Wednesday 30 December 2015

A very curious encounter

Picture the scene.
A young man (my son) is on a train sitting
at a table of four seats.
He is wearing a casual navy jacket,
a T-shirt and V-neck jumper
with a pair of dark maroon trousers.

Opposite him are a smartly dressed woman and her husband
in their late fifties or early sixties.
She has a cold.
After a while she opens a pack of Lemsip sachets
 takes them all out, and puts them in a tidy pile.
She then opens up the Lemsip box.

She turns it over and begins to write.
The young man does not take much notice of this,
(he is working on his laptop)
until she pushes the piece of card across the table to him.
She smiles. It is a message for him.
Here is what it says:

Do you think she makes a habit of offering 
unsolicited sartorial advice on trains?
Would an unremarkably dressed young man be likely to 
a) be grateful for this advice,
b) want to act on such specific advice?

Would she have risked doing this to a woman?

Would she have welcomed my return note
correcting her spelling of 'accentuate' and 'wear'?

What would you have felt?
What would you have said?


  1. Oh heavens, I remember this - like Sue, I once forked out £60 to be told I was a spring. Eventually got tired of wearing salmon pink and turquoise and grunged back to normal. Did you ever see that Michael Moore film Roger and Me? Remember howling when the lady trains as a color analyst and realises she's been wearing the wrong season. (The woman I went to was a summer and had painted her sitting room lavender to flatter her complexion- which made me wonder what happened when her husband/kids walked in and clashed?)
    Anyway, like you, I'm a spelling snob and couldn't take advice from anyone who couldn't spell accentuate!

  2. I agree that was indeed a very curious encounter. It reminds me of a scene that might occur in an Agatha Christie story. So odd that one would remember the scene and one that might become key to the solution of a murder or some such crime.

    I wish you and yours a Happy New Year! xo

  3. How really strange, must be missing her kids or something. I'd just smiled and thanked her.

  4. A rather odd thing to do to an unknown young man, I agree, but I'd have been rather tickled if it had happened to me! I love such unexpected and eccentric happenings.

  5. I am overcome with relief that this eccentric lady met your polite son and was permitted to go on her way quietly and without excoriation. If she had tried this with MasterM and been subjected to his opinions on her Colour Me Beautiful analysis she would probably have been looking for a new hobby in 2016.

  6. Very odd indeed. And intrusive. Another spelling error - "tomatoe" red. I'm not sure how I would've responded. Perhaps not so kindly as I should... What did your son say to her?

  7. if it had come up in conversation. Maybe.

    But what an odd thing to write to a passing stranger!

  8. I think this is weirdly hilarious.

  9. I would have told her to mind her own business and shoved the packets of LemSip where the sun doesn't shine.

  10. How exceptionally rude . And how very restrained of your son not to blow a raspberry !

  11. Apparently suffering from an inadvertent overdose of lemon flavored Paracetamol. At least she wasn't barking.

  12. Rather odd, but perhaps well meaning with the best of intentions......

  13. I like to think that she meant it kindly, and that misguided kindness is better than no connection at all. It was somehow a human thing to happen. If she was wearing a Tara Brooch and it was the 2:30 to York, it would have been my Aunt Muriel.

  14. what a nerve !
    i'd have mis quoted churchill and said " madam, i may be wearing the wrong colours today , tomorrow i can change them. you however will still be quite mad".

  15. I would have wondered why she didn't actually open her mouth and express this rather than writing it all down on a Lemsip box. I really do find it most strange that she was prepared to write this down and hand it over but not actually say anything. Weird indeed.
    I would have thanked her, out loud, or maybe written it on a scrap of paper, with a cheery 'Good Luck on your future clothing choices' on the end. And if I was quick thinking enough I may have offered my own advice.... never wear socks with sandals.

  16. How decidedly odd. And tremendously arrogant on her part. I fear I may have been tempted to reply that I was normally a 'winter' but I'd not been well, and I could only apologise if I was still infectious.

  17. Very odd indeed! I hope that if I he been on the receiving end I would have had a proper giggle about it, and a tale to tell afterwards, but I fear it might have depended on what kind of a day I was already having. Certainly that was how I responded many years ago when told by an elderly woman in a lift in a department store that I 'would never grow up to be a gentleman' though she didn't seem to take kindly to ether my giggles nor my agreement with her.
    Reminiscing aside, I popped by to say thank you Lucille for your lovely, quirky, amusing and different blog, which never fails to interest and /or entertain. With all my good wishes to you for 2016. You see, I was brought up to politely say my thank yous. Deborah xxxx

  18. I am undecided about this. One one hand, it is incredibly rude to comment on the clothing choices of other people and on the other, why not engage your son in conversation?

  19. Good gracious! I'd have thought she was bonkers but would probably have entered into conversation, feebly defending what I was wearing (though this would have been a ridiculous thing to do). It's very odd, but somehow interesting, that this lady wrote all this without speaking. Truth is stranger... etc.

  20. Bizarre and presumptuous, I'd say. And the spelling would have annoyed me. We can all wear what we flipping well like to wear. (Mise's comment has made me giggle non-stop for about five minutes.)

  21. I guess she meant well, and I hope you son wasn't too offended.

    I had my colours 'done' when it was in vogue to do so and came away with a little notebook style purse of my perfect colours and a lipstick that was the 'right' colour for me .... I didn't wear and still don't wear any lipstick so that was a silly amount of money down the drain.

    Although I agree with the basics of this forcing it down a young man trapped in a train seat opposite you is not the way to publicise it. She must have been frustrated that no one goes for colour analysis with her anymore :-)

  22. It would be very rude of me to comment without first thanking you for your very entertaining blog. I've been lurking quietly for some time and look forward to your posts. A long time ago I was interested in colour analysis (it seemed the right thing at the time). I don't remember much about it which could explain why I often look tired. Of course it could simply be that I am tired. Apart from the spelling, I take issue with her advice. Unless there has been a CMB u turn, summer people most definitely do not have yellow skin tones. Goodness, I'm so glad your son didn't chuck his entire wardrobe in a skip to follow this very odd advice. I have to say I found it hilarious, but fear that the older I get, the less inhibited I become. I could give Aunt Muriel a run for her money. I seem to be inadvertently introducing myself as Unknown - how awful. I am Shona, nice to meet everyone.

  23. How odd. I could never manage to be rude in these circumstances although I do think she was rather rude, intentionally or otherwise! Lucky for her that she met your son and not my husband.