It never ceases to amaze me how difficult negotiating can be. I'm not at all afraid to seek information -where did you get that? can i buy/make that? what's possible/etc- but to negotiate is different, almost fraught at times. We went to the gym, the boys did great in the kids' club, I felt great being there, it's lovely, but I don't really want to commit for a year...yet. The salesy guilt is unreal- "you shouldn't feel bad for taking "me" time; you deserve this; it's really our policy to have you commit for 12 months", etc. Who's the one who'll be paying the bills, friend? But I bucked it up and asked if she could speak with her manager regarding a 6 month commitment vs 12. Oh, and she then suggested that I ask a friend or my mother-in-law to take a bill for me one month to prove that I'd relocated which would enable me to void my contract. AS IF. I said, "I am not remotely comfortable doing something like that as it smacks of weaselly dishonesty."I'm still waiting to hear back, and while I don't feel that I did the slightest bit of anything wrong by asking, I'm left with a slightly elevated cortisol level and anticipating the call back.

I suspect negotiations are, generally speaking, harder for women. Tom showed me a speech given recently by Sheryl Sandberg, the #2 at Facebook. She talked about the ways in which women sometimes undermine themselves without meaning to- through behaviors that are considered meek or because they undersell themselves or demand too little. I think simply speaking up with assertiveness, pushing back on information or situations is just too uncomfortable for many women, even if they're confident, competent, sharp gals. I would certainly consider myself those things yet I had to gear up to some extent to push back on this dumb membership commitment.

It's interesting to consider. In the meantime, I'll keep you posted.