Wisdom Teeth & Leap Day

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I was talking to my coworker, Jackson on Tuesday, Feb 28th.

In a serious tone, I said, “Jackson…do you know what day tomorrow is?”

Jackson:  “February 29th… Leap Day.”

Smiling Daffodil:  “Yes, an important day in history.  On that day 4 years ago I got my wisdom teeth pulled. Do you remember?”

Jackson:  “Haha.”

Smiling Daffodil:  “I remember insisting to the dentist that I get my teeth pulled on that day.  I wanted to be able to say, ‘I would rather get my teeth pulled than meet with Luanne’”.

Now readers, this is where I must point out that I hadn’t taken the Dale Carnegie course when I made that statement.  I probably would have been more adept at getting along with people—even Luanne.

Fast forward to today, Leap Day.

At the end of the day Jackson walked by my office.  We said bye for the evening as we usually do.  He handed me a napkin.

Jackson:  “You might need this.”

I looked at him completely puzzled.  ”Huh?”

Then he reminded me.  “Your wisdom teeth.”

I burst out, “Oh my gosh.  You get a shiny star for the day!”

One of my favorite memories of Jackson and our friendship is from 4 years ago.  He took me to the dentist to get my four wisdom teeth pulled.  When the procedure was finished I was on pain medication.  My face, mouth and lips were numb and I had gauze inside my mouth as he drove me home.  I was not aware if my mouth was open or closed.  And at just the right moment when I was alert enough to be horrified by my inability to deal with all of this—he very calmly wiped my mouth with a napkin.  After I recovered I mentioned to him how much that meant to me.

The Dale Carnegie principles Jackson demonstrated in this story are from How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 9.  Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
Principle 26.  Let the other person save face.

Jackson made sure my dignity was intact 4 years ago.  He did not flinch or make me feel embarrassed.  He exercised compassion.  He made me feel important today with the reference to that detail—the napkin.  He knows it reminds me of the best that is in him and I remain grateful to him for what he did.

The lesson in this story—oftentimes it’s knowing and remembering details that help bind a friendship.

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles By The Smiling Daffodil

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