Sunday, June 04, 2006

Serendipity, fate and providence

Tonight I met a former boyfriend's wife. I did not expect to meet her, she happened to be at the same party as I. She was kind, warm and funny. It was an interesting surprise.

As I drove home I thought about many things, but one of the things that I wanted to bring up here is the idea of chance meeting, serendipity, fate or providence playing a role in our lives. Perhaps in how we met our significant other, or got the perfect job, or found the perfect home, or avoided being in the wrong place at the wrong time, etc.

I invite all of you to share your stories of fate, destiny, serendipity, happy accidents, bizarre coincidence and/or acts of providence. I would really love to read them.


At 10:33 PM , Blogger Kafaleni said...

This is a story from years ago and I may have told it here before, but you're getting it again. It's an opportunity that I feel I missed, because I didn't know it was there.
I used to work evening and or overnight shifts at an answering service situated in the central city. One Friday night, finishing at 11, just in time to catch the last bus, I ran down to the bus stop (about 1.5 blocks from work). I got there and I was on my own at the stop, although there were a few people in the area. Then a man came up to me. He must have been about 40, but he looked 70 and he reeked of glue and alcohol. He (without encouragement) started talking to me, it was quite disjointed, and a lot of it was about aliens and government domination. He then said "Are you waiting for a bus?" I said that yes, I was. He said "You gotta be careful. Some of those bus drivers are aliens you know.." and he was right back on his personal track. A minute or so later, the bus pulled up, and he stepped back, motioning me ahead of him. I got on, paid and sat down. He got on the bus behind me, and the bus driver said "Where are you going?" he said "how much is it?" So the bus driver quoted the fares and how far the different fares would take him. The man said "I don't have any money" The bus driver told him "I don't give free rides, mate. You'll have to get off." The man said "Oh, I don't want to go anywhere. I just wanted to make sure that the lady was okay." Then, he turned and looked straight into my eyes and asked me "Are you okay?" I almost couldn't speak. I finally stammered something to the effect of ÿes, I was fine, and he got off the bus and walked away. I can't describe with words the feeling that came over me, or the absolute conviction that weird as he seemed he was an angel sent to protect me from something far worse that night.

At 7:05 AM , Anonymous Jeff Meyerson said...

I totally believe in this, Punky, as it's happened to me many times - for instance, I was working on Fifth Avenue in the Village years ago. I went out for lunch an hour later than normal, decided to go to a deli I never went to before in the opposite direction from the places I usually went to. I got a sandwich and walked back to work and - bam! - I ran into my first girlfriend from summer camp more than 10 years earlier.

My mother was notorious for this kind of thing in our family. She grew up on the Lower East Side and for a while it seemed that everywhere she went she'd meet someone from "Second Avenue" - even in Mexico City!

At 9:18 AM , Blogger MrFisher said...

Busy with *Werk* after all that BEAVER tihs weekend ;), but I will say this.

I think it was no small accident that we ALL gathered on a Blog about a man who loves Booger jokes, and well, just look at us now!

I too have many more of this wonderful instances. Many I say. But my time at the moment won't allow it.

/ 2 cents

Go Fish

At 1:14 PM , Blogger Higgy said...

Two stories to share.

I met my wife while at an account in Fort Wayne. I was there for 19 months - she was only there for 2 weeks. I was the first person she met at the account, and as the manager was introducing her(with a vastly overblown intro), she looked at me and rolled her eyes. I knew then that she was the girl for me.

Second story was how I got my current job. My best friend's aunt's friend (everyone got that?) put my resume into the company database. I quit my retail job just before Thanksgiving, 1996. I went to Bogota, Colombia for a week with my two best friends. While I was gone, the company does some massive hiring and calls me for an interview. I fly back from Colombia on Sunday, fly down to Charlotte on Monday, interview on Tuesday, fly back that night and get hired Thursday morning. That was 10 years ago!

At 4:43 PM , Blogger Kafaleni said...

Wow.. and Mr Fishair.. I couldn't have said it better.. the fact that the first time I ever said anything on the DB blog was the only time ever (aside from it's inception) that the (censored) docked on the MB says a lot about things that were just meant to be.

