 2.5-3 karats. He could tell it was older as well from the wear on the band. The clasp on the band was added later on in the rings life to accommodate arthritic fingers. He told us it was easily worth $10,000 and was DYING to buy it from me (he apparently pressured my mom for weeks about it).
At this point, my family and I are completely shocked. To be honest, with a value that high, my first thought was to ask my grandma if anyone was missing a ring. She asked the manager of her condo and sure enough, a family had been staying there and the grandmother of the family lost the ring. It was a family heirloom that had been passed down through her family and she was devastated when she lost it. Once I had this news, I knew I had no choice. I could sell it to the jeweler and have $10,000 as a 12-year-old, but I would live with the guilt that this poor woman would die feeling guilty she lost a family treasure forever. My parents let me choose what to do, so I asked the manager of the condo for the woman's number. When I called her I had her describe the ring, she described it to a tee. I told her I had her ring and she started bawling on the phone. I mean really losing it, and the sheer joy I heard coming through the phone was unlike anything I ever heard. We exchanged information, and I sent her the ring.
When she received it, I received a call and talked to her children and grandchildren, who all personally thanked me for my incredibly kind action. In particular, she has a little granddaughter who called me 'her family's guardian angel.' Well, originally she didn't send me a reward, which I did not expect, but my grandma wasn't having it. She apparently called her up and yelled at her like only one grandmother can do to another grandmother. I don't know what exactly was said, but a week later I received a check for all the shipping costs (I had it shipped secure and insured) + $1,000. My parents and I talked and decided I would buy one item for myself and put the rest in my college fund. I bought a Fossil stainless steel watch that I was in love with at the time, it had flames on it that were animated (I was 12 and in a punk-rock phase). All-in-all, looking back as a 24-year-old now, that amount of money would have lasted me as a personal fund throughout college and I wouldn't have had to work as much as I did, or I could have invested in stocks and watched my wealth grow. It's the hardest thing my mind has ever had to say no to, without a doubt. But my heart knows that what I did what was right, and giving that family peace-of-mind and the joy they expressed to me made it all worth it."
"I was trapped in a somewhat loveless marriage (maybe twice a month...awful 'are you done yet?'). I'm a good-looking guy. No kids. I went on a trip to Vegas with the boys. We went to an 'adult' club. I hit it off with a dancer. The dancer was a 10. She did all the usual, 'I'm flirting with you to take as much money as I can from you' stuff. I kept it cool and said no and she danced away. She eventually came back, bought me drinks, and gave me dances for free all night. At the end of the night, she said that if I wait for her she would go change and come back to my hotel with me.
I said no. 'I'm sorry... I can't.'
I returned back to the hotel, frustrated.
'Are you out of your mind?' my friends said. Sorry, guys, I couldn't live with myself. I'm married. I love my wife.
Fast forward 10 years and my wife is caught having an affair. Probably not her first."
"I had a friend in college. He was a math genius. He passed his actuarial exams as a sophomore. He called me a couple years later and offered me a job as his partner, laundering money. He told me I would get a 50% cut. He made $250,000 in a year, whereas I made $30,000.
Sometimes I wish I didn't have morals."
"A girl had been pining away for me for years.
My longtime girlfriend and I broke up. The girl came to me and told me she'd been waiting for years. She said that if we were together that I would never have to worry about money ever again (her dad is the CEO of a large insurance firm). She was very attractive, with a nice wide butt. London accent made it even better.
Had to say no because, despite having everything going for her, she was a terrible person. But I still think back on this."
"A very attractive friend of mine would get wasted after she left her abusive husband. I'd come over for company and movies. We're both completely 'friend zoned' with each other, but our affection is very real. One night she got super trashed and decided to get to bed. I walked her to her room, and as she got into bed, she very gently urged me to join her.
I really wanted to, but I didn't, for two reasons.
While I love her to death, our friendship is the one good thing that's been constant over the past ten years for me, and I didn't want to risk destroying that as well.
