One thing about the recent bombing in Manchester that really made an impression on me is that it was at a concert. Yes, I know it’s not the first recent act of terrorism at a show, so this point still stands for events at the Bataclan in 2015, but the bombing of a crowd watching Ariana Grande was the bombing of kids too.
I remember the excitement of my first show. Well, at least the first show I wanted to go to. I’m not counting accompanying my mother to the Fame Academy Tour in 2002 because my Dad bottled it. The first show I was desperate to go to was The Calling touring their first album Camino Palmero.
I was made up to the get tickets and was really excited to go. I parked at a friend’s place and got a lift to the Manchester Apollo so early that I could see the front of queue before the doors opened. Those familiar with the venue will know how close that made me to the front.
The point I’m trying to make is that there are people who attended the show at the MEN on Monday evening who had a similar level of excitement.
I don’t know about you, but have you found that, especially when faced with loss, little things take on added value? So you get a concert ticket for someone because you know they’ll like it, but it’s possible to make it mean more under certain circumstances. You remember little things that were seemingly unimportant on the surface but meant a lot.
Allow me to demonstrate using a day from my Timehop recently.
Ferrero Rocher. Just a normal box of chocolates, right? Wrong. These were a conversation starter with my brother’s ex-girlfriend with whom I was at a loss of things to say. It was more than a picture of a box chocolates – it was a chance to reconnect.
These next two pictures are linked.
So the office was occupied by a friend of mine. We were talking about work. I was telling her that I was having a bad day in the office and she was telling me that there was a spare desk and I could go be her PA. It was a joking comment but I’m not sure she realised how much I would rather have been helping her in that office than stuck where I was at that point in time.
Right then – Chief Wiggum and doughnuts. I guess this is the best one to show what I mean about something insignificant on the surface having greater meaning than it appears.
A good few weeks before that photo was taken I’d acquired a Chief Wiggum Lego character while shopping with the person I mentioned in the previous picture. In fact, we’d been getting her laptop fixed after it got a virus. So excited by my Lego blind pack, I had to open it on the way to the pub. I dropped his megaphone and couldn’t find it. I remember she knelt down in front of me and I made an innuendo laden comment.
I ended up leaving Chief Wiggum with her by mistake because we put him in her handbag. A week or so later I suggested to her that we might be more than friends, she said no and decided to “back off” for a bit. The uncertainty about just how long that would last meant I didn’t know how to break the ice again. I’d managed to get multiple Wiggum’s so sent her (well, him) a megaphone with a note saying how I didn’t know how to make it right with her but I didn’t him to be megaphone-less.
We obviously started talking again and a few years she moved flat. I was cat-sitting for her after she moved and I still remember seeing the envelope I sent the note in pressed up against the side of one of the plastic bags on her kitchen top.
We used to get doughnuts every now and again which is the link there.
Erm, yeah, well, this next one I had no sentimental attachment to!
This is a long, round about way of saying that sometimes small gestures and small things can mean more than they appear on the surface. Let’s not wait to realise that sometimes it’s the small things, the things we see as insignificant that don’t take much effort, that sometimes carry the most meaning.