Monday, 7 February 2011

"In sickness and in health"

This song was a big hit by Dutch group Doe Maar in the 1980's mainly for its lyrics that most Dutch of my generation will be able to sing along: "If you win, you have friends queueing up". The lyrics are about how easy it is to make friends when all is going well: when you are handsome, or sexy, or young, or healthy, or rich, or successful, or -even better- all of the above.
I remembered this song cycling back from Sunday night out in the bars yesterday. Few people turned up, and only MA, HE, XX and I shared the drinks. I hadn't seen XX for a while after he had an achilles tendon rupture while playing volleyball. He needed an operation and is still walking with the help of crutches.
His latest boyfriend didn't have time for him when he was in hospital so XX dumped him. And his best friend (or so he thought) and drinking-buddy GW promised to fetch him from hospital and transport him home, but when XX called from the hospital to agree the exact time to pick him up, GW informed him that it was inconvenient and he was busy. So in the end XX's reliable ex-bf had to arrange transport and accompany XX home from the hospital.
So once again someone learned the old lesson that many of our so-called "friends" are only friends in good times and can not be relied upon when sickness or disaster strikes. As the lyrics of the song go, it is easy to have "friends" when you "win". But are they really friends?
There is truth in the marriage vow "in sickness and in health". When you are in hospital or in prison you get to know your real friends.

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