I have some wonderful and kind long-term friends back in my hometown, but searching for good or appropriate friends in my location seems to be harder to achieve. I write this for my son who one day will read this and hopefully learn from his daddies tale of woe.
After dropping off my son to his mothers, I decided Pizza would be a one-off treat for my tea, so I put this half supermarket and half self-made creation into the oven and waited with anticipation and a rumbling tum. Ten minutes later and the house filled with smoke!
Once the thick, toxic smoke had cleared, I discovered that someone had left a plastic grill handle in the bottom of a brand new oven, which I didn’t see when putting my pizza. The pizza was now toxic and as I am about to find out, so was a new friendship.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. At the same time, my new friend (or so I thought) had bought a ‘buy one, get one the free ‘ Indian takeaway meal big enough to feed a family.
Two weeks earlier I had given this guy half of my chilli meal because he had no food in and was going to go hungry until payday. Being kindly this seems reasonable to me, however, with my toxic pizza now left ruined, I asked if I could have a bit of his vast ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ take meal extravaganza for obvious reasons. To my surprise, he wanted to charge me half the cost of the takeaway, despite its ‘buy one get one free’ status.
I declined in disgust and on principle but was polite. I watched this person walk away with more food than he could handle and knowing I was going to go hungry that night.
In the four months I have known this person, I thought he was a ‘good egg’, but even now 40 years later my judgement of people has been tested and failed, so with this tale, I will transcend both space and time and give my future grown-up son a lesson about people.
The moral of this story is, always check for foreign bodies before you close the oven door, but most importantly, never assume people will ‘do the right thing’. Time and time again, I have been shocked by other peoples’ unkindly ways (being polite). There are good, kindly people and friends, but never assume they are until they have shown you they are.
Last year I was overwhelmed by my good friend’s kindness, support and generosity in most cases, but I was also disappointed by some people’s too.
The point I am making, terrific friends and people are hard to come by, and never lose touch with outstanding people. There are also ‘so-called’ friends who will step over you when you have fallen. It has taken me 40 years to learn this hard lesson.
Friends come and go but always keep in touch with the diamonds amongst the rough.
A very proud Dad.