Good morning to you dear reader, and congratulations on reaching your four-day weekend! I hope that you have some lovely plans to keep you occupied during this unusually long rest period.
Being the soppy little so-and-so that I am, I sometimes get a bit sniffly just thinking about my friends and loved ones. They are incredible people, and I seriously lucked out by meeting each and every one of them. I hope that the people in your life are just as amazing (and that you are capable of thinking about them without getting all girly and emotional). Today I’d like to identify some of the best people in all of our lives, because if I’m getting emotional then I’m taking you lot down with me:
- The person you want to lie in bed and watch stupid films with
It usually (although not always) takes a very specific amount of love, intimacy and trust to share a bed with someone, but especially on days when you are hungover, ill or just refusing to navigate the confusing world outside your duvet. Lying in bed with someone watching a film is one of the greatest pleasures in life, and we should feel very glad to have suitable candidates for that activity in our lives (and beds). This is particularly true of people who will not only allow but often suggest that the film is childish/terrible/ridiculous – for example, Ash and I have been known to cosy up and watch obscure Disney films on our duvet days. We are also very partial to a musical film version of Cinderella called The Slipper and the Rose, which I heartily recommend to you the next time you’re in the mood for something silly.
- The person who can make you laugh on your worst day
I am slightly paraphrasing the Friends theme tune here, but it’s true. Someone who can make you laugh – not just any laugh, but your real, embarrassing, uncontrollable laugh that only appears when something is incredibly funny - is a treasure. If a person can take you out of your stress, sadness or generic turmoil, even just for a moment, you need to keep hold of them.
- The person who remembers tiny things about you
It’s probably because my own memory is so flipping appalling, but I am always touched when someone remembers a small fact or silly story about me that I wouldn’t have considered massively important. There are certain things about ourselves that we hope our loved ones remember (allergies being a pretty important one, for example), but what makes up a person is a combination of the tiny things as well as the big ones. If someone has taken the trouble to remember something seemingly inconsequential about you, it shows that they know and love the whole you, not just the obvious attributes.
- The person who unknowingly makes your day
We’ve all had the experience of walking past someone and overhearing a snippet of their conversation, or seeing someone being kind to another stranger in public. People who don’t know you and will probably never talk to you have the capacity to make your day, and I am grateful to all of those individuals who have unknowingly made me smile. My biggest thanks must go to the business man – complete with suit and briefcase – who did the Gangnam Style dance all the way down a platform at Marylebone station once. Whoever you are, I salute you.
- The person with their head screwed on
I am not the most practical of people, and I tend to panic in the face of things like technical rehearsals, tax returns and pedestrian crossings. For these moments (and many more) I invariably turn to Harry, the Operations Manager of my theatre company, excellent friend and all-round voice of reason. If you are like me, I hope that you have someone just as sensible to calm you down in times of stress. If you are like Harry, I hope you enjoy being the sensible one with the practical solutions. To the rest of us, it looks like a super power.
- The person who wakes you up with a ridiculous text
There is nothing like starting your day well, and the tiniest things can make a difference: you could put on your favourite outfit, see something funny on the news or eat a delicious breakfast. But what you really need is the kind of friend who will send you a ridiculous message like “What’s the plural of mongoose?!” before 8am. That kind of message amuses you, intrigues you, and then it gets you straight out of bed to Google “mongoose”. It’s mongooses, by the way. Sounds like it should be mongeese, doesn’t it? Anyway, the point is that ridiculous questions first thing in the morning are only ok between true and loyal friends, so make sure you appreciate those people. You never know when niggling curiosity is going to strike you down.
- The person who reminds you why you love what you do
I really hope that you enjoy what you do. I really hope that you like going to work at least most of the time, and that you have a passion to pursue. More than that, I hope that you have people in your life who remind you that what you are doing is good, and that what you are aiming for is attainable. I recently met a lovely lady called Angela at a directing thing in Stratford, and in the short time I’ve known her she has wowed me with her enthusiasm, passion for theatre and her generous support for what I’m trying to do with my life. She hasn’t known me for long enough to “owe” me her encouragement, but she gives it to me anyway. We all need someone like that.
- The person who gives you butterflies
Yes, alright – I know I’ve said that my friends and I don’t like fancying people, and that feelings in general tend to make us feel out of control, but I think that we all need to feel that way from time to time. If you’ve met someone who makes you feel giddy and nervous that’s a bit scary, but it’s also exciting. Where would we all be without butterflies? Exactly. We’d be caterpillars.
Have a magical Friday.