My sausages were in the oven; Suzanne, Mark and I were having a cosy housemate conversation in the kitchen; I was about to start making mash. I grabbed my bag of potatoes and went to open them. I was having a bit of trouble and was just about to put them down to grab the scissors when Mark silently came over, took the bag, opened them, and handed them back.
There are so many possible reactions to that moment - from offended to grateful to amused. The one I had was one I didn't expect - I was so overcome by that small act of unsolicited kindness, I had to blink back tears.
As a friend of mine wisely said when I told him about it, "A lot goes on, even in the smallest exchanges and seemingly trivial interactions." Without question, the naturalness and the simplicity of the act was what made it so moving - it's something that Mark just *does*, and it was a reminder that simple acts often mean more than grand gestures for that very reason - they're indicative of a person's real character. But it's also about receiving, which is often much harder to do. I suspect most of us don't really *receive* very well, as being taken care of isn't often something we allow ourselves - we're taught that it's a guilty pleasure, a luxury: hence the fortune being made off of 'pampering yourself'. And being given something unasked, well, sometimes it can be overwhelming.
And a lot more soul-reviving than a day at the spa. Well, I can only guess, since my closest brush with a spa has been the Sanctuary product line from Boots. I think I might need to go on a research trip to test my hypothesis...