My wife and I, our house flooded last May. Our son, his house flooded last April. His friend, her house was flooded, too. Besides all of us now living together in our son’s under construction, small, three-bedroom house, what else do you think we have in common? For flood victims, a flood being a huge problem is a common condition. It’s not just the loss. The living arrangements are desperate, the cleanup is critical, and life must go on for pets and livestock. Flood victims deserve some consideration from those who are made aware but who are not affected. Every caring person should think this way. However, that’s just the way flood-way victims think. This thinking may not be in the consciousness of their BFF’s – who know of it but never show up to push a mop. I have been pondering this phenomenon in my new swamp dwelling for the past couple of weeks and I have concluded that there is simply something that I don’t know or understand. The BFF’s called and said, very convincingly, how sorry they were about the flood and the loss. Each BFF said to “let them know” what he or she could do for us, the victims. The BFF’s said they mourned our loss and volunteered to help. But those who most easily say sorry are most prominently no-shows. I thought surely they would help, if they could help. Surely, they’ll find the time. Surely, they’ll consider our past and our future and act in the present. We are, after all, BFF’s, am I right?
An answer to my puzzlement, puzzlement over BNS (BFF No Shows), came softly and subtly. Our son’s friend, who is staying with us, told me of her parallel experience. Her BFF, having all the equipment and skill for flood mitigation, never stopped by, never seriously offered a reason why, never said boo. But then at a recent gathering, pictures of her dwelling “deluge” were shared. A picture is worth a thousand words. No verbal pleas could bring the BFF over to that disaster area but pictures brought over reality. The BFF understood now, maybe even felt guilty. Even though the facts were spoken clear enough, recognizing what they meant – was missed. I had my answer to my own conundrum. It wasn’t something I was missing or misunderstood. That something was them. Was it that the carefree BFF’s couldn’t see the forest for the debris, couldn’t hear the words above their own self-importance, couldn’t feel the pain for their lack of compassion? No. They were BUSY!
So, if a certain busy BFF didn’t show up at your after flood party, you aren’t alone. If they continue for weeks to tell you how busy they are and never show up, it’s just because they’re not getting the picture. It may be, they surmise, that if you are STILL really needing help, that you will call them – again – to find out what time they’re NOT showing up that day. It may be that they’re expecting you to offer them a hot meal if they show up at your place after they have completed their daily routine. Perhaps, one day in the future, they plan to help you for two hours at four o’clock in the afternoon, but only if they can take a one hour break for that hot meal you promised. Maybe, after their yard is mowed, their pool is cleaned, their errands are run, their hours are worked, their other BFF’s are helped, and their yoga class is over, they’ll show. Surprise! They still haven’t gotten the picture yet.