I grew up with a girl who was born on the same day as me. Every year, in grades 1 through 6, we held hands at the front of the classroom while our classmates sang "Bonne Anniversaire" (we were in French immersion) to us on our birthday. I was always glad that I had a birthday buddy, because I was shy and it would have been hard to stand up there all by myself.
Much, much later, I met someone else who has exactly the same birthday as me. My current birthday buddy is a man I work with. He joined the company a few years ago, and we discovered that we had this in common.
Then, at the company Christmas party, I met his wife. She looked awfully familiar. Turns out that she was in my class in grades 1 through 6, and was one of the voices singing "Bonne Anniversaire" to me and my childhood birthday buddy many years ago. Not only that, but she's still in touch with my childhood birthday buddy. They're friends, their kids are friends, and they hang out on a regular basis. Every year at the Christmas party we talk about setting up a reunion. It probably won't ever happen, but I like getting an annual update on my old birthday buddy's life from my new birthday buddy's wife.
If that wasn't enough to convince you that it's a small world, consider this.
I have a girlfriend who's a real Downtown Girl. I met her when she was selling shoes in Toronto's fashion district (that's Queen St. West, for those of you in the T-dot). She lives in a slightly run-down, artsy, colourful neighbourhood called The Junction. It's not exactly downtown, but it's within shouting distance thereof. She lives in an apartment in a building that's over one hundred years old, with an original claw-footed bathtub.
Recently Downtown Girl quit her job at the shoe store and went back to school for a career change. Her new qualifications could potentially be a fit for my workplace (although not in my department). She came out to the suburbs to meet me for lunch, to get a tour of my workplace, and to meet the other department manager. Imagine my surprise when she eyeballed one of my staff and said "You look very familiar. Did you ever work at the airport?"
Here's the story: Downtown Girl and My Employee did both work at the airport years ago. My Employee had a desk job in the customs office. She used to buy her lunch from a restaurant where Downtown Girl was a server. They started chatting when they met on the bus to and from work. They figured out that they were both from the same city in Ukraine, and not only that but they had both gone to the same primary school.
As if that weren't enough, here they were meeting again, randomly, although we were nowhere near the airport and both of them had changed careers. Our minds were blown by the odds against this reunion.
Your turn. What's your best small world story?