Thursday, 17 February 2011

The kindness of strangers

On Tuesday evening I got a phone call. It was the news I'd been waiting to hear, delivered by the person who had messed it all up: the flat had been re-let. We have it until the 7th March, but after that someone else - another happy couple - will be moving in.

Clearly, this is a good thing. It means that everything will be wrapped up, I have a date when I can move out and move on and never have reason to hear from him again. But then, that was just it. Everything was really over. The flat I'd set my heart on, the independence, the relationship, it was actually all gone. The news hit me harder than I thought it would. This was almost the worst bit, or at the very least, the worst bit happening all over again.

I hadn't got round to blogging about it yet; my good friend (and her boyfriend) had the pleasure of opening their front door to my red ringed eyes that evening. I felt a bit awkward crying in front of them both, so pushed it all aside and got on with the night. As you do.

In a way, a blog is the one place that you don't feel like you're burdening anyone with your shitty life. People can read it if they like, there's no obligation to say or do anything other than shake their head and think "poor her" before moving onto the next website. So when people exceed that expectation and comment, that's a really nice thing. If they email you and share their own story, or offer help and support in the form of just a few words, that's also a real boost.

And if one day after a really shit few weeks, you're about to pick up your overnight bag that you carry to and from work every day and go home, and you open your inbox and get something more than any of that... it will most likely render you speechless. Last night I got an e-mail from Blue Soup, sent on behalf of a group of Anonymous People, my Blog Friends. For you, it said, and there was a gift attached. I sat there long after I was meant to go home just staring at my screen, absolutely amazed. Amazed that people - not just people I've never met, but people I've probably had the chance to meet on several occasions and have turned down the invitation - have cared enough to get together and make my life a little bit better.

It genuinely made a difference. For the first time in weeks, I was preoccupied with something other than this horrible situation. Instead of thinking about him, I spent last night marvelling over how lovely other people are. I went out for a meal with my family and some friends, didn't have to pretend to be cheery, and for once didn't get into bed at the end of it all and have thoughts churning around my head for two hours before I went to sleep. I was knock-out and slept well (and no, it wasn't just the wine).

So to Soupy and the Anonymous People, thank you so much for doing such a nice thing for me. It has genuinely made my month, and I can't wait to get pampered. I have a day off in March earmarked for the treat. And to everyone else who has been reading, commenting, emailing or sending 140 characters of support lately - you just continue to exceed my expectations of what blogging's about. I'm not going to even pretend that I'm half way through this mess, but thanks to this little online community, I'll probably get out of it faster than I otherwise would.

And when I do, I have a feeling I'll be buying a few beers.


London-Lass said...

Wow - that's really thoughtful :) Well done to all the bloggers who came up with this. I would have, of course, done something similar myself (had I actually thought of doing it) - can I offer instead a cheery internet thumbs up in your direction (feel free to print off this comment and read it whilst you're being pampered) and fingers crossed (again in a very detached Internet type fashion) that life can gradually get better for you. All the ruddy best, London Lass.

Robbie said...

Soupster is awesome for arranging that. Hope you have a lush time.

Blonde said...

The internet is awesome.

Glad there's something providing a smile. x

Breeza said...

That is so sweet. Have a great time!

Ellie said...

Hurrah! For us! May your pampering exceed your expectations too! xxx

Redbookish said...

That is wonderful -- have a great time, and huge internet hugs and mwahs to Soupy and her mates for such care and thought.

You know, the internet is full of nutters, but also full of just ordinary nice people -- in the last couple of years, I've made some friends for life via various internet fora (and I don't mean net dating!).

All the best to you from a non-axe murderer reader of your blog!

nuttycow said...

*grin* Clever soupy for coming up with it. Hope you have a fab time.

modelofamodernmajorgeneral said...

we're social animals:

"We win together, we lose together, we celebrate and we mourn together. And defeats are softened and victories sweetened because we did them together..."

Anonymous said...

You may be very anonymous with your identity, but it doesn't stop your loyal readers from wanting to put a smile on your face.

Enjoy the day! :)

jman said...

So you see? Sometimes good things DO happen to good people. Do you have to prove that "no really, my name is Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open. No I wasn't telling you what not to do. My name is Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open just like it says on the gift certificate"? Hope you emerge purring.

Anonymous said...

That is so lovely, you deserve it :)

Anonymous said...

Hellooooooooo. Isn't the internet a funny old place jam-packed with funny old people?

As I said in my email: sometimes you just want the world to give someone a break.

Sometimes you can do everything about that.

Sometimes you can do absolutely nothing about it.

Sometimes you can hit the interweb to sniff out a spa treat and that is somewhere in between.

Robbie helpfully reminded me not to book anything under the name "Joanne". As nobody knows your full name, Nutty suggested that I go with "Jo Pleasedonteat". I fretted about it a while and went with "Jo" - and it appears it didn't matter anyway...

Have a blissful time :) x

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Londonlass - A cheery internet thumbs up is more than enough. Thank you :)

Robbie - She is indeed. And I will. Definitely.

Blonde - The internet is so underrated. All this "it's dangerous" malarky, hosh tosh.

Breeza- It is , and I will :)

Ellie - Can't wait! Hurrah for blogging!

Redbookish - There is that rumour about the internet being full of nutters isn't there? Thankfully, I have managed to avoid them thus far. Apart from, well, a couple.

nuttycow - What you grinning at? eh? Eh?

model - That was beautiful... ;)

perp - This is all part of a cunning plan to find out the name of those TV presenters, isn't it. I know your game. :) Thank you, I will enjoy it!

jman - That would be amazing if I had to give my name as Jo Please Dont...

Anon - It is lovely.

soup - Haha. I love that bit about not calling me Joanne. Although it probably would have made me laugh if you'd done it accidently ;) Thanks so much.

Robbie said...

Damn, now I wish I had pushed for Joanne, it's been a while since we heard a good Joanne story.

modelofamodernmajorgeneral said...

Not my words I'm afraid. Mr Aaron Sorkin is the man to credit


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