The art of a favor — he’s a keeper!

Just a good person!

When I was a child I was afraid of some of my friends’ fathers. They would yell and scold and didn’t seem to have a tolerance for children. My own dad was not like. I was not used to a yelling kind of household.

My first playmate, a neighbor girl, had a dad who saw us having a birthday party for our dolls. He told us that dolls don’t have birthdays so it was a lie and we’d go to hell. I was 6 years old. I had to ask my mom what hell was. From that day on I always left before he came home from work. He went on to father five children. I wondered if it was intentional or lack of good birth control. His wife was the nicest person but I avoided her father like the plague.

In my teens there were fathers who would do favors like drop us off somewhere but it would be with attitude. Grunts and body language that clearly said we were disturbing their sports game watching or their beer was getting warm. I remember one friend asking her mom to ask her dad if he’d drive me home. I wondered why she didn’t feel comfortable asking him herself. We were best friends for years and I don’t think he said more than 50 words to me.

Not all dads were like that. Certainly mine wasn’t but I had another bestie and her dad would plop down at the kitchen table and chat with us. We were 14 at the time so how exciting would that conversation be? Shades of nail polish, hot guy on the team? It didn’t matter he was right in there (except maybe not for the nail polish!).

There is an art to doing someone a favor. You can negate the whole thing with negativity, make the other person feel uncomfortable and projecting control. Head tosses, eye rolls and “let’s get going, I have things to do” fit in this category.

After a lifetime of this sort of exposure I’m not good at asking for favors. I’ve had people say “call if you need anything” but if I do, they are unavailable. Of course they are very sorry but clearly unwilling to change anything in their life even if it’s a medical emergency.

Since my auto accident I’ve been without transportation. The beloved husband has altered his schedule and dropped things to accommodate me. I am very appreciative. Best of all there is no head shaking or tsk-tsking as he escorts me to Starbucks for my much needed mocha every morning.

My brother and a few friends are like that too – not about the mocha but there if I need them. Everyone has stuff going on. No one wants to be inconvenienced but they truly don’t seem to mind. If they do, they keep it to themselves. It’s only a good deed if you don’t make the person feel badly about asking.

I’m glad that my family wasn’t like that. I often wonder how my friends coped. As a teenager you need to catch rides especially to places out of bike range or in the evening. Maybe you learn how to work it but I’m glad I never had to.

As a strange twist to this story, one of my adult friends had a “grumpy” father. I was always polite and pleasant but avoided his company even though I was in my 20s. One day she told me that he liked me best out of all of her friends. He sure had a helluva way of showing it!

The beloved husband is a keeper for sure. A man who cleans the kitty litter and drives you to Starbucks (which is really hard to justify as critical) without snark is a keeper.

74 thoughts on “The art of a favor — he’s a keeper!

  1. Nice to meet the beloved husband up close and personal … I have seen him in prior posts nodding off or napping with the kitties. 🙂 My friend’s father taught me how to ride a two-wheeler in their backyard as my father didn’t want to have bicycle wheel marks on the grass (even in the backyard). We lived in a fairly new sub with gravel driveways and gravel roads, so my father took me to the shopping center on a Sunday (the stores were all closed in those days). I was okay, ’til he let go of the seat where he was holding on, I freaked out and fell. He said training wheels were for sissies. So my friend’s father let me practice in their yard. I learned without training wheels – yay me because he had patience and he rated high in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like your dad was a tough one. I didn’t have training wheels either but because my bike was so old. It was so heavy compared to the lighter bikes my friends had. I never got into bike riding a lot because of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, he was a tough one. That friend’s father was nice and all the kids in the neighborhood were around the same age. Two boys had a dad who was a forensic meteorologist, drove an Isetta car (three-wheeled tiny car) and he took us for rides in it (one at a time). Plus their dad kept piranhas and we’d all troop over to watch them get fed raw hamburger. Coolest dad on the block back in the day!

