I recall thinking that Nancy Reagan’s mantra, ”Just Say No,” was only for potential druggies. But the phrase is also useful for salty, ol’ gals such as myself. For instance, a newly-employed, young woman at the hairdresser, where I’ve gone for nearly 20 years, asked to see an ID, when I proffered my usual check. I “Just Said No.” It shocked her speechless, until an older employee allayed her fears.
When online merchants ask if I would like to store my credit card number for easy reference on my next order, I “Just Say No.” With one click I send the request whizzing off into cyberspace.
And when my dentist wants to take x-rays more often than I deem necessary or give me a fluoride treatment, when the local water offers a free supply, “I Just Say No.”
More Nay Saying
Recently, I was at my hip doctor’s office (it’s not that he’s a hip doctor, he’s a hip doctor—read into that whatever you want.) The efficient receptionist asked me to fill out a digital questionnaires, that they inflict on those of a certain age.
The quiz is usually on an iPad and has such queries as “Do you sometimes feel sad?” and “Do you have trouble putting on your socks?” “How many miles can you walk?”
I’m tempted to write in the margin: “I only feel sad when I go to the trouble of putting on my Wonder Woman compression socks and am still unable to walk more than a mile on my treadmill.”
But there’s no space for snarky comments. Instead, I respond sweetly, “No, I don’t fill those out.” She accepts that. Try it.
Yes, I’m getting quite adept at the “Just Say No” routine. But when in a restaurant and a perky, young server coos, “Do we want some dessert today,” why can’t I “Just Say No?” Instead, I smile sheepishly and say, “Well, show me the menu.”
But You Can’t Say No to Nancy’s Baja Chicken
Nancy Reagan’s most lasting contribution might not be the slogan, “Just Say No,” but a recipe for Baja Chicken, that she made popular while First Lady.
It was everything a good recipe should be: quick, simple, nutritious, and flavorful. Women seeking to lose weight could prepare the dish for their families without making them feel deprived.
Kitchen Note: It works well if you up the sherry to one cup, drink a third yourself, and pour the rest over the chicken.
Mrs. Reagan said she served Baja Chicken with Rancho California Rice, but I don’t have nerve enough to pass it on without an artery alert. The old recipe calls for 3 cups of cheese, 2 cups of sour cream, and a half-stick of butter!
You could get by with that in the Eighties. Today it might be better to “Just Say No.”