30 some odd years ago I dated a girl when I finished college. We dated a few years then broke up and remained the best of friends. She went on to have several kids by several different guys and is now in a relationship with a woman for the past 10 or more years. They are engaged. I may see her a couple of times a year. Back story: Her first daughter's dad was shot and killed when she was around 2 maybe 3 so this little girl never really knew her dad. Given me and her mom were still really good friends I helped her raise the little girl and she grew up calling me daddy. She now has a few kids of her own and they call be granddaddy. Again, I may see my friend a few times a year when it comes to special events for the grandbabies.
Some 20 years ago I met my wife. Ever since then my wife seems to think I should have no other friends other than her. My wife has zero friends. She has no one she calls to hang out with, go to lunch with, go shopping with. Nobody! Her sister lives a few miles from us and they've not spoken to each other since well before Thanksgiving of 2022. I literally am my wife's only friend.
This past Sunday my oldest granddaughter had a confirmation at her church so my daughter, as I so call her, invited us to come share in the event. Of course my friend was there and we hugged as usual and exchanged pleasantries as well as a few laughs. She even hugged my wife and they were nice to each other, as they always are. She then, in the presence of my wife, told me she had gotten a new car and the oil life was reading zero and she asked if I could come change her oil for her. I have some mechanical abilities so changing the oil is one step above putting gas in a car. I would call myself a jack of all trades. I've put ceiling fans up in people's houses, worked on plumbing, helped people repair their cars, and even built things for people. Yes, I love working with wood. I took that after my dad. I told my friend sure and I said I'd do it the next day after I got off work.
Of course before we left the church parking lot my wife asked me was I going to buy the girl's oil for her too and I flat out told her no. She told me she already had the oil and filter and just needed me to change it. Later that night before we went to bed my wife turns to me and asks if she was going to pay me for doing it. I turned to my wife and probably put my foot in my mouth when I said this but I told her, "You don't pay me to change your oil so why should I expect payment from one of my best friends?" My wife immediately assumed one of two things. (1) I was downgrading her status to the level of my friend or (2) I was upgrading my friend's status to the level of my wife.
Monday comes and I go right after work to change my friend's oil. When I get there we shoot the bull for a little while catching up and things. Again, this is someone I've known for some 30 years or so. I change her oil after we finished talking then I go back in the house and again we talked for another half hour or so. My wife assumed I should have just gone there, changed the oil, then left. I had told her that changing the oil is really only a 30 minute job so that's the time she allotted for me to be gone. And again, my wife is of the impression that my friend only lives one or two streets over. Not sure where she got this from. If she lived that close to us I'd see her more then a few times a year. She lives 10 miles away and with late afternoon traffic I can't just get there in a matter of a few minutes.
When I got back in my truck I had missed a call from my mom. She wanted me to swing by and get a letter she got from her insurance company. She recently totaled her car so I've been dealing with that with her insurance company since she doesn't know how. I text my wife that I was going to stop by my parent's house for a few. Again, my wife assumed I would just walk in, grab the letter, then walk right back out since I had already been gone from the house a couple of hours. Again, when I get to my parent's house we talk for a little while too.
By the time I got home around 9 my wife was fuming. I left home around 6. She said I left her stranded and if something were to happen she couldn't do anything. Here's the thing. My wife's car is in the shop right now so she is without wheels and she hates it. If someone would have called her with an emergency, then she wouldn't have been able to help them in anyway. Remember, my wife has no friends and doesn't communicate with her family so now, all of a sudden, someone is going to call on her to come help them? But on the contrary, she can take a half a day off work to go get her hair done and stay gone for hours and if I don't call to check up on her she gets mad. You taking half a day off work means I'm still working so no, I'm not concerned you're taking several hours getting your hair done. I've still got a job to do. "A good husband would want to know where his wife is." Ok, you've told me so why do I need to just randomly call you to make sure you're okay or still at the beauty salon? Just like you knew where I was but because I didn't just rush right home then I'm looked at as being up to something. In her book, this was a girl I have slept with before so I could possibly sleep with again, but haven't in some 30 years or so since we broke up. And someone who now is happily involved with a woman, her fiance.
She then went off about me not getting paid for changing her oil, or did she pay me in some other way, wink, wink! I don't do things like this for payment. Friends just do thing for each other. If I needed something done that only she could do yes I'd ask and maybe I'd offer to pay but I'm sure my friend would have just done it out of the kindness of her heart and plus the fact that we have been friends for some 30 years.
It's not like I've got a sign in our front yard saying "Free Oil Changes" or that I'm doing constant favors for friends every week. If I start charging people for everything how long do you think I'm going to keep friends? And the minute I start charging her mom for stuff it's gonna be a problem. I've put up multiple ceiling fans for her parents. Done plumbing work as well and not once did I ever expect to get paid.
Do you expect to be paid for everything you do for a friend?
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