By Marla Jo Fisher, The Orange County Register
One useful side effect of bad luck is that it helps you distinguish your real friends from the rest of the pack.
You’ve likely noticed this yourself: How misfortune or trouble makes your true friends rally round you, while your ersatz friends suddenly lose your phone number and forget where you live.
There are several times I can think of when you have the chance to hoe out those weeds, or weed out those hoes, as the case may be:
- When you move to a new house
- When you get sick
- When you lose your job
- When your car breaks down
- When you need a ride to the airport
- When you have a bad breakup
Regarding moving, I’ve been told by friends to never, ever buy a pickup truck, because then everyone wants you to help them move.
Well, I’ve reached the stage in my life where I don’t ask for help moving anymore, since most of my guy friends have thrown out their backs 857 times, and most of the gals don’t want to ruin their expensive manicures, that they got after they threw their backs out. Hiring professional movers is a much more sensible and emotionally more satisfying solution.
I love watching burly men flex their muscles, even if I have to pay them to do it.
However, I do still remember the “friend” I had years ago, who kept insisting that I should call her when I was going to move, because she would come over with her truck. I demurred, saying that I didn’t want to impose. She insisted so much, though, that I did actually call her when I was ready to move.
Sorry, my friend said, in a cold, tight voice, when I asked for her help. She was busy all week, winning a Nobel Prize or having lunch with the Pope, I forget which.
The thing that made my blood pressure spike was that she acted annoyed. This was embarrassing.
My friend Robin parachuted in to help.
In contrast, your real friends are the ones who don’t ask, “Do you need any help?”
They just show up, with moving boxes, casseroles, a box of tissues or maybe a loaded .45, depending on the situation.
When I bought my first house, my friend Robin showed up at my old place, defrosted the icebox and moved all the food for me, without being asked.
I really appreciated this, because I had reached that point in every move where you hit the wall, and one more task seems insurmountable.
Walk across the street for a million dollars? Sorry, I can’t lift my legs.
Well, I really can’t lift my leg right now, at least the broken one with a cast on it.
This has really been a serious problem, since I’m a single mom with kids on the go.
And, once again, Robin has shown up at my house nearly every day to haul Curly Girl and Cheetah Boy to their endless games, practices, recitals and whatnot. She has gone grocery shopping. She has even taken Buddy the Wonder Dog to the dog park.
And she is not even legally obligated to do this.
So, thanks, Robin! And, if you want her phone number, forget it. She’s mine, all mine.
And, by the way, reader Sandy pointed out another advantage of having a broken foot: Apparently, you can’t do housework for something like a year afterward.
Somehow, I knew there would be a silver lining in all this!
Marla Jo Fisher was a workaholic before she adopted two foster kids several years ago. Now she juggles work and single parenting, while being exhorted from everywhere to be thinner, smarter, sexier, healthier, more frugal, a better mom, better dressed and a tidier housekeeper. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her blog at http://themomblog.freedomblogging.com/category/frumpy-middleaged-mom-ma rla-jo-fisher/.