Typically when friends ask, “What’re you up to tonight,” I tell a little white lie and say, “I might have to work” or something like that. That way, I have an easy out if their plans don’t sound fun. But when my work friend Molly asked what I was doing after work last weekend, I panicked and said “nothing”. That was a huge mistake, because now I’m all the way out in Staten Island, splayed out on an operating table about to donate my kidney to her and I really am not in the mood for it!
The truth is: I don’t have a ton of free time, and I’m not going to waste a precious night in on plans that don’t excite me. Still, it’s an unspoken rule of social etiquette that if you say you’re doing “nothing”, you are obligated to do whatever your friend is asking you to do. Which is why I couldn’t say no when Molly was like, “Oh my god will you do a me a huge favor and give me one of your kidneys? I’ve been on dialysis for six months now,” and I was like “WHOA thanks for telling me??”
It’s not that I don’t like Molly – she’s definitely my favorite “work friend”. But if you were to ask me yesterday, or even an hour ago, if I would donate a kidney to her to the answer would be: Oh my god no, absolutely not, what a weird question?!
And yet, here I am, in a hospital gown and cap, counting down from ten as the morphine kicks in so they can cut out my left kidney and give it to Molly who has like lupus or something. I don’t know. I really should have just said I had to call my mom or something.
Now a surgeon is slicing in to my left lower abdomen. It’s definitely not what I wanted to be doing tonight – I was going to go home and watch Westworld and eat dinner on my couch – but what was I supposed to do, say no? I said I was doing “nothing”. I made my hospital bed and now I have to lie in it and be a living donor.
Don’t get me wrong: donating an organ is an incredible and rewarding thing to do. It’s just that I’m really behind on Westworld and also Molly like isn’t that close a friend. Like we just work together. Why would she even lead a question like that with “what are you up to tonight?”
Anyway, let this be a lesson to everyone: If someone asks if you if you’re doing anything that night, just be like, “Ya sorry I already have plans.”