        Liked by 1 person

        • There weren’t many cool dads in my old neighborhood. Surprisingly my uncle, who didn’t have children, was great with the kids. He had a garage for cars and the neighborhood boys used to gather there to learn how about cars.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That was nice of your uncle to do that. After my father left, we got a new next-door neighbor a few months later. Jim had taken a buyout from the steel mill at thirty years and out. He was only in his 50s and my mom and I relied on him for household issues that my father would do. He would help me … he had the patience of a saint. I would not do anything electrical … but he showed me how do a few things including trying to teach me about the car. I remember I went to the gas station one time … it was full-serve and I had a locking gas tank. The attendant handed the gas tank key to me and it slipped down through the window well. I got home and told Jim and he showed me how to take a magnet to try and pull the key out. That didn’t work, so he showed me how to take an allen wrench and take the inside part of the door off. I had some trepidation with either of us doing that because I had another key, but was afraid if I rolled up the window, the key might turn and break the window somehow. (I dated myself with that story for sure!)

            Liked by 1 person

            • It’s always great to have a neighbor like that. I don’t know if you see that “neighborliness” these days. At my last neighborhood, the men were all “professionals” which means they were doctors, lawyers and dentists who didn’t know how to do anything house/yard related. My husband was the one to help out. One time he helped our neighbor hand a mirror because she was convinced her husband was incapable.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I only have my handyman now as Jim is long gone and my boss is like your neighbors – he doesn’t know the answer either. Jim was bored and he’d cut the lawn 2-3 times a week, so he did mine. He and his wife had a trailer in a trailer park in Florida where they went all Winter, so I’d watch their mail and I’d shovel the snow while they were gone. I came home from work one night and he had bought me a pair of pink plastic flamingos and put them in the front garden. I did not want to be rude, but had my own ideas for the garden and it didn’t include them. 🙂 I went in the house and said to my mom “how am I going to be polite, yet not keep them out front?” She said “tell Jim someone might steal them, so you’ll keep them in the backyard where they will be safe.” That worked out well and didn’t hurt his feelings. They stayed in the backyard, relegated to a corner, until they were so faded, they looked white.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Kate. And, yes, he surely is a keeper. Both of my parents were loving and supportive, but perennially awful when I needed something as a kid. I learned early on not to ask them to go places unless I absolutely couldn’t avoid doing so. Looking back, I’m not sure how I got anything done! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As an always independent person I hate to be in the position of having to ask for a ride, for example to the eye doctors when they use those dilating drops and tell you you need a driver etc……you soon find out who among your friends/relatives is a keeper. I took my mom to 17 eye appointments once over the course of a month for monitoring complications after surgery (9am every day for a week, then every 2nd day, then twice a week etc), happy to be able to ensure she kept her sight, and my sibling took her exactly ONCE and we never heard the end of it, how much they had helped out…yea right.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a delight and pleasure to read. I have always felt very fortunate to have had a kind and generous father and husband who puts my interests first more often than not. I’m imagining that your husband is so relieved that you weren’t even more seriously injured that he is glad to cart you around. He is obviously a keeper–but you’ve known that for a long time. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My dad was the quiet, calm, but firm reasonable one with a great sense of humor. He managed to sort out messes for all sorts of people and was well like by a broad range of people. I never wanted to disappoint him. My mom was quite the opposite – always unhappy and critical about something – I learned very young to stay out of her way. She had no friends…made neighborhood life difficult at times.
    It’s funny about people always saying they want to help – until it’s the time you need help. You sound like you’ve got a strong network of people around you who really mean it. That’s really really cool – as is your “keeper” – anyone who does heavy litter box duty is so worth their weight in gold!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 4 cats worth of poop is a lot! 🙂 Funny how opposites attract! We always hope we get the best side of both parents. My mom was a kind person but once in a while she had a snark. Sometimes I swear she’s standing in back of me saying these pithy things that are coming out of my mouth!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a few friends with grumpy dads. Fortunately mine was the good kind. My oldest friend’s (we met while still in diapers) dad seemed OK enough. It wasn’t until my friend and I were older that she told me how mean he was and how much she disliked him. Funny what can be hidden behind the walls of a home. It sounds like your husband is definitely a keeper.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My dad was fairly absent when I was growing up (he was mentally ill) so I felt awkward around my friends’ dads. They seemed alien to me, but since most of them worked, I rarely interacted with them. Now your husband is, indeed, a keeper. I’m pretty sure my hubby would a lot for me if I needed him to, but I have a feeling he would clean out the litter boxes as often 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your husband is a smart man who understands the purpose of coffee in any solid relationship. I’m not one to ask for help often, having learned early on it’s best to figure out how to solve your problems on your own.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. All my girlfriends thought my Dad was good looking…. he was! My Dad was funny and quirky. Pretty sure that is where I get my quirkiness and my sense of humor. I remember him being kind and sensitive, he was not a yeller. SSNS is definitely a keeper! I have been hanging onto him for 47 years… he has unlimited patience and he does not like to argue♥ It is very hard for me to ask for help… I’m not sure where that comes from.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. He sounds like a keeper for sure!! 🙂

