It’s a very small world. Anyone who’s played the Six Degrees of Separation game knows that (if you’re interested: Jack Nicholson in four; the Bahraini royal family in three; Ron Jeremy in two. Go figure).
The phenomenon was brought to my attention recently whilst chatting to a guy with whom I’d scheduled a date.
In the inevitable ‘what we do to keep us in shoes (me) / posh suits (him)’ conversation, I suddenly realised that not only had he heard of Small But Perfectly Formed Agency (which, when you know quite how Small it is, is impressive in itself), he’s friends with someone who used to work there. In fact, he was at university with, and on the same course as, the very gal I replaced; whose seat in the office I occupy; and whose email I occasionally get by accident. Just to labour the point, she and I even have freakishly similar names, much to the huge, initial confusion of some clients (ah, the joys of working in PR and sounding like I do - ie, exactly like everyone else). A small world indeed.
The recent Commissioning Ball at Renowned Military Academy was the other location in which I was reminded of the size of, if not the world, the middle classes, at least.
In an academy packed to the rafters with young, newly commissioned officers and their friends, somehow I ended the night talking to one of the few men there wearing a dinner jacket rather than mess dress.
He was sweet, and charming, confessing to having spotted me earlier in the evening, but having been too shy to come and say hello (which don't like to think about too closely: given that there were several female military types there, I’m not thrilled by the thought that I was one of the more intimidating women in the room).
Clearly it was the extra champagne he‘d had by the end of the night that had given him the courage not only to approach my fearsome self but to ask for my number too. Which he did, after we’d had a relatively lengthy conversation in which we discovered rather a lot in common.
Because, despite being at a military function, with people from all over the world, I’d managed to find the - presumably - sole person who had been brought up in the same town that I was; who’d attended the school just down the road; whose sister had been at the school I attended; who’s now in comms; who happens to work for a company just five minutes from my office. With my recent luck, I half expected him to tell me we were either related, or that we'd already dated and called it off as a bad job. (He didn't.)
But, as slightly unnerving as it might be to contemplate that the world’s such a small place, I’m looking on the bright side: the world’s not yet so small that any more than one odd man is attempting to chat girls up through the medium of porn.
Steamed Chinese Sandwich Bread (Mantou)
9 hours ago