(PS.. did you know that lull is the Dutch word for the English word for "air"?)

At 4:43 PM , Blogger Kafaleni said...

its. not it's

At 5:07 PM , Anonymous Sallyacious said...

This is kind of long. Just so you know.

Twenty-one years ago (1985), I walked in the door of the house I would live my freshman year of college. There in the living room was a tall boy (we'll call him Dave). I saw him and thought, "I love you."

I adored him from afar all through college, while he dated other women. There was one tequila-riddled encounter in the living room of the house we shared the summer between our junior and senior years of college, which stopped when I remembered he had a girlfriend. In four years of school that was all, one drunk evening and a handful of stolen kisses. (Mind you, I’m also a pragmatist. I didn’t exactly stay single myself. But he’s the only one I ever really wanted.)

We graduated. I moved home to Idaho to live with my parents (I was broke). He stayed there. He got married. I got engaged. He got divorced. I found out the abusive jerkhead I was with had been stealing money from my checking account, causing me to bounce checks all over the city and threw him out a month before the wedding. Dave’s company moved him to Utah. I quit my job and went back to school to become an actor. We began healing. (But every so often, I thought about Dave, dreamed about him, wished it could have been him instead of the jerkface.)

The company Dave worked for went belly-up. He began searching around for a new gig and in February of 1996 moved to Portland, Oregon. Three months later, I graduated with bachelor’s degree #2 and moved to Salem, Oregon, to live with my parents (I was broke).

July 4, 1996, I am on the phone with a friend from college. She’s in Ohio. I am complaining about how she and all my other friends in Portland kept encouraging me to move there. In the six months surrounding my arrival, they scattered to the four winds. No one I knew lived in Portland. She said, “Dave lives in Portland.”

At that moment, I lost half my age. I was 28 when I started the conversation. Now, I was 14. I remember being uber-casual and sophisticated for the rest of the phone call. Once it was over, I called Information and got his number. And then I spent ½ hour dialing it.

Yeah. Like a 14 year-old girl. I’d dial 3 numbers, then hang up. Dial 5 numbers, then hang up. Finally, I dialed all 10 numbers and then announced to the universe at large, “I am only doing this once. If he doesn’t answer the phone, I’m hanging up. I’m not leaving a message and I’m not calling back.”

He answered the phone.

I asked if he was the Dave who blah blah blah. He said yes. I said, “You probably won’t remember me, but this is Sally.” And he said, “Of course I remember you.”

He says it was like being struck by lightning. The minute he heard my voice on the phone, he knew who it was and he knew why he had moved to Portland.

We’ve been together since that day. We’ll have been married 9 years in November. I thank my lucky stars every single day that we didn’t end up together until we were ready because I could not have found a better man.

We moved to the same place within three months of each other as soon as we had become our own people. Call it Destiny, call it Fate. I call it my own personal proof that God exists.

At 7:18 PM , Blogger punky said...

Sally ... I love your story. It made my heart smile and sing.

Thank you.

More! More!

At 8:13 PM , Blogger Kafaleni said...

Sally.. I LOVE that story. I'm still waiting for my guy (I know who and where he is, I just don't think he knows yet..) You give me hope.

At 7:36 AM , Anonymous Jeff Meyerson said...

Sally - fabulous story. Congrats.

At 8:10 AM , Blogger Tamara said...

Sally, I've got tears in my eyes. :)

At 2:02 PM , Anonymous Sallyacious said...

Wow. Thanks everybody. I was afraid I'd come back here to, "Jeez, Woman, shut up and let other people have a turn."

I love telling that story. I get a little weepy every time I do.

Gracie Allen (wife of comedian George Burns) once said, "Never place a period where God has placed a comma."

How right she was.

But I want to hear other people's stories. C'mon you guys, spill 'em.

At 2:20 PM , Blogger punky said...


I have many wonderful stories about meeting friends and even boyfriends at the precise moment when I was meant to and how the universe has answered my "wishes" more times than I could begin to count, but none quite as wonderful as yours .... yet.

Up until a few months ago I thought that god had placed a comma where in fact he had placed an exclamation point followed by a warning that read "dead end, do not attempt to proceed!" :) I wrote about it on my myspace page blog, titled Moment. You can read it by going to my profile and clicking on my webpage.

