The photo above of friends helping friends move is basically fake news because look how much fun they are having.
When you move, or when you help other people move, it is horrible.
That’s why when I reached a certain age, I was very happy: Yes, all of a sudden I found very dark whiskers growing on my chin but who cares because at least I would never have to help my friends or family move again.
This brings me to “The Social Suggests,” a new occasional series where we weigh in on dilemmas submitted by viewers and producers seeking advice.
First up is Brandon, who asks: What would you say to someone who asked for help moving? Is there an age cap when you should stop asking?
Thanks for writing, Brandon, and I suspect you already know how I feel about this. To be clear, I have spent many Saturdays lugging milk crates full of books and records that didn’t belong to me up several flights of stairs. I was rewarded with cold pizza and warm beer. I inflicted similar pain on my family and friends when I moved from a dorm room into a house with roommates, and when I moved from Hamilton to Toronto, and when I moved to different apartments in Toronto. I was, and continue to be, grateful for the help.
But if a friend or family member asked me to help them move today? Well I would have many questions including: Are you joking?
Would I look after their kids while they moved? Sure. Would I bring them a homemade casserole on their first night in their new digs? You better believe it. But never again will I carry milk crates full of crap—or a futon…remember futons?— up or down stairs because I have reached the age where I am not intimately close with people who sleep on futons or have bookshelves made from milk crates.
Of course there are exceptions, namely those who have to move fast because of a horrible situation, in which case I would help them with anything.
But if we’re talking about friends who can afford a house in Toronto guess what: you can afford to pay people to help you move. If you can’t afford a house but bought one anyway, what’s another $1,500-to $2,000 in debt to pile on top of your million-dollar one and your poor decisions?
It’s like the person who throws down huge money for a two-week vacation abroad and then asks you to drive them to the airport in rush hour so they can save 50 bucks. I would rather give them the money than sit in traffic for three hours on my day off.
Actually, I would rather that you had the sense not to ask me in the first place because you were responsible and sensible enough to budget for the taxi ride.
Basically, Brandon, if you have a friend who has asked for help moving and they are in a hard way, or still sleeps on a futon, buck up and throw them a bone. Cold pizza is delicious. But if the friend who asked you to help them move has a brand new $500,000 mortgage, you need to take a good, long look in the mirror and come to grips with the fact that sometimes white lies are acceptable. Then tell them you are busy that day…but congratulations on the new house!
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)