Jump to content

Menu

"It's a small world"- your experiences


Recommended Posts

I know we've had small world stories before but I have a new one;

 

Dh was talking to this guy at work. The guy was in town for a project. Somehow, during lunch, the discussion turned to interesting places they've lived. This guy went to the same school as dh, his brother was in dh's class.... in the PHILIPPINES (we are currently in TN)!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was a hairstylist before I had children. I had a woman as a client for a couple years and one day the conversation turned to a memory from her childhood. It turned out that she not only grew up in the same town as my mother but graduated from high school with her! This was FL in the 60s, I was cutting and coloring her hair in VA 40 years later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My sister was born in Texas. She met her best friend in 5th grade after we moved to New Mexico. They happen to share a birthday. Our mom and her BFF's mom were chatting and realized they had both lived in the same Texas town. Further talk revealed that they had the same OBGYN, the girls were born in the same hospital, on the same day, just 2 hours apart. My sis and her are still best friends to this day, twenty years later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found out that the Orthodox priest in a nearby parish is the brother of a mega church/word-of-faith pastor in our state's wife (Wendy Treat, Casey Treat's wife). I thought that pretty wild when I met this priest and heard it. We'd attended the mega church a few times before becoming Orthodox.

 

I know there's something else even more amazing, but now I've forgotten it! Maybe it will come back to me ....

Edited by milovaný
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at a meal with a friend of a friend's birthday group, and SHE had a guest who'd married the kid who grew up down the street from me. I think she was doubting until I told her about a bulldog named Martha.

 

My childhood friend is a school teacher 30 miles from me (and 2000 miles from where we grew up). I hadn't seen her in over 30 years when I googled her unusually named sister, who had just taken her maiden name back, and the sister worked in my town!

 

When I went off to college (again, 2000 miles from home) I met the best friend of a man who'd lived downstairs from me in Kansas. They were both from the Bronx.

 

We bumped into an old student of my father's in the tiny town of Banana in Australia.

 

When I lived in NYC, I bumped into 5 people I'd met in college, 3500 miles away. One guy I bumped into twice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best one I ever had was in college. I spent my junior year of high school as an exchange student in a European country, and my first week at college, I met a girl who was the cousin of a guy I knew there.

 

There are a lot of small-world stories in my church, though. It gets ridiculous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My best friend in high school moved 2000 miles away for college. Her roommate happened to be the daughter of my parents' good friends from high school (in another city 1,500 miles away) and she happened to have a picture of the two of us together when we were babies up in her room. I hadn't seen her since the day the picture was taken (we were six months old.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were walking in a mall in Oregon. My Dh pointed out a guy and said I think that is my childhood friend...from India! Turns out the childhood friend lived 2 minutes from us, had also married an American, had a child almost the same age and the two families became very close!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ran into a close friend from my small-town PA high school at a mall in Raleigh, NC about 10 years after graduating and losing touch. And then when we moved to TX in 2007, the children's librarian at the library here was a friend from college that I hadn't seen or heard of in 8 years or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was in high school, a neighbor down the street raised pigs for himself and friends. My parents bought one. When slaughtering day came, my dad and I walked down there to watch. The slaughterer ended up being the husband of my mom's old high school friend. We were living in California; they went to high school in New Jersey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was a girl my family moved several states away. Within a week of my family moving in, another new family moved into the house across the street. We went over to greet them, and the mom turned out to be the girl who had babysat my dad when they were young. Her parents and my dad's parents were best friends! Even better, their family had just sold their old house in another state to my parents' best friends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You win the thread. :001_huh:

 

Wow.

 

 

When I was in college in 1992 (in AL), I was in the mall when an older lady walked up to me and asked if I was related to [my dad's name]. I told her he was my dad and she said she'd served with him in the navy in the Okinawa hospital during Vietnam, in 1968! Everyone says I look just like my dad and I guess so if this lady picked me out of a mall 24 years later.

 

Growing up a military brat, I've met loads of people I knew from my childhood. A guy from an elementary school I went to in VA (not on a military base) ended up in my Anthropology class in college and my step-sister (my dad remarried a few years ago, so we didn't grow up together) married a guy who was in my Psych class. It took both of us forever to figure out how we knew each other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had just moved to TX and I was in need of a midwife. At my second visit we found out we were from the same small town in IL. She was only a few years older than me so we had lived there at the same time and I walked past her house every day for school.

