I went to the movies with a friend. She offered to pay for my ticket since I was playing the role of her chauffer for the day. When she said she’d pay for my ticket I offered up the usual, socially obligatory refusal by sputtering such nonsense as, “Oh no, I can’t let you. I don’t mind driving you all over town.” Well, I guess I was to good an actor because when we got to the ticket window she looked at me and said, “Give the man your ten bucks.” When I commented, “Oh, I thought you were paying,” while digging thru my purse, she replied, “You didn’t want me to.” Obviously she was ignorant to how this game worked.

Looking back, I should have learned this lesson years ago from an old neighbor. She was the Mrs. Kravitz (from Bewitched) ofForest Lane. She knew everybody’s business within a week of their moving in. She would make a gracious, neighborly gesture by telling everyone, “If you need anything, anything at all, call me.”

The first time we called we got a busy signal. The second time we called she didn’t answer (we knew she was home. We saw her on her back porch.) The third time we called she was unable to assist. She was devastated, just devastated I tell you, that she couldn’t help, but she had to perform open heart surgery. Wow, that woman’s amazing I thought, amazing because she wasn’t a doctor. A few minutes later we saw her in her pool. We learned that when she told a newcomer, “If you need anything, call me,” that she always neglected to say the next sentence in her head. My husband and I, under our breath, would finish it for her. The complete sentence was, “If you need anything, call me and I’ll give you Irene’s number. Irene was our other neighbor and one busy lady. If I learned one thing from these two different, yet similar women it was not to say things you don’t mean. So, to all my readers, I say, “I’m here for you.”

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