So, that particular comma was short lived, but there are many more to come ... and maybe I'll even be lucky enough not to need the comma ... maybe it will just be one really long amazing run on sentence :)

I'm such a dork. :D

At 2:36 PM , Blogger Tamara said...

I love coincidences. But currently can only think of this one...

Random feeling of NEEDING to go salsa dancing. Having never salsa danced before. Having never gone into any sort of salsa dancing place, especially not in the Big City by myself. Actually having never gone anywhere in the Big City by myself other than the library and a Starbucks.

First night out, was attacked by a Brazilian musician, who had only returned from Brazil two days prior and was substituting for the regular band leader.

Now looking at real estate with said Brazilian musician.


PS Thanks for breaking that ankle, Regular Band Leader Guy. ;)

At 7:04 PM , Blogger Mad Scientist said...

otWhen faced with the decision of where to attend graduate school I really wanted to stay in Atlanta and attend Emory. My mother was very ill with cancer. Making the long drive to Richmond from Atlanta was not going to be an option during graduate school so I elected to go to Univ. of Virginia which was only 90 miles from my parents home. Mom passed before classes even began that fall.

Flash forward to my fourth year of Grad school. My advisor announces he is taking a job in California. I have to decide to go with him or stay in Virginia. I get advice from everyone. Pray about it. Open myself for an answer and decide the right thing to do is move to CA. So I sell my house, say goodbye to my family and friends and get on a plane. I am utterly alone and fighting living in CA every step of the way. I hate it. I am miserable. I try every possibility to go back to UVA, but nothing works out. I turn to a beloved humor column to help make the lonliness less. On this columnist's blog I meet some of the greatest people in the world. Eventually I meet my soon to be husband.

In a weird way if my mother hadn't been sick with cancer I may never have met Mike. Or maybe I would have still met him, but under very different circumstances. Who can say? I wouldn't change any of the choices I made though.

At 9:04 PM , Blogger Graz said...

Man, some great stories! Mine are all of the end of bad things rather than the beginning of a that beautiful thing. Such as when I was interviewing for the company I work for now. I interviewed for a salaried position for a subsidiary of one of the Big Three automakers. I did well in the interview and was asked back for an assesment session. Did well in the assesment and was told to expect an offer. But before they could tender that offer, there was a salaried hiring freeze enacted (it was just after 9/11). This was bad news, I thought< for both myself and my wife as it was a substantial increase in income, even though I made a very good wage where I was. I was told to wait for awhile until the freeze was lifted. 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, no call. Money was a sore point in our marriage as I supported my kids which took quite a bit of my income. Trying to make a long story somewhat short, she left and moved in with an hourly UAW Ford worker. 4 months later I get a call to come in for a follow up interview, I got the job offer and moved to Michigan. She, on the other hand, left that guy when he got laid off with no call-back in sight.

If I had gotten this job the first time through, I'd probably still be married to someone who in retrospect seemed to have the dollar closer to her heart than her husband.

At 9:52 PM , Blogger Graz said...

Oh, and a bad thing that turned out to be good. Last year I tore my meniscus cartilage in my left knee. I was then a floor supervisor dealing with a huge amount of stress in a UAW environment. I had to be off work for 2 months for the surgery and rehab. When I came back, they were then in a position where they had too many supervisors but were sorely lacking in the engineering department. So, since they figured out that my department was in capable hands, they offered me a Manufacturing Engineer position. Much less stress, better pay, much more of a chance to move up the ladder.

So, I can't distance run anymore, but I do enjoy my job immensely.

At 10:51 PM , Anonymous kingw said...

Great story Sally

My story is about buying a house. My wife and I found a house. It wasn't perfect but we felt we could make do. We made an offer, low but there was work to be done. That day we took my visiting sisters for a drive by viewing. Then since we were close, we took them to our favorite view of Mt. Rainier, about 10 minutes away. While driving we saw a house for sale. It looked perfect, so we picked up a flyer.
When we got home we had a message from our Real Estate guy, our offer was rejected outright. We asked him to get us in to look at this other house. It turns out it was perfect. Thank goodness for those people being greedy.


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