 

 

Just recently we were at a pool resort in Phoenix. I was at the bar waiting for a drink when a man walked up and ordered a drink. One of the bartenders whipped around and asked the guy his name. Turned out they went to HS together 20 years ago in New Jersey.

 

I agree that VeganCupcake wins the thread. That must have been interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was chatting with a woman at my friend's house whose daughters were there to play. It turns out she grew up and went to school, one grade ahead of me, in the tiny town (no traffic light) where I attended K-5 school, three states away.

 

On my honeymoon, which was on the opposite coast from where I live, we ran into a woman I knew who was an acquaintance from 2 years earlier when we arrived simultaneously, parked side by side and got out of the car simultaneously. My dh was absolutely flummoxed when we recognized each other and started talking!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We live in Virginia, but travelled to Maui for a family vacation when I was in my early 20's. At one of the restaurants we went to, our server turned out to be a good friend of my sister's from her high school cheerleading squad. They hadn't seen each other in a number of years and my sister had no idea she was living in Maui.

 

Another time, I watched a movie about a young man who went off to live in the wilderness and wound up eating a poisonous plant and dying a horrible death. The horror of it really stuck with me, so I mentioned it to my sister. Well, it turns out we went to high school with this guy. I never knew him, but she did.

 

Lisa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both of the ones that spring to mind for me have to do with my kids and theatre.

 

The less surprising one happened this week. My daughter was finishing the run of her show, and my husband's team leader from work came to see a performance. While waiting in line to get her ticket, she waved at someone she knows from her synagogue. It turned out the be the father of one of the other leads in the show, and it became clear within a few minutes that my husband's kind-of-boss had taught religious education classes to the young man who was in the show with my daughter. None of us knew there was any connection.

 

The other one from a few months ago still has me shaking my head. My son did a youth production of "Annie" last fall. One morning, we were watching the CBS Sunday news program, and they were doing a piece about the pigeons in St. Mark's square in Venice, Italy. The reporter interviewed an American family who happened to be in the square feeding the birds, specifically talking to the daughter. My son, who rarely watches the show with us, looked up at the screen and said, "Hey, I know her. That's Miss Hannigan."

 

I didn't believe him at first, but then they mentioned the family's name, and we dug out the program from the show to check. It was her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom quit working for Mr. L______ in New Jersey when she became pregnant with me in the 60s. Donna took her place, although my mom and Donna never met. Donna quit a few years later when she became pregnant.

 

Turns out Donna was my boss in Colorado 25 years later.

 

-----------

 

I have found several "small world" things via Facebook. In fact, one of (fellow WTM boardie) JudoMom's FB friends messaged me, asking if we were Brownies together in California in the late '60s. Yes, we were, and our moms were the leader and co-leader.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was vacationing in a small town in Ireland (I'm American), during my university year abroad in Germany, and I ran into my 5th grade teacher. She also happened to be my neighbor. Lived on the same block as me when I was growing up.

 

My favorite story though is one of my "other mother," one of my dearest grown-up friends when I was a young adult. She was a doctor. She and her family moved to Saipan, and she once delivered the baby of a Russian couple vacationing on the island. About 4 years later, she went on a vacation to Russia and the family saw her in the street (she is unusually pale and has startling, curly orange/red hair) and quickly ran up to her and they spent the afternoon together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having been born a military brat and married into the military, plus attending the same denomination for over 35 years, makes small world experiences too numerous to count. They are almost common.

 

My most memorable was when I was in 6th grade in a DOD school in Puerto Rico and one girl had brought her (Maryland) kindergarten class picture to school. I was in it. Soon after I found out my next door neighbor had been in my first grade class, also in Maryland. We though it was so cool and didn't realize that our fathers, both being in the Navy, probably worked together.

 

What is the name of that game about the number of steps it takes to find a connection between two people? I think when the people become travelers the number of steps can decrease, especially when they move through high velocity hubs like big cities or military areas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My youngest went to Kindergarten in Virginia...and her teacher knew my husband from college in Florida -- and it was a small college at the time -- some 800 students, and this was 25 years ago.

 

And we live in a very small town in Virginia.

 

That was really odd! Going to open house and having both of them (the teacher and my husband) saying, "You look familiar...." :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found out SueG here on the boards is my dear friend Dana's sil! Got to meet her when she visited!

