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The Mysteriously Miraculous Coincidence

Monday, February 09, 2009 - 01:10 PM

Do you a story of a coincidence too crazy to be believed? We're looking for that chance story that leaves your mouth agape. The story of the time you took the wrong (identical) luggage from baggage claim only to find a business card inside with your same name on it! Or, how your daughter's girl scout troop of 20 has 10 kids with the same first name and 10 kids with the same birthday.

We want to hear 'em! Tell us your story! Make us contemplate fate or the miraculous and we may just come find you to record your amazing tale for our show.

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Comments [63]

escatei from Miami, FL

"If there is no coincidence there won't be stories." So: here's my story: As a five year old, I had a recurring dream of flying, sans airplane, through orange and copper rock formations. The dream occurred with such frequency that each rock formation became not only familiar, but expected. Snoopy the Peanuts dog would appear first, celebrating with nose to air. A willowy American Indian woman would appear next around a bend, her parcel clasped to her breast. At least a dozen other notable shapes would follow. Eventually I outgrew the dream, but years later, as a 20 year old, working in AZ at the Grand Canyon South Rim, I accepted a date with a helicopter tour pilot. We took off from a port in Tusayan and skimmed the tops of the Ponderosa Pine forest at the edge of the Canyon. Soon the Canyon dropped out from under us and the pilot took a sharp left turn and descended down to follow the curves of the rocks on either side. I broke into a sweat and began to breathe rapidly. "Don't worry," he said, "I'm a good pilot." I could not verbalize the panic and wonder gripping me. My dream had merged with reality. Each rock formation appeared in familiar and expected sequence. I was a blubbering mess by the end of the flight. Needless to say, it was the first and last date with the pilot. I allowed him to believe what he would. But the experience, however metaphysical, impacted me like no other coincidence in my life.

Aug. 28 2013 11:39 AM
Mary from New Jersey

I really enjoyed this program on coincidence. The examples described reminded me more of the concept of "synchronicity" which is a term I think first coined by Carl Jung. It's really a special subset of coincidence which imbues the event with "meaning". Here's a definition from wikipedia: "Synchronistic events reveal an underlying pattern, a conceptual framework that encompasses, but is larger than, any of the systems that display the synchronicity. The suggestion of a larger framework is essential to satisfy the definition of synchronicity as originally developed by Carl Gustav Jung."

Mar. 09 2013 02:20 PM
paul B. from Massachusetts

Coincidences.
I have had so many in my life.
This one relates to my minister, in the church we have belonged to for about 15 years.
1) My minister is female. My wife is also female. !
2) My minister and I are just about exactly the same age. !
3) My minister and I live in the same town in Massachusetts. !
4) My minister and I both grew up in St. Louis, MO, during our formative teen years. !
All of the above, I have known for a long time. Recently, I learned:
5) My minister moved at age 6, with her family, from Westchester County NY, to St. Louis. I also moved with my family, at age 6, from Westchester County, NY (Briarcliff Manor) to St. Louis. !
6) My minister has visited the synagogue in Capernaum, Israel. I have also visited the synagogue in Capernaum, Isreal. !
and, finally, and most amazing:
7) My minister and I belong to the same church !!

Mar. 06 2013 07:10 AM
Sara from New York

When I was growing up I adored my father, much like any little girl does I imagine. However, our relationship went to a complete stop when I turned 12. I thought he didn't love me any more. As I grew up I learned the real reasons for the suddend end to our relationship. He had personal issues which changed him greatly. Our relationship was strained until the day he died. A week after he died I found out I was pregnant. I had a feeling it would be a boy, and it was. But the crazy thing was that my son was born 9 months after my dad died, but on my dad's birthday. In a strange way I feel like the universe is giving me a second chance at this relationship, but just with the roles reversed.

Feb. 25 2013 10:35 PM
Thom from Erie, CO

When I was in college in 1993 my mom called to tell me a long held secret. Before her and my father got married they had a daughter that they put up for adoption. For the next few year we worked through what you need to work though in this type of situation.

Last spring, that sister, Julie, put a post up on facebook that her brother had found her today. Come to find out my father had another child out of wedlock, Greg, who looks eerily like me. And my family had to wander through that story again. Greg and I (and Julie) are all friends on facebook. Greg and I met once last summer when I was in Albuquerque for a friend's wedding.

Around that same time my wife and I decided we wanted to move out of DC to Boulder, CO after a visit. We worked for months and month to find jobs and a place to live. We put an offer down on a house that was accepted and then rejected at the last minute. We put an offer in on a development where new house were being built. It was rejected. Finally, we had an offer accepted for a house in a development outside of Boulder in Erie, CO. When we posted on facebook that we bought a house, Greg asked which development. The sister he grew up with lives in Erie as well. It was her development. She lives on the other side of the elementary school from us, less than a quarter mile away.

This is my life.

Feb. 07 2013 09:33 AM
Bill Harper from Seattle, Washington

This is the story of Kathryne, a 26-year-old food blogger from Edmond, Oklahoma, and me, Bill, a 22-year-old leukemia survivor living in Edmonds, Washington. After cancer destroyed my immune system in July 2010, she was a perfect 10/10 match uniquely suited match to give me a stem cell transplant.
She did just that six months later after receiving shots of Filgrastim for five consecutive days, and when a courier came to take Kathryne’s stem cells on their long journey to me, 2,072 miles away at Seattle Children’s Hospital, she thought to herself “Go Cells Go!”
For my entire life, until June 2010, I had been healthy. I was working on a research project in Senegal when the classic symptoms of leukemia slowly began to emerge: fatigue, paleness, blind spots in my vision, and bruising. Not once did I think something far more serious was going on inside me. When I returned to Dakar, I had a blood test taken which revealed that my blood counts had gone so haywire that I needed immediate hospitalization.
