Thursday, February 4, 2010


M'kay, so remember a while back I was going on about how connected we all are??  Some of you Facebookers may remember when I posted "does anyone ever think about how connected we all are?"

Well do you?

Do you think about how connected we are, I mean?

I got a little story for you tonight.

Long ago, waaaaay back in 1986, I was yanked out of my small-town Junior High School and my family moved into the city.  Instead of transitioning to a huge new public school, I was transferred into a teensy-tinsy private school:  one so small that my seventh-grade class had exactly 4 girls and 5 boys. Yes indeed.

Our newly-built house in our new-ish suburban neighborhood was still characterless, and I missed my friends from Virginia.  I missed my life from Virginia:  summer days at the pool, winter days on the abandoned farm behind my house.  In the new neighborhood there was a pool, though, and to ease the transition my mom decided my younger brother and I would join the swim team.

Now I didn't know a soul at this pool - imagine the sheer joy of a thirteen year old in the midst of a traumatic growth spurt (seven inches! in six months!), asked to go & make friends whilst wearing a really unflattering swimsuit.  I did make a few friends, I hung out a little at the pool that summer, and made it through all the meets with a measure of success.  (Being the tallest 13 year old in the county did have its advantages when it came to a 50m sprint.  Just sayin'.)

I remember the day of the swim team photo:  my mom wouldn't spring for the team suit because I'd made so much noise about hating to go.  She wasn't sure I was in it for the long haul.  So I had to wear the team suit from the year before.  No biggie, right?  I'll let you be the judge of that:

SO?  Can you spot me?? Um, yes.  That would be me, the Amazon in the back row WITH THE BRIGHT KELLY GREEN SUIT. [Just double click the photo if you want to get the full effect.]

Now.  Fast forward twenty three years (twenty three years!!!!!) and you'll find me sitting like a nice suburban mom in my nice suburban church, just barely hanging onto my sanity and my three small kids. I meet another nice suburban family, also with three kids, and in chatting with them find out that this nice couple grew up in my neck of the woods.  "Oh yeah? Silver Spring, huh?  Small world." And we leave it at that.  Because Silver Spring is a pretty big suburb of a kinda-big Washington DC.

But my husband has this niggling feeling he's met the husband before somewhere.  Weird.  Then one day I chat for two seconds longer, and find out that not only is the husband - Eric - from Silver Spring, he's from Colesville (the sub-suburb).  Oh yeah? Where?  Such & such road.  Oh, that's where I went to junior high! [name check teensy tinsy private school.]  No way, he says. Do you know Hollie McDowell?

And with that, my brain matter starts liquifying.  Haven't heard Hollie's name since high school - haven't seen her for much longer than that.  She was two grades behind me in the teensy tinsy private school, and she ended up marrying the Senior I had my locker next to as a high school freshman. And then this guy in Catonsville Presbyterian Church just asked me if I knew her?!?  (Turns out Hollie went from small private school to large public high school, and was BFFs with Eric & his wife there.)

I do know Hollie.  And I do know her husband.  Her husband who plays poker with this guy in church. And my husband played poker one time with the husband-that-I-had-a-locker-near-in-high-school and Eric-that-we're-chatting-with-in-church.

And then, just to bring it all freakin' FULL CIRCLE, once we all get together for a summer supper and a glass of wine or two, Eric and I start chatting about the good old days. The summer days in Colesville.  The ones we spent swimming: at Robin Hood Swim Club.

Yep.  That's Eric - the sweet kid on the far left of the third row, behind the ladder railing.  That's his brother standing right behind me. His sister & his other brother are in there somewhere.

Just don't forget people.  We're all connected.  Somehow, somewhere - we're all connected.


Moxie said...

It's trippy how that happens, isn't it? Recently I found out that the sister of an acquaintance of mine knows a friend of mine from high school...does that make any sense? All thanks to the "Mutual Friends" feature on Facebook.

Since I was a senior when you were a freshman I'll be curious to hear who married Hollie.

Love this: my word verification is haters.

don r. said...

I have one, not so personal, but on a wildly random side...I stopped in Roswell NM, of all places to get a coffee, as I was leaving an appointment, and heading back to El Paso, I stop for coffee, and I see the tags on a car in the lot are form MD. So I go in and there is only one other person in the store besides me and the guy running the register.

Being the kinda guy I am, I roll up to the girl and say so your from MD, I am sure she thinks I am some kinda whack job, but confirms that she is from MD, so I say I too am from MD, and that I am out in Roswell on business, and saw the tags and thought I would just, you know, say hello...turns out she and her boyfriend lived, one block from me in Wheaton, they moved to El Paso, where I was currently living, about a block from where I lived, and the guy worked for the company who I worked for while he lived in MD. I am not making that up...

I didn't volunteer any of my info to her, I just asked questions and she told me all the addresses the middle of Roswell New Mexico, at a gas station, getting coffee...thats random

Desiree said...

You were the trendsetter girl, and they were all wishing for that beautiful kelly color! Don't forget your leadership qualities...I haven't.

Jo@Mylestones said...

If that isn't proof it's a small world, nothing is! Great story!
(And um, sorry about that green suit. Nothing's worse for a 13 yr old than standing out, and in a swim suit no less!) :-)
Thanks for linking up to Flashback Friday today!!

Joyce said...

Its definitely a small world...great story!

Anonymous said...

It's funny how small the world can get in an instant.

Great story!


Rebekah said...

That's incredible! And your stand-out suit? Too funny!

Dawn said...

wow! i love a story like that! and it always makes me think of my friend;s husband who would get people going on a conversation like this with a made up name!! good thing you have the pictures to prove it! :)

Erin said...

that is crazy. :)

Seven years ago my husband and I went up to the top of the Arch in St. Louis. And as we were riding in that weird little crowded car with another couple, we got talking and discovered that they lived in the same Des Moines suburb as we do. In fact, they lived less than a mile away from us. WEIRD.

Related Posts with Thumbnails