 

Just recently, I was reminded of another small world story.

I was emptying a random box in my closet and found a letter from my midwife (from TX, who had delivered my dd) to my brother's wife's father.

 

When Elizabeth, my midwife, was laboring with me, we had a conversation and my brother's name came up. I told her where he lived, and mentioned that my sil's dad was Ceo for the international branch of a certain Tire company in OH. She asked his name--and got very quiet when I told her.

 

Seems her husband had worked for sil's dad, Jack, in Morocco, many years before. Elizabeth had had a difficult pregnancy and needed to be flown to Paris to go to a better hospital. The man and his office staff had made all the arrangements, and his wife or the wife of a staff member (she couldn't remember) came to visit with her. Her baby had been stillborn, even with the extra care. He sent flowers and one of his staff stayed with her to see that she was alright. She knew it was Jack who was responsible for her good care, and never got to thank him.

 

She wrote the letter to do so, really so blown away that she'd have an opportunity to tell him how much it all had meant to her. She ended up divorcing her husband, sadly mostly because of the strain loosing a child had put on their marriage, and becoming a midwife, also mostly because of that experience.

 

I saw Jack at my brother's lung transplant time, and told him of the incident, but neglected to bring him the letter. He did not remember, but I told him we often forget kindnesses when we are kind people. I am planning on sending it. He and his wife now live right in Dallas (moved from OH and retired), where I think Elizabeth is residing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lost touch with an old friend toward the end of high school. He was a year older than me, and lived in a different county. I went away to school in the next state over, wound up at a random frat party, and bumped into him there.

 

Also found out that a guy dh does a lot of business with (dh's office in NJ, guy's office in MA) also went to my school (in PA).

 

It really isn't a very big or popular school at all, so I find it amusing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I arranged for my dad to have an airplane ride as a gift for his birthday. We went on Saturday. When we got there I found out it was his old flying club from the 70's, the field he'd learned to fly on, the field was dedicated and named for his flight instructor, AND one of his club flying buddies was there. It was so much fun to see his network still working after all these years.

 

My dad had been a pilot of small engine planes since before I was born.

 

AND,

 

DH and I were talking about our memories from youth group trips. We both went to different youth groups. Anyway he was laughing about a prank that he and a friend had done. I realized that I had seen that prank and that we'd been at the same camp at the same time. :)) Of course we didn't meet up until college.

Edited by CalicoKat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia. I moved to San Diego, California in 1974, where I met and married Mr. Ellie, who had grown up in San Diego.

 

We were visiting his mother on day; she had a guest, and we chatted about this and that. I asked her where she was from, and she, too, was from Portsmouth. Turned out that her son and I had been in the same third grade class. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

when i lived in the charlotte area, i was part of a lovely co-op there. we had our annual meeting to discuss the upcoming year. i was paired with a new lady that had just moved there from ohio. in our discussion, i had mentioned i was originally from georgia and not from charlotte myself...had moved around a lot with my husband....yada yada.

 

she says, "my husband is from georgia too". i ask her what part of GA....she says marietta...i reply...i'm from marietta too! "what high school did he go too?" i ask...and she tells me my high school's name. anyway. totally random stranger from ohio and her husband was my classmate in georgia. she turned into a good friend as well:)

 

a similar situation occurred this past new year's eve. we went to a party (we're now living in north florida) and i'm making small talk with some people. this guy mentions he's from GA originally. i ask where. he says marietta. where'd you go to school?, etc... and again! we were classmates at the same high school! so weird! we didn't actually know each other, but we knew many of the same people.

 

anyway...sorry for not using quotes, or capital letters. i know it drives the grammar folks nuts. i'm just being lazy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would you mind pm-ing me? I teach high school in Marietta and have lots of friendswho graduated from local high schools. I wonder if we have anyone in common.

 

when i lived in the charlotte area, i was part of a lovely co-op there. we had our annual meeting to discuss the upcoming year. i was paired with a new lady that had just moved there from ohio. in our discussion, i had mentioned i was originally from georgia and not from charlotte myself...had moved around a lot with my husband....yada yada.

