Sunday, June 28, 2009

What goes around comes around and drips on your leg and it's so, so good

I have a friend, a childless man of 50-something, for whom I recently did a bit of a favor. It wasn't a big deal to me, a few hours of proofreading and editing. I was happy to help. The results contributed to some circumstances of good fortune, though, and he's grateful. How nice, I said, and I'm so happy for you, and that's what friends are for.

And no, he said, let me find a way to repay you. It's not nothing. Let me do something for you.

And no, it was my turn to say. Don't be silly. You don't have to do anything.

And we've repeated our lines for several turns, me feeling increasingly silly, he feeling increasingly determined.

The last time we chatted, a few days ago, he took a turn off our rote dialogue. He tapped the nearby photo of my girls. "You can keep telling me not to do anything nice for you, I guess, but you can't tell me not to be nice to those beautiful babies. Nobody can tell me not to be nice to those beautiful babies." Sensing a graceful exit for both of us, I found myself in possession of a little bit of cash and instructions to take the girls out for ice cream.

June 28 2009
Portrait of two girls who believe in this flavor of diplomacy.

And to my friend, the accomplishment was earned on your merits. All I did was provide a little polish. I lift my pink plastic spoon to you. Cheers. Pin It