She was wasted, depressed, and far too vulnerable for my tastes.
Who knows what would've happened, but man....it was like walking through a mud pit getting myself out of that house once she was down for the night."
"Last night, I took my 9-year-old son to see his mother at a local pizza joint. She asked me in November to keep all three of our boys through Christmas because of her addiction although she has custody. She showed up to the pizza place ready to fight, so I called the cops. When it was all said and done, and the kids were loaded up in my car, she handed our birthday boy his present, a kitten. Not only do we not have the finances or desire to keep an animal at the house, my girlfriend's son is deathly allergic to cats. I had no choice but to tell my crying child we can not take it home under any circumstances and therefore dealt with the fallout for the remainder of the night. No one ever told us being an adult could suck this bad."
"Letting my son move back in was one of my biggest regrets. It was a continuous cycle of him getting arrested, drinking and doing/selling illegal substances. He knew how to make me feel sorry for him, he had nowhere to stay, he was hungry, he just wanted to take a shower and so on. I finally realized that I was the one that allowed this to continue.
So I had to start saying no to him. It broke my heart, but I had to do it so he could learn to take care of his own problems and to be held accountable. He hit rock bottom and did some time locked up. It was hard for him to get a job after he got out and he did try to play his mind games with me again, but I stood firm. It was hard on both of us, but it was the best thing that I could do for him. His PO got him in a program with Mission St. Louis and turned his life around.
That was two years ago, he is doing great now! He is working two jobs, taking care of his sons and staying out of trouble. I'm so proud of him and what's even better, he is proud of himself."
"I have had to say no to relapsing a couple of times. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes not.
The first time, I had moved out of my apartment to try and get clean once and for all. So as my dad and I were packing up my place to move back in with him and my mom, things are just being thrown into random boxes, stuffed into bags, anything we could do to get the task done and done quickly. I should add that I had a ton of little hiding places for my substances in my place, and as users do, sometimes I forgot where I put my stash.
Fast forward a few months: I'd been clean for about a year (the longest I'd ever been so), got my own place again, etc, when I'm rummaging through old boxes of things that I had hastily thrown together when moving. Low and behold, I spotted a small cup that McDonald's had at one point given away in happy meals. I felt that cup like a rock in my lungs, I knew what I would find inside even before that sickly sweet smell wafted over me.
Bad decision number 1: instead of walking the whole thing straight to the dumpster, I looked. I looked, smelled, felt, and knew that day was the day. I'll spare you the details of what goes on next but it involves a whole heaping ton of regret.
In hindsight, this night was a good thing, as it really helped me along the way to being happily clean, not just frustratingly restrained.
It had been 8 or so months past the incident I described above, and I was feeling really good in general. I had the kind of happiness that makes you smile in the car, just driving down the road. And what's even better is that happiness kept getting better and reinforcing itself as it drove me to make good decisions. Life was and still is, good.
Anyway, this co-worker with whom I'd become friends learned that I was no stranger to substances and told me that she had some pills left over from a surgery. They were mine, if I wanted them, free of charge (this girl was always out to please people, even in extreme ways. Daddy issues out the wazoo)!
After much inner debate, I politely texted her no thank you. I had expected a rush of regret at turning down such a score, but instead, I was treated to a rush of self-love, finally achieving a small victory toward true remission and since that day, each week has been better and better in my life. I think I could say no again if I found myself in a similar situation."
"Fresh out of prison, released early on parole, which meant I had a curfew of 10:00 pm every single night. Unless I was at work, I couldn't be out that late. The Parole Officer would come to my house and be allowed to show up whenever and had the ability to search my house or anyone I was with at any time. I also got substance tested randomly, and the DMV had suspended my license for 5 years so I had no ability to drive, either.