 

she says, "my husband is from georgia too". i ask her what part of GA....she says marietta...i reply...i'm from marietta too! "what high school did he go too?" i ask...and she tells me my high school's name. anyway. totally random stranger from ohio and her husband was my classmate in georgia. she turned into a good friend as well:)

 

a similar situation occurred this past new year's eve. we went to a party (we're now living in north florida) and i'm making small talk with some people. this guy mentions he's from GA originally. i ask where. he says marietta. where'd you go to school?, etc... and again! we were classmates at the same high school! so weird! we didn't actually know each other, but we knew many of the same people.

 

anyway...sorry for not using quotes, or capital letters. i know it drives the grammar folks nuts. i'm just being lazy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Story #1:

Loverboy is from New Mexico. He grew up there, went to college in Utah, Nevada, and Michigan, before coming to Iowa for a postdoc. We met while he worked at the university.

 

Loverboy's Uncle Harry lives a couple of hours north of here, and goes to the same church that my Uncle Melvin goes to.

 

Story #2:

One of Loverboy's best friends from undergrad (Utah) coincidentally took a job at the local USDA at the same time that Loverboy committed to his postdoc at the university. And a third friend from their undergrad years has been in town just as long at least!

 

Story #3:

When we were dating, one of the science textbooks on the shelf in my apartment contained a photo of Loverboy's from some of his research in Michigan. (He knows how to impress a gal!!!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were once driving home for Christmas. We stopped for gas at 1 in the morning at some gas station in the middle of nowhere in Alabama. Someone we knew from Germany was also there, traveling the opposite direction.

 

I was with my third-born sister in Germany. This guy on a tour insisted that he knew us. We figured out he knew my second-born sister.

 

A homeschool mom in Hawaii had a husband who went to high school with my aunt.

 

We had friends from Germany who moved to another duty station at the same time we did. We unknowingly bought houses next door to one another.

 

I have to agree with Onceuponatime that being military significantly decreases the steps between you and just about anyone on the planet, lol. I have a ton of stories like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

new neighbours that just moved in are from my home province...which is nice, but no big deal.

 

Then, discover that her Dad and my Dad's family are from the same tiny wee island in Europe. :001_huh: I think he's the 2nd person I've met in my *life* outside of family, from that island!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went on a cruise, with my parents, when I was about 14. We were standing in a buffet line on St. Lucia when the guy in front of us starts talking to my dad about his rental properties. He was the current owner of the first apartment my parents rented when they were married 20 years before!

 

I've shared this one here before. We signed up for a Peace Corps pen pal. We were assigned to a woman volunteering in Guatemala. We corresponded for a while and she told us she had met our next door neighbors! They are missionaries in Guatemala and she had gone to their village. When she found out the town they were from in the States, she was surprised and said she was corresponding with a family there. After sharing details, they made the connection. Crazy small world :D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We moved in May 2011 from NJ to a smallish college town in VA--the college dh and I went to. Dd took a drama class in the fall. One of the young teacher's listed in her bio that she was from my hometown on the other side of the state. I spoke with her--turns out her mom and I graduated from high school together. The other teacher is a near clone to my fake dd, freakishly like her to the point that everyone who has met both remarks on it.

 

Our handyman is married to older ds's former academic coach. Different last names, so we didn't know until I looked him up on FB.

 

We have met two people who bought houses from dh's honors professor, the one professor dh has kept up with over the years.

 

We were having dinner with a group of new friends in another state a couple of years ago. Dh mentioned that he had gotten his MBA at a particular college. One of the wives S mentioned that her sister did too, around that time frame. I looked at her, then at dh, and asked her, "Did she go by (nickname)?" S responded, "Yes, and I'm sorry and she's grown up since then." We (dh and I were married while he was in grad school) were close friends with a guy in the program who dated this girl for a while, so we ended up spending way too much time with this crazy person. It was very hard to picture the friend S being related to her.

 

Oh, and we found out after we'd been married for years that, often while visiting a friend's vacation home several hours from her own, my grandmother had bought eggs from dh's grandmother at the farm stand she had.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When hubby and I were in China to adopt dd4, we were at The Great Wall when we saw a Chinese man wearing a Mississippi State Bulldogs sweatshirt. My dad, uncle, aunt, & grandfather all graduated from MSU and we're HUGE MSU Bulldogs football fans. The man spoke very broken English, and he understood that I was an MSU fan, so we had our picture taken together. It was so cool!:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The craziest one I've been involved in was at the retirement party for my mom's best friend. There were lots of former students there, including a Chinese woman and a Chinese man who'd both brought their spouses. The two women realized first that they'd come from the same city in China, then that they lived in the same apartment building, then that their families shared the same communal living space and they had been best friends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, you know when I saw your thread title I was thinking about the ride, right? :lol: And all my experiences there have been pleasant...except for the time we got stuck in their for 15 minutes. That was when we realized that our government has the perfect tool for painlessly getting information out of terrorists. :glare:

