I was pointed via an email this week in the direction of this rather heart-warming article which appeared in the Guardian at the weekend, about couples who met and fell in love with a stranger on their daily commute.
It’s rather lovely to think in the days of automated, online everything that such old-school romance can still exist.
It goes hugely against the British grain of pretending you can’t see anyone else travelling with you. Interaction with fellow passengers is normally most definitely Against The Rules. You get on the train, and then staunchly ignore everyone, even though you’re pressed together so closely the carriage almost certainly contravenes EU rules on the humane transportation of livestock. I swear there have been occasions when I’ve had sex making less bodily contact than I do on the 07.29 into London. (Though there are people out there railing (if you’ll pardon the pun) against the social more that we should stare through our fellow commuters, like the frankly BRILLIANT People on The Tube blog. Go, check it out. And pray you’ve not been captured on camera.)
But, even if I’m now an expert at making sure my observations aren’t too obvious, I doubt I’m alone in eyeing up particularly hot types as they make their weary way back out to Home County of an evening (though sadly I’ve not seen this chap in a long while). Frankly, if you’ve not fallen in love at least twice on a long train journey, then you’ve not been looking hard enough.
I once had a flirtation with a man I met on the train.
It was many years ago; I’d not long split up from Long Term Ex, and was feeling generally grumpy about the state of mankind (just the men, that is). Sitting on an early train, I was staring wistfully out the window across a particularly bleak Fenland morning. Standing out against the flat, grey vista was the reflection in the window of a pair of bright blue eyes staring straight at me.
The eyes crinkled, and were joined by a smile on the face of a guy sitting a few seats down the train. A really, really hot one. Tousled, dirty-blonde hair; big blue eyes; freckled face. Assuming it had been an accident, I blushed furiously and quickly looked down at my lap. When I looked up, there he was again, grinning away. I meekly smiled back, and for the rest of the journey, we were exchanging glances and smiles via reflections in the window.
“Huh, that was nice”, I’d thought, getting off the train and walking down the platform when there was a tap on my shoulder.
“Hey, how ya goin’?” Ah. An Australian. That explains the tan and the textbook surfery good looks. And the fact you’re willing verbally to acknowledge what just happened.
A short conversation and a divergence in direction down different roads later, and we’d had a quick chat and swapped numbers.
Of course, this isn’t Hollywood, this is me, so it’s less wonderful, old-school romance and more, well, le vie de la Blonde, really. Instead of us falling madly in love, I later found out he was married with two children and they were all about to move back to Australia.
It’s probably not the stuff great films are made of. But it livened up the 08.04. And that, and a seat, is probably all a girl can expect.