Needless to say, I didn't get out much and trying to talk to any girl in their early 20s (which is how old I was at the time) was nearly impossible, so I didn't try much. Then, about seven months after I got out, I went to the local St. Patrick's Day Parade. I met some friends I hadn't seen in years and afterward, everyone went barhopping. I tagged along and I ordered Redbull and a glass of ice at the bar and fit right in. Hit it off with this girl and we were dancing on the dance floor. Her friend finally wanted to leave around 7:00 pm from the bar and go back to their place, which was about 40 minutes north of the city, and said I was welcome. When I told her no, she lost it and started begging me to hook up with her. I explained my situation and explained how far I was from home and that taking public transit would likely take close to two hours just to get back.
I'd passed up the chance to hook up, even though it had been a long while since I had gotten some, but I wasn't going to risk going back to jail for not being home if my PO happened to show up at 10:04 pm to see if I was home."
"I was once at dinner with a few friends and went to the bathroom. After taking a tinkle, while washing my hands, I noticed a blank Bank of America envelope next to the sink. When I opened it, there were 7 fresh stacks that added up to $7,000. I stayed in that bathroom for a solid 5-10 minutes just contemplating what I should do. It's one thing to say you have the integrity to return something that isn't yours but another to hand over $7,000 to a stranger (restaurant or someone who claims it was theirs) without knowing if it'll actually get to the original owner.
Right as I was about to leave the bathroom, still unsure what I was going to ultimately do with the money, I remembered that the last person in the bathroom before me was one of my friends who I was at dinner with. I was also with him earlier in the day when he mentioned that he had to go to Bank of America to withdraw some cash to pay for his birthday dinner the next night (he's a foodie and he was renting out a restaurant for 30 of his friends to enjoy a custom menu).
90% sure it was his money to pay for the dinner the next night, I went back to our table, sat next to him, and asked him if he was missing anything. Right when I finished asking him the question, his eyes grew huge, he frantically started patting down all his jacket pockets and stood up from the table. At this point, I grabbed his arm and told him that I had his money. As much as it would have been awesome to find $7,000, it felt even better to say 'no' and be able to return that money back to my friend and not ruin his birthday."
"When I was 20 and my brother was 15, my whole family went to a Coldplay concert in my hometown. This was during their Mylo Xyloto tour. I was a huge Coldplay fan at that point, listening to all their albums nonstop and considering their music the soundtrack to my life at the time. My brother had helped me discover them and had gotten me hooked. It was his band (mine was and still is The Killers).
At the time, there was a girl I had fallen head over heels for who also loved Coldplay. As luck had it, she was also attending that same concert. So after many months of anticipation, the day of the event finally came. I separated from my family's balcony seats during the opening acts (The Pierces and Metronomy, both great bands by the way) and found her. She was sitting on the other side of the stadium and she was there with one of her friends. We started talking and after a few minutes, a random guy came up to us wearing a Coldplay tour shirt and asked us where we were sitting. I noticed he had a VIP badge. We told him, and he looked around for a second.
Then he asked quietly, 'How would you like to sit in the front row?' Our eyes popped out of our faces. Right there, he pulled out three tickets that said, 'ROW 1, SEAT 1,' 'ROW 1, SEAT 2,' and 'ROW 1, SEAT 3.' He told us that they hadn't been able to sell them and that Chris Martin would have been disappointed if those seats weren't filled. Unable to process this information, we handed over our existing tickets, and he gave us the new ones. They were legit indeed.
Suddenly, I remembered my brother and how much it would mean to him to be able to see Coldplay from the front row. I asked the guy if he had an extra one of those tickets. He kind of seemed ticked off and said no.
Now I had a choice: either spend the concert in the front row of a freaking Coldplay concert with the girl of my dreams or give it to my little brother who was the really the first and bigger Coldplay fan. I chose the latter.
The concert was amazing from the side balcony, and my brother had the time of his life standing six feet away from Chris Martin watching him play for two hours.
No, it never happened between the girl and me. Still, no regrets."