True Sign of Friendship

One of my friends went on a trip recently and asked me and another friend to watch her boys during the last bit that she wasn’t going to be back yet but her husband needed to go to work. We agreed, of course and she gave us the details of when she would be back. I asked her who was picking her up from the airport…

“I was possibly going to get an uber. But if y’all want to get me I won’t argue!”

How silly. Her husband left the keys to the minivan and me and my friend rocked that soccer mom life with a van full to pick her up from the airport. Nobody wants to come home to a stranger.

But the sad thing is, it’s not silly. That’s real life. I’ve encountered so many people who don’t even try to find someone to pick them up from the airport because it’s like this ultimate inconvenience.

So, here’s the quickest way to determine if someone is in it to win it with your friendship. It’s one simple question: Will you pick me up from the airport?

That’s it.

Think about it. Most people hate airports. Picking someone up from the airport? Death. It really is a pretty inconvenient task. There’s the poor traffic flow of the arrival/departure area, the timed parking, the paid parking, the cell phone waiting lot. None of it screams, Oh my gosh yes I would love to partake in that!

I think it’s one of the most vulnerable questions to ask.

I will never forget a trip I went on a few summers ago. I was going to spend two weeks in Africa. When you’re going on a trip like that, you want to make sure that you have your details worked out. I had asked my best friend a few times, kind of offhandedly, if she was going to pick me up from the airport when I returned and she never really gave a clear answer. I couldn’t understand why she was being so standoffish. At one point she actually said no and I was really frustrated. She was the first person I wanted to see once I got back. Why wouldn’t she just pick me up?

Shortly before I was to leave for my trip we were on the phone and I brought it up and faced it clearly. I said, “Are you really not going to pick me up from the airport?” She was confused and she said, “Did you think I was being serious?” It was all silly really. She was being sarcastic and messing with me but I was in a place of anxiety. I was not picking up her sarcastic cues. Also, I knew that nobody likes picking people up from the airport so I couldn’t blame her if she didn’t want to! She apologized and cleared it up  once she realized how unsure I really was.

Maybe I’m kind of weird about that type of thing and I put too much into it, but it’s how I feel. I don’t want just anyone to pick me up. I’ve found my home in people. There are a handful of people in my life who create a safe space for me to be me. Those people are my home and that’s who I want to return to. Either way, everyone finds relief in knowing they have someone waiting for them when they get to where they’re going.

It’s a small gesture but it means so much. So next time you get picked up from the airport, be extra thankful for that person behind the wheel. More importantly, next time someone asks you to pick them up, be honored and say yes.

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