Sunday, July 12, 2009

Helping Friends - does it work?

When I lived in Denver, I had friends who were romantically involved, and then they weren't. As often happens in such situations, their parting wasn't on friendly terms.

Several years later the man was preparing to move from Denver to Washington, D.C., where he would enter the Diplomatic Corps, and he called me to ask for the woman's phone number. I was reluctant to give it to him, and so I called her first.

"Sure," she said. "Tell him my number."

And so I did. And about three weeks later she called me and blasted me for giving him the number. (She had been undergoing dental surgery and must have been pumped up on pain pills, because she didn't recall telling me I could give him the number.)

When the man had completed his training and language program and was preparing to ship out for the Middle East, he called me and asked again for her phone number, because he wanted to let her know that he was moving out of the country.

Ha! I wasn't born yesterday. No way was I going to give him the phone number again without her okay. I told him I'd call her and ask. And I did. Twice. Both times I got her answering machine in Denver, and both times it disconnected on me while I was leaving a message. So I sent a postcard to her with his name and number and "Call him if you want to talk to him."

Guess who called me the next week? The woman. And where was she? At his place in Washington, D.C.! What a surprise!

I helped him pack out and then he moved to Indonesia. Soon after, I learned they planned to marry, and they got married by proxy - he in Indonesia, she in Denver. She was later able to join him, and they lived in Jakarta, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland before returning to the U.S. They are retired now and live west of Seattle.

Maybe it's time for a long motorcycle trip...

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