    My husband chauffeured my kids friends around a lot. I did during the day but night driving in unfamiliar places was not good for me. He never complained. It is sad how some kids grow up! And you are right doing a favor is not a favor if you gripe and grumble or have that look on your face!

    Everyone needs friends that fhey know will really be there for you when you need help, no matter what! I am blessed that I know who I can call any time of day or night and they knoe they can call me.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I never heard my dad yell at anyone. When you grow up with a good dad as you and I did, it’s hard to imagine they aren’t all like that. From my childhood experience, I can’t remember any bad dads. I did hear about a few dad problems later.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It sounds like you had a healthy home environment, grew up to be a healthy adult, and married a good person – a fairy tale for many people. My mother was the scary one in our family, but I don’t recall having many friends over. I usually went to their house. Luckily, I eventually married a really nice guy! We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, and I feel very lucky. I’m glad that you found a nice guy, too. In our house, I am the Starbucks enabler — which surely hasn’t hurt our marriage – until the pandemic. Now, he has a fancy espresso maker at home and doesn’t need to leave for his fix. I learned early that coffee always improves his mood. Maybe your husband has learned the same about you! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • It wasn’t that easy. I had failed relationships before I got here. Yes, my husband knows that I’m a nicer person with coffee and a little chocolate. I think about an espresso maker periodically but the selection is overwhelming.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My husband knows I am unapproachable before my morning tea – we all have our crutches! And its a good spouse that helps us make it through the day rather than setting us up to fail and then getting mad at us when we’re grumpy. I still think you’re right, you’ve got a keeper!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Both of my parents were easy going and welcoming to my friends.
    Hubby and I were glad to return a favour yesterday by taking a neighbour to hospital for laser eye surgery. He didn’t hesitate to help me when I asked if he could drive me to the hospital to collect the car when Hubby had been admitted having driven himself.
    We are happy to help where we can by ‘gifting our time’………. currently Jack is curled up beside me fast asleep!
    My hubby is a keeper too. Best stamp I ever licked!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. “As a strange twist to this story, one of my adult friends had a “grumpy” father. I was always polite and pleasant but avoided his company even though I was in my 20s. One day she told me that he liked me best out of all of her friends. He sure had a helluva way of showing it!” ~> he probably liked you best because . . . you avoid his company! 😛

    I’ve got a keeper too! He’s super.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. My Dad was a very quiet man…..I suspect he and my Mom even had quiet arguments. I can only remember one “doozy” growing up and that almost resulted in us moving out of the house. I do have a lot of great memories of him – most of which came along well after I was an adult and he was elderly and having some serious medical issues. We were more on the same page – had “real” conversations and I’ll be glad I had that kind of time with him. Your hubby is definitely a keeper – mine is a keeper too because if I need help or something from the store or advice he’s “there”. He’s also a quiet man – makes me wonder if I learned early on to appreciate quiet men in my life?

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Giving me some flashbacks with this post!

    Your beloved husband is such a great guy. My dad was a yeller. I’m amazed any friends were willing to come to our house.

    My dad was also the dude who sighed, sulked, complained, or got mad about being asked to do anything extra. I’ve spent my life avoiding asking anyone for help, because I don’t want to feel like I’m a terrible burden/ employee/ friend.

    Liked by 1 person

Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you're thinking!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s