May 31, 2014

Because Delaware (Symptoms of Living in a Tiny State)

Because Delaware. Symptoms of living in a small state. | Business, Life & Design

There's a phenomenon that we like to call Delawaritis.

I'll bet you've experienced it.  Whether you've lived in a small state, small town, exclusive neighborhood, etc.

Whatever the case, I'm sure at some point you've run into someone you know when the odds against it were staggeringly high.  Sometimes it's not someone you know, per say, but someone you've talked to, someone you should know, or someone you meet, talk to for several minutes and then realize that you have some bizarre but valid connection.  Because Delaware.

Sometimes you go to fancy work events, like the Meals on Wheels Cellar Masters' Wine Auction.  The food is delicious, there are samples of booze at every table, and you are happily eating, drinking, and weaving through the crowd with your coworkers when you bump into someone you know.  Tipsily you stare at the couple who are your parent's neighbors and with whom they've played many a game of hearts.  Nope.  No names are coming to you.  Awkwardly you struggle to make conversation without using names or having any idea what they've been up to for the last 12 years.

Small talk social duties complete, you dart back into the crowd only to bump into another familiar face.  Your slight intoxication prevents you from remembering that this woman, a zumba instructor, probably has no idea who you are, until just after you've already made eye contact for far too long.  Then comes an embarrassing explanation of why you were staring and why you know her when she doesn't recognize you in the slightest.

You allow the buzz to wear off until you feel comfortable handling such encounters more smoothly and make a point of hiding from other familiar faces.  The chances of knowing people in this smallish group of 100 or so seem awfully small.  How could you possibly have known so many?

Because Delaware

Sometimes you start a D&D group with your roommate/DM and your boyfriend.  You boyfriend invites one of his coworkers to play.  No one knows him.  Later, the DM invites the older brother of his friend (an old classmate) to play also.  Guess what?  The coworker and the older brother?  They know each other.

Because Delaware

Sometimes (this is my favorite so I'm going to switch tenses) - One time, a friend and I went to the beach for the weekend.  We were dancing and my friend, Cersei (yep, still GoT names), found an attractive fellow that she was all too happy to socialize with.  I felt a bit forlorn at first, having been thus abandoned, but before long, I too found a replacement dance partner.

We had a great time, dancing, drinking, and flirting the night away.  Right around closing time, I was talking to my new dance partner and guess what... I knew him.  We had worked together 6 or 7 years ago.  My first job ever, as a hostess in a burger place.  We had even talked once or twice.

I remembered one of the conversations, because I had thought he was dumb, and then he caught me in a grammatical error, explaining (at length) the difference between "redundant" and "repetitive."  I always remember the things that catch me by surprise and drastically change my viewpoint on something (another post, another day).

I shared that excerpt with him (he didn't remember).

Cersei didn't know her new friend.  They were actually meeting for the first time.  But... a few months later when all had been forgotten, we were again out dancing.  Cersei had been embarrassed about being a bit too forward (her concern - I thought she was fine) with her guy, and also decided that it wasn't something worth pursuing.  After all, what are the odds that you'll see someone again after meeting at the beach, 2 hours away from where you actually live?

So we danced, and laughed with friends, switching bars pretty frequently because it was Halloween and there were several to choose from and tons of costumes to admire.  Lo and behold, also milling amongst the crowd, Guy-from-the-beach (Mc-hoped-never-to-see-again).

What in the hell...?  I won't use the word "random" and definitely not "fate" or "karma."  It's not because of random chance.

It's because Delaware.

Have you ever run into someone you know (or didn't want to see) despite astronomical odds?