Thursday, 29 April 2010

In which size matters

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.

10 comments:

HC said...

Jack Nicholson in four also, the Bahraini royals in one (I had a "know your client" lunch with one of them about two years ago).
As for Ron Jeremy, I can't make the connection but I will ask some of my less-virtuous-than-I friends.

nuttycow said...

Of course he was intimidated by you - you're gorgeous! I bet there was more than one man wishing he had the guts to ask you out!

Helena Halme said...

I used to exclaim when after having just met some-one (say, at the school gates) who knew some-one else I knew, 'It's small world!'

My son would say drily, 'A small county more like'. (It was at that moment I realised I didn't have a life and went to look for it. But that's another story.)

Helena xx

PS. I don't think it's you being scary that was the non-uniformed chap's problem. It was what he wanted from you that scared HIM.

Rage said...

Gosh, popular, aren't we?! Lot's of potential for unwelcome cross-pollination...also, lots of potential for background checking if it became necessary (often a good thing, even if you never need to take the option up).

Again, though...where was SL in all this? Wasn't he the one who brought you to the ball?

Blonde said...

HC: I think he's probably one worth leaving off the list, to be honest.

NC: You're a sweetheart. And a liar. But also a sweetheart. But still a liar.

HH: It could be that I don't get out enough, you're quite right. Erk.

Rage: Surely that's what Google's for?! (And ok, ok - I'll post!)

P said...

I'm forever being reminded of what a small world it is. Or perhaps it is just MY world that is small...

CoatMan said...

That's adorable! I do love a good co-incidence.

Emily said...

Wow, how many guys' numbers did you get at this ball?

Susie Q said...

I like the idea of Six Degrees of Separation. But it's sometimes too much like hard work to figure out what's going on..

Darude - one
Ville Valo (front man of HIM) - two
Keira Knightly - two

Beyond that, I can't be bothered to think about celebrities. However, I live in a city that's like a small town really. Everybody knows everybody. A random girl at my previous work used to go out with a friend of my ex's. And I've lived with a friend for months now, and never found out that she is friends with one of the people on my course. The boyfriend of a friend of mine (never met him) turns out to be the big brother of a friend of mine... It really is amazing how people are related. Either that or it just shows exactly how small our social circles are...

xx

Brennig said...

When I was visiting Alice Springs I came out of the place I was staying, one night, and fell over a guy who I used to be in Young Farmers with. When I was arrested by the US Military Police in Nevada, the arresting officer had been my cousin's Best Man two years beforehand.

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