Experiencing the good and bad sides of human nature

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Friendship is a wonderful thing, but it can also turn nasty, and my family has recently experienced both sides of this double-edged sword.

My son Gary, who is a student as you may know, has just moved into his own flat and, having limited funds, had to decorate the whole place on a tight budget.

I helped him out as much as I could and got him a lovely sofa quite cheap.

Anyway, I was chatting to my friends from Peterhead – Jenny and Pete – over the phone and was telling them about Gary’s move and how we were struggling a bit to get him everything he needed to get the place furnished.

The flat needed absolutely everything done to it, including scraping woodchip – everyone’s nightmare – off walls and ceilings.

I’d love to meet the person who invented woodchip, just for a moment, to have a few words with them.

A few hours after we finished our conversation Jenny called me back. “I’ve sent down a cheque for £300 for Gary to help him get things for his new home,” she said.

I was almost in tears. Pete and Jenny are by no means wealthy people, but they managed to give so much money to help out a friend when they needed it.

I then had a wee panic attack thinking I must have hinted for some money when I was speaking to her, but, no, that wasn’t the case.

Pete and Jenny simply wanted to help out their dear friend and her son, who they are very fond of. Well, everyone’s fond of my Gary.

Their wealth is in their hearts and they will always have a special place in ours.

However, Gary isn’t so lucky to be blessed with such good friends in my book after his layabout ‘pal’ Johnny really let him down.

Johnny is a white van man and agreed to help Gary move his belongings and pick up other things he had in a storage unit on Saturday morning.

Gary needed to have his stuff out of the unit that morning or he faced having to pay extra.

Everything was arranged byt, when he turned up at Johnny’s house at 10 a.m. as planned, he found an empty house and no van.

He didn’t hear a word until the Monday and, even then, Johnny didn’t even have the decency to apologise.

Apparently he had been out all weekend and had forgotten about his promise to help.

Gary wasn’t too bothered about it at the time and eventually sorted something else out through another friend on the Sunday.

But it was Johnny’s attitude after he eventually got in touch that really bothered my son.

He just didn’t seem to care and I think that was what hurt him the most.