 

As for your real meaning....I have so many I don't know where to start. As another poster mentioned, lots of those moments when you're LDS. We all know each other somehow. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine isn't such the distance but an odd coincidence. I live in a largish city with hundreds of schools and probably thousands of daycares.

 

Last spring I was interviewing a new school aide for dd5 at the same time dd13 was visiting a new school to see if she wanted to attend the next year.

 

I was talking to the head of school and found out that we were interviewing each others daughters, one day apart. LOL We had no connection to each other before that.

 

 

I hired his daughter to be dd5s aide. He really liked dd13 and wanted her to attend his school (she chose a different school).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last week I was at the dentist, and the girl cleaning my teeth told me she was also originally from California. Turns out she was born in the same town as me, grew up in the same neighborhood as me (and we both use to visit the same cow farm. haha), and then we both moved to Illinois at the age of 10. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thinking back, we have lots of those moments. Let me see, a woman in a play group in Ohio ends up living a few houses down from us in Sacramento. A guy in my dh's class in Sacramento ends up living in Belgium when we were there and now he ended up working at the same place my dh works in AL. A lady I met at a coffee shop here (AL) turned out to be friends with another friend I have known for more than 15 years from before her husband joined the military and still keep in contact today but that friend is now in Japan where the coffee shop lady knew her from.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have belonged to another message board for a few years.

 

Last Sunday I stayed home from church and there was a missionary couple from Ireland visiting. After church the lady was looking at pictures of all the families who belong to our church and saw my picture and recognized me from my avatar on that message board. They were still here this week and we got to visit. :)

 

Another time, years ago, same message board. We had just decided to move to Maine and I posted that we we were planning on moving soon. Another woman posted that they too were moving to Maine. Come to find out we lived @ 15 min from each other. Well we got together a few times before they moved and then we moved a few weeks later. We ended up living within 2 miles of each other in the same town in Maine.

Edited by Quiver0f10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We live in Virginia, but travelled to Maui for a family vacation when I was in my early 20's. At one of the restaurants we went to, our server turned out to be a good friend of my sister's from her high school cheerleading squad. They hadn't seen each other in a number of years and my sister had no idea she was living in Maui.

 

Another time, I watched a movie about a young man who went off to live in the wilderness and wound up eating a poisonous plant and dying a horrible death. The horror of it really stuck with me, so I mentioned it to my sister. Well, it turns out we went to high school with this guy. I never knew him, but she did.

 

Lisa

 

I remember this movie. Into the Wild. He was living in remote Alaska. His death was horrible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom was the queen of "small world" incidents. We used to call her the "6 degrees of Peg" (after the Kevin Bacon game.) When we bought our current house, we brought my mom with us when we went to measure for furniture/curtains. My mom got to talking with the owners and found out that they lived next door to her cousins and they had played with my older siblings when we went for family reunions. Then, she found out that one neighbor was the brother to the woman that bought our childhood home. They joked that they've been swimming in our pool. Then we found out the another neighbor is good friends with the son of another family friend. Everywhere my mom went, she would find someone that knows someone that she knew. We used to take bets on how long it would take her. I miss that about her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

when dh and I were in the Caymon Islands for honeymoon, we went into a restaurant and out of the kitchen walked the co-owner of the restaurant that I had worked at many years ago in Texas.

 

When we went to the Philly airport to pick up ds (adopted from Korea) and out of the same plane walked dh's boss (he had been on a trip to China). Anyway he waited with us for them to bring ds out of the plane. THe pilots and flight crew always come out with the newly adopted babies after all the other passengers have left the plane. So dh's boss , a super great guy, is in ds's video of arriving in America.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cathie who started this thread grew up next door to my high school boyfriend. Yesterday I found out that a woman I teach with in GA was friends in high school with the girl I lived next door to until I was in second grade. That was in Maryland.

 

I'll never forget that one. It prompted me to try to find his sister, but I was unsuccessful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...