Sunday, 19 December 2010

Hopeful romantic or just an idiot?

Today I braved the adverse weather conditions to make it to my gig, the snow in London is pretty impressive and it only compounded the closures/strikes to make travel a hassle for anyone trying to get around the city.

I put on my thermals and as many layers as I could put on before I left, with my headphones in, I sailed through my journey to the Comedy Tree in Putney. When I got to Putney Green station I observed a young attractive lady approaching the stairwell with her suitcase and preparing herself to carry it down. As I approached the steps I saw her lift the suitcase with some difficulty before taking slow, cautious steps downwards towards the exit. I asked her if she would like a hand, to which she hospitably reacted. I took the suitcase and lifted it with a false demonstration of strength as my skinny arms were challenged by the weight of her luggage, it was heavy! Not wanting to look like a weakling, I tensed my biceps and successfully continued with the short journey towards the exit. We walked together, step by step in silence, neither of us making eye contact as we carefully navigated the wet steps on this cold, snowy evening. When we got to the bottom, she gave her thanks, I told her she was welcome, then she left with the only remaining challenge to make it through the barriers with her cumbersome luggage.

Call me a romantic, or just an idiot, but part of my naively hoped that this was a special chance encounter. You know, like in the movies when the woman struggles with something and the chivalrous guy comes to her rescue, then he asks her out, she says 'yes' and then the film kicks off and in the end they fall in love. But it seems, that real life is not like this for the most part, probably thanks to the climate of fear and distrust of strangers.

There are plenty of chivalrous men, but sometimes it can be scary to be chivalrous in case it backfires. I have heard of plenty of stories where men have offered to help with heavy bags, only to be shouted at by ultra-feminist nutjobs who interpret any communication from a man to be nothing more than an insulting and exploitative invitation. I hesitated only momentarily because of this, but because she was young, I took a gamble and my hospitality was appreciated. As we descended down those steps, I could have easily started a conversation with her, but thought against it in the fear that she may interpret my offer of help as nothing more than an opportunity to chat her up, so I stayed quiet. As we parted ways with pleasantries, there was no eye contact, just simple words and we were on our way.

Maybe those romantic movies put silly ideas in our heads that chance encounters in the real world lead to such amazing relationship adventures? Although, I do know that one of my friends, a few years ago, was once depressed, so he went out for a walk in central London, a girl randomly asked him for directions. They're married now.

Anyone have any cool romantic stories? Leave your comments below or tweet me :-)


  1. Hi Imran, as a young(ish) woman, i think that was a lovely gesture. You should also know for next time, that a woman that accepts your chivalry, would be too much of laydee to ask you for your number, so im sure if you had have asked her, she would have had a coffee with you. Dont doubt yourself nextime, just go for it :)