This morning I was late for work. I slept through my alarm (Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, absolute tune) which turned my usually serene hour of getting ready and preparing myself for the day ahead into a nightmarish 23 minutes of tripping over my cat, desperately searching for a pair of tights without holes in and narrowly avoiding a full on toothpaste-down-my-freshly-dry-cleaned-dress disaster.
By the time I had stood on a hot, sticky central line train for half an hour and emerged into the Oxford Street sunshine, my hair was the wrong side of windswept and interesting (thank you, inexplicable blizzard passing through the tube carriage) and I felt somewhere south of ready to face the world.
As I approached the office, I made the mistake of pulling out my compact mirror to check my reflection before heading up to my desk. As I had quietly feared I might, I looked exactly like a person who had tried to squeeze an hour’s worth of getting ready into a mere, cursed 23 minutes. I put the mirror away.
Then, friends, something lovely happened.
As I was looking down at my feet in quiet resignation at my poor attempt at life, I felt a gentle hand at my elbow. I looked up to see a man, somewhere in his 70s, sporting a really rather fabulous straw boater hat complete with alarmingly orange ribbon.
He smiled at me, the same twinkly way my Grandad does when I bring him his Moo Milk (it’s his latest thing, don’t ask!) and said “Beautiful,” before squeezing my arm gently and walking off back towards Selfridges, whistling quietly to himself.
I stood and watched him leave for the longest time and I couldn’t stop smiling. He was a snappily dressed angel and I was totally overcome by the enormous gravity of such a small gesture from someone I didn’t know but in all honesty now wanted as my honorary third Grandad.
It’s funny how such little acts of love can bring so much happiness to others. I’m constantly struck by what a lonely and unfriendly place London can seem. We are all so busy rushing around, frowning at the crowds and looking down at our smart phones, keeping up invisible barriers of impenetrable armour that it’s no wonder we feel isolated in our own city.
And each of us have so much love to give. It’s so easy to tell the girl serving you in Starbucks how delicious her coffee is, or your colleague what a fantastic job he’s doing. Just a tiny, flippant sentiment from one person can light up a whole day for another. Here at Drawing Down the Moon our matchmakers know that the best, long-lasting relationships are born out of friendships, and what better way to start a friendship than with a little love? It’s all we need, really. Love and Friends!