Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friendship by Association

A co-worker of mine was walking past me last night while we were catering a wedding (I have a job in catering) and told me a theory.

He said, "I've noticed something: When there are multiple bowls of drink on the beverage table, the ones that are full stay full or are chosen less frequently because people think they aren't as good as the bowls with juice that are nearly empty."

Now obviously he didn't say it exactly this way, because he related it to me in the 4 seconds it took to walk past me and into the kitchen. But I think that is what he was trying to say. I observed the 4 different lemonade bowls throughout the night and my co-worker's frantic attempt to keep all 4 bowls at even levels--a social experiment of sorts. I did notice that the full bowls stayed full longer and the bowls that he had neglected to fill seemed to disappear more quickly.

Last night, I was asked by another co-worker: "So how do you know Ann?" Ann is my lovely cousin. She began and ended at the company before I ever got there and is well known to all. And although I don't see much of her or her witty family (my fault, I concede) she has brought me much fame and acceptance in the small social circle of Marvellous Catering. If I feel my own merits are not carrying me into good favor with any member of the crew, I need only mention my relation to Ann and wait for the gay smiles and sincere compliments that always follow her name's mention.

I responded emphatically to the question last night and was greeted by a warm response. In this world, how we are perceived by those we meet is dependent on those we know and associate with. No one is really alone and no one rests on their own merits. It would be a nice idea, but we all contribute to the well-being and acceptance of another. I just wonder where my name gets people when they mention it, or if they prefer to leave it unsaid!

Perhaps having good friends and loving our families is like putting our willing friendship in the popular punch bowl. It is a very beautifully human thing to define, in part, who you are by who you know and love. The human family is so connected and feed so naturally off one another that it may be hard to tell how deep the roots of friendship sink into our personalities and lives, in general. If others know the company we keep and if you we are good company for others to keep, maybe many more will keep coming to partake from our friendship lemonade, and it will go so fast we'll need to run frantically to our hidden stores to refill it.

Or maybe that one bowl needed to be refilled so often because it was raspberry lemonade. But it was a nice idea.


  1. Love it. And yes, the only reason I love you is because you're Ann's cousin. She's cool.

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