At least once a day I say “small world!” with the exclamation included despite how regular it’s becoming. For example, my high school friend’s (Allie) college friend (Abe) email introduced me to the same woman (Katie) that is good friends with the CEO of GreenMango (Yasmina) and was mentioned over dinner with a woman (Tracy) whom I met through a DC friend’s (Geoff) friend’s (Jenny) friend (Geetika). Yeah, I can barely follow it either. Bare with me, this entire post is not as complicated.
Anyway, I thought that was pretty coincidental until this first story happened last week. (The three others are included because my India small world story needed company.)
- My roommate and colleague picked me up at the airport and on the ride home I learned she is from Hull, MA where my parents live. For the last ten days, two of her friends have been visiting who are from Hingham, the town next to Hull, where I grew up. When they arrived, her friend walked into work, took one look at me and said “yes, you look just like your mom.” Apparently, she was in my mom’s babysitting coop when I was little. Later that evening I was chatting with her other friend and discovered that she currently lives in my best friend from childhood’s old house.
- Speaking of Hingham, when I was interviewing for a job at Grassroots Enterprise in Washington, DC, I told the CEO that I was from Hingham, something that I am rarely asked and rarely share since I usually say Boston. He mentioned it to the COO in our San Francisco office who was not only from Hingham but lived in my neighborhood and played street hockey with the same guys we did growing up.
- While at Grassroots, I was at a conference in New York City and, in an ambitious attempt to network, I approached a woman whose badge had the name of a women’s organization. In sharing that I was living in DC, she said she was from Texas but on her way to DC after the conference to visit her daughter who worked at an organization called Systems Planning and Analysis. “Oh SPA? Yes, I know it and have a couple friends that work there,” I said. She said her daughter’s name (her mom has a different last name) and I replied, “You’re kidding? That’s my friend!” Now when she comes to town, I try to go over and say hello.
- And finally, DC is notoriously small so I have a lot of stories here. But last fall, I was getting to know my new roommate and in small talk we got to chatting about the Peace Corps. She mentioned her college friend was in Mongolia and I said my good friend’s brother is there too when it dawned on me that she went to Brown and so did the brother. Turns out my roommate dated his best friend in college and had met my good friend a few times.
Ok now if you’ve gotten this far and I haven’t confused or bored you, what is your best small world story? And if you’re reading this and you are one of the people in those stories, maybe you could just say “hi Ali. I remember that.”