Friday, January 25, 2013

Small World Stories

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?


wigsf3 said...

I once met up with a bunch of bloggers. Turns out, one of them used to live 15 houses down the street when we were both teens.

LL Cool Joe said...

Damn I don't have a small world story, maybe that's because I live in a small world. Soon I'll be singing "It's a small word after all..."

So... your new work birthday buddy... do you hold hands with him when everyone sings happy birthday to you? ;)

Tracy Moore said...

Many years ago, I used to talk with a woman on a fibromyalgia support board, and we discovered that we would both be at the same place on a weekend we met up in person for lunch. It was great :)

Neat stories like these!

Sparkling Red said...

wigsf3: 15 houses apart? Geez, you were practically in each other's laps.

LL Cool Joe: LOL Yeah, right, that's exactly what we do.

Tracy: That sounds fun. :-)

Jameil said...

Love it! I met my best friend at undergrad in Virginia. She went to a different school in Florida starting junior year. Senior year, she had a group project working with one of my first cousins and they actually became friends!

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Well this one time I stole a computer and running down the street I ran into a police car... small world... sigh....

Granny Annie said...

My college roommate lives in Texas. My childhood best friend lives in Colorado. Recently connecting with both via the internet, we learned that these two friends were next door neighbors in Germany when their Army spouses were stationed there in the '60s.

G. B. Miller said...

Sadly, no small world stories, just small world work stories. I would from time to time, run into someone who would know me via an old co-worker from one of my previous pit stops on the guv'ment career trail.

DarcsFalcon said...

Those are awesome stories, Spark! I love them!

My small world story is this: my husband and I grew up just a couple of miles apart in neighboring towns ... and didn't meet until we were adults, and 2500 miles away from where we grew up. :)