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Al Dente

Coincidences

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Does anyone have any amazing coincidence stories to share?

I'll start. Back in college, I took a trip to Greece in the summer with a tour group of college kids from all over the country. When I arrived in Athens, the group that had just finished their trip met with us for food, drink, and debauchery. One of the guys in my group (who knew I lived in Salisbury MD) said that there was a girl who was also from Maryland in the departing group. "So what", I thought. But I met her a few minutes later and we talked about where we were from. 

Me: so, where in MD?

Her: the Eastern Shore.

Me: hey, me too! Whereabouts?

Her: Salisbury.

Me: no fucking way! What part?

Her: Tony Tank (I know, weird name but it was a bastardization of some Native American word)

Me: WTF? I freakin' live there too! What street?

Her: Indian Lane

Me: You gotta be fucking kidding me. Me too! What address?

Her: 511 Indian Lane.

Me: Oh my god! I live at 509. We're next door neighbors!

I had never met her before in my life, but a few weeks later sure enough, there she was in the driveway of her house waving at me.

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A few years back my wife and I were on a crowded train from Manhattan to Brooklyn to visit my cousin, who has a brownstone in Park Slope.  My wife spots someone who looks vaguely familiar, they lock eyes and approach one another, and it turns out they were high school classmates 15 years earlier, half a world away in New Delhi India.  That was a crazy enough coincidence, but it gets better.  We get to talking about where we are both going this night, and it turns out that this guy is my cousin's tenant, and we are all on our way to her house. 

If someone had been there selling lottery tickets at that moment, they would have made a boatload of money off us...

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I have had lots of these over the years-

One a whirlwind trip across Europe while I was in college, me and my college boyfriend were in the Louvre and we saw our friends from college who were on the women's basketball team.  We snuck up behind them and bumped into a couple of them, they turned around to get a little mad only to see us.

I took a trip to Paris with my Mom, unbeknownst to me, one of my good friends from Alexandria was in Paris with her Mom.  I happened to see a post on fb, and messaged her, so we met up for dinner with our Moms.

One year at the kite festival, a couple little girls ran up to ask if they could pet Max, my dog, I was really startled because they happened to be the children of a client of mine who we had just litigated years worth of custody disputes and I had seen tons of photographs, and knew their lives inside and out.  I politely asked them where their parent was (thank goodness they were with my client who was just a little behind them with their kite) and if they knew to be gentle and to let my dog smell their hand first.  Their Father and I tried to let on that we didn't know each other, despite me likely talking to him weekly at least.

In the airport back from St Thomas, we ran into friends of mine from law school, who ended up being on our plane and sitting right behind us.

I know I have others, I just can't remember them at the moment.

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A few years ago, I flew to Quebec City right after Xmas and posted a few pictures on FB.  Apparently my brother had decided to go to Montreal at the same time.  He and his family ended up driving up to Quebec City for a day and we all hung out together.  Unplanned family vacation.

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Years ago, my father visited me at my apartment in Capitol Hill. We walked over towards Eastern Market to get some lunch. On our walk, we got on the subject of new technology and my father said he had yet to see a Segway. At that very moment, a Segway passed right by us.

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On the 1 group tour we’ve taken (to Spain & Portugal), we made friends with an older couple because both he & I discovered that we both enjoy tennis.  When talking about where we live, I told him that I’d lived in St Louis in the late ‘70s.  He only knew 1 person who’d lived there, who he knew growing up in Westchester 60+ years earlier.  Turns out that his childhood friend was the husband of my grad school advisor, who now lived in (as did we) NYC & had, in fact, thrown us a party after we got married.  We got them together when we returned home.  Nice reunion.

in Florence, Italy we ate at a restaurant where the chef/owner had previously worked in NYC but had returned home with his new American wife to run the old family restaurant with his mom.  Yep, his wife was a Brooklyn neighbor & when we discovered that, he introduced us to his new father in law sitting at the next table - also a neighbor.

I met my wife in ‘86.  When we were living together later that year, she asked if I wanted to join her sister & friends for a chartered boat party her sister was organizing.  I said yes & then discovered on the boat that Ginny’s sister & I not only knew each other thru mutual friends back in the early ‘70s but that those mutual friends (6-10 of them) were all on the boat with us.

There are more.  It’s a very small world.

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Ok, here’s a food board one.  Years ago, a member of Mouthfulsfood from Texas began a long, complicated adoption of a child from Columbia.  She wrote a lot about the orphanage that her future daughter had been living in & a # of us contributed to making that orphanage better.  As part of that,  she came to NYC after the adoption with her new daughter and we threw her a party in Manhattan at Redhead, a place owned by friends.  She brought a friend from Texas who had just moved to NYC & was settling in, meeting locals & making friends.  We spoke with this friend at the party:

me: where are you staying?

her: temporarily in Brooklyn

me: really, where?  We live in Brooklyn

her: Brooklyn Heights

me: really, where?  We live in Brooklyn Heights

This kept going until we discovered that she was living in our 18 unit co-op, upstairs in our friends’ apt. while they were away for several months.

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