Friday, February 13, 2004

Small World

Small World

I just had a "small world" experience over lunch. I usually eat at the same bagel shop on Friday's after going to the bank and my officemate usually comes along, too. She couldn't come today, but asked me to bring something back, so I was just going to get both lunches to go. While I was standing off to the side waiting for my order, a woman I used to work with when I worked in downtown Baltimore came in. She still lives in Maryland, so she was one of the last people I expected to see.

Turns out she was dropping off her cat to be boarded for the week nearby and stopped in for some lunch. So instead of getting my lunch to go, I sat down with her for some catching up and reminiscing. It was so great to see her and hear how mutual acquaintances were doing! At the end of this month, I will have been at this job for four years, so that's about how long it's been since I've seen her. My poor officemate had to wait until 1:30 for her lunch.

This is the second "small world" experience I've had in the past year. Last May, just before I started this journal, I went to pick up H. at the babysitter's, just like any other day. Also at the sitter's are a brother and sister who, at the time, were 1 and 4, respectively. I had met both of the parents at various drop-offs or pick-ups and chatted for a couple of minutes and that was that. That day, their mother came in shortly after I arrived. I knew her name was Wendy because the sitter's name is Wendy, too, and she always calls her "the other Wendy."

Well, that particular day, for some reason, she looked really familiar to me and the planets aligned and something just clicked. I asked her, "Wendy, what’s your maiden name?” She probably thought I was insane. "F.," she said and I started laughing. "Do you know who I am?" I asked her, and then it clicked for her, too. We had grown up together on the same street in the suburbs of Maryland. She was older than me, but our older sisters were friends, so we hung out together, too. For a couple of years, we were really close until the age difference separated us as she went off to junior high. I hadn’t seen her for fifteen years and there we were, in a different state, using the same babysitter for our kids. I was just blown away for the rest of the evening.

A small world, indeed.