Yesterday I had an encounter that would have seemed like nothing, once upon a time.
I was at lunch with a new(ish) friend. Perhaps that’s not a fair label anymore, as we met over a year ago—during my yearlong search—and have become good pals in the months since. When she got to lunch, she told me had a favor to ask.
“Could you give me a ride to the train?”
The train, mind you, is about a five minute drive away. It was a small request. No big deal. (Or NBD, as the kiddies say.)
My friend, lets call her Mia, was heading to the train in a few hours, at about 4 pm. She knew I work from home, so my schedule was flexible enough to give her a quick ride, and asked if I would mind.
I didn’t, of course.
Like I said, it’s not that interesting of a story. I took special notice, though, because asking someone for a ride to the airport has become one of my measures of friendship.
Back when I spoke to GirlfriendCircles founder Shasta Nelson for the first time, she told me that the reason she started her site is that she was the life coach for a handful of women who all were missing the same thing: a nearby support system. It wasn’t that they didn’t have someone to call crying in the middle of the night if necessary, it was that they didn’t have someone to ask for a ride to the airport. “And a ride to the airport’s not that big a deal!” Nelson told me.
She was right. The airport-ride test is an interesting one. It’s not that big of a request, really. It’s just a ride. From my Chicago apartment, it’s about a 30 minute drive each way to O’Hare. So an hour out of your day, half of which you get to spend gossiping with a friend. And yet, asking someone you don’t feel especially close to for a ride feels like a monumental request. Not quite a kidney, but you know… not not like a kidney, either.
Of course, what Mia asked for was an airport-ride divided by, like, 10. Or, actually, 6. But still, the fact she asked made me feel swell. Friendy. Like this search is continuing to move forward.
One small step for man, one giant leap for… Mia. Or something.
Have your friends performed any small favors, or asked any of you, that showed you your friendship was moving forward?
Oh, and Happy 4th of July, friends. See you on Tuesday!