Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day Forty-nine

Day 49 - “Only keep the friends who help you move.”
My friend Josef is moving his florist business to a new location this weekend.  I am reminded of a Volkswagen television advertisement several years ago; the scene is a small group of young men frantically tying a mattress to the top of a VW that is double-parked and blocking traffic.  Horns are sounding as they hurriedly throw the rope over the mattress, and then pass it through the open car windows, again and again, tying it securely, only to discover as they rush to leave that they have tied the car doors closed in the process.  The picture cuts to the slogan, “Only keep the friends who help you move.”
I hate moving.  Seriously.  I have moved nearly 30 times in as many years.  I can think of few things more anxiety-provoking or unpleasant.  But I turn down a request for help in a move only if I am honestly unavailable.  I want my friends to keep our relationship, so I will help them in any way I can.  (Besides, I can call on them when it’s my turn, and if history is any indication, the time should be coming up very soon).
I am reminded of the men who moved my piano the last time.  One of them was the friend of the professional mover I had hired.  I think he injured his back helping to move this immensely heavy piano.  THAT is friendship.
Do we earn our friendships?  Yes, I think we do to the extent that actions speak louder than words, and for our relationships to thrive, we have to make an effort.  We can’t take anyone for granted.  As my dentist friend Bart told me years ago, “Friends are like teeth: if you don’t take care of them, they’ll go away.”
Thank you, Josef, for giving me the opportunity to lend a hand.  (I just hope I don’t injure my back with that refrigerator tomorrow.)

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