Recently- not that this is anything novel or previously unexperienced, but- recently, and I mean, just this month, I’ve met or run into complete strangers who know all the same people I do. The fact that we’re still strangers is, frankly, odd.
Case #1: I am invited to a bachelorette party weekend at a cabin about fortyfive minutes west of Omaha. I know the bride and the bride’s best friend, and then there are six other girls I’ve never met. Upon arriving, two of the strangers (who aren’t strangers anymore, d’awwwwwww) are challenging each other. “I’ve got THE most hideous dress to show you.” “No, I have the most hideous dress to show you.” In the end, of course, it turned out to be the same dress on the same gal.
Now, yeah, okay, that’s funny and ha-ha small world, BUT THERE’S MORE.
I want to see this hideous dress, naturally, so the laptop is turned toward me. Oh, hey, I know the guy in that photo.
“How do you know him?” I went to pre-school and high school with him.
“Well, I went to St Phil’s with him.” Well, I played soccer for St Phil’s.
“Then you must know _____.” Yep.
“And ______.” Yep.
(and so on).
I think at the end of that little discover, I’d learnt that we all had so many friends in common that it was a miracle that we’d not met before.
I took that opportunity to warn everyone: don’t talk shit about anyone at all ever because clearly, he or she will end up being someone’s brother or cousin or neighbor or postman.
Case #2: Went out to the bar and Kona for a friend’s birthday. This time I knew everyone, as they were all previous co-workers. Then another person shows up and one of my friends says, “Oh, I think you guys have a mutual friend.” I was like, “besides all of y’all?” (God, I’m funny). After raucous laughter, the stranger goes, “Yeah, Melanie?”
I just looked at her.
Um, no, the look is because I have literally known her my entire life and I’ll be in her wedding next year. (Different wedding).
“Oh! Well, I played softball with her for (however many) years!” And now this stranger (but not anymore, D’AWW) works for my former employer.
After our favorite bar, we popped over to Kona (because food) and we were talking about my friend’s birthday. All of a sudden, this guy slightly behind me goes, “Oh, who’s birthday is it?” Hers. “Ah, how old are you?” (First of all, wrong direction). She says: Guess. (Annnnnd there’s the trap). “Um, 31?”
Yeah, I’m 29, thanks. “Oh! I’m sorry, well, I’m 41, so I’m way old!” Yeah, right, let me see your ID.
(He gets out ID) How do you say your last name? “Like it’s spelled.” (Why haven’t I ever used that approach? Oh wait, because Friis).
She pronounces it quite Frenchly and he says, “no, it’s-” and without looking at the ID, I say it correctly.
“How’d you do that?” Well, do you have a younger brother named Justin who went to North?
“OMG YES! How did you know that?”
Case #3: Not as strong of a case, I grant you, but still enough to be like, JFC. Talking to my friend who I’ve actually never met, but you know, it’s one of those social media things that I love; anyway, he asks me if I listen to 105.9 ever. I’m thinking, I didn’t know 105.9 was nationally syndicated (this friend lives in CA).
“Oh, well, my friend, a comedian, just told me that he was on the 105.9 morning program this morning… in Omaha!”
Needless to say, I wasn’t up early enough for the morning program, but I googled this comedian and he happens to be coming to the Funny Bone just down the street in November.
I just know that when I go see his show and I tell him that we’ve got a mutual friend, he’ll say, “what a small world!”