What do you do when you start having a crush on a fellow commuter but are too scared to talk to them? You hand them a note, of course.
It was July 2003 when Zoë Folbigg, an English author, laid eyes on her now husband, Mark, while waiting for a train.
“My first impressions were that he was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen in my life. I hoped to see him the next day, and the next…” said Folbigg in an email to Global News.
Folbigg did see him again but Mark didn’t pay too much attention to her and she was too embarrassed to approach him while on the train.
“He was always lost in a book, so I didn’t ever have the chance to strike up conversation with him — and anyway, I didn’t think he’d be interested,” said Folbigg.
In an effort to get Mark’s attention, Folbigg said she purposely dropped her train ticket in front of him in hopes of striking up a conversation.
Finally, Folbigg had a plan: On her birthday she would hand Mark a note to let him know how she felt. By then, it had been 10 months that the two had been commuting on the same train.
“I said I thought he looked lovely and would he like to go for a drink. I put my email address and said that if he didn’t [want to] I’d leave him in peace and wish him happy travels.”
So, just before Folbigg got off the train at her stop, she handed Mark the note and walked away.
“He looked confused!” said Folbigg.
Mark did end up emailing Folbigg that day, only to let her know he was in a relationship and wished her a happy birthday.
“I was gutted! But glad I had done it. At least I knew and could move on…even though I didn’t want to, there was no one else I liked as much as Train Man,” said Folbigg.
But a few months later Mark found himself single and waited six months before contacting Folbigg again, asking her out for a drink. By then it was January 2005.
“We went out for the drink the next night, and we’ve been together ever since,” said Folbigg.
Today, Folbigg and Mark have been married for eight years and have two children, one seven years of age and the other five.
“Mark proposed to me when we were travelling in Australia (on a train!)… Mark is so glad I made the move and gave him the note. I thought he was out of my league but I didn’t realise [sic] that he’s a shy guy, and would never have the courage to have done what I did — so he’s very glad I did it!”
Folbigg also gave a bit of advice to people who may be crushing on a stranger of their own: “My advice would be to do it: what’s the worst that can happen?”
Folbigg has since written a fictional novel called The Note that’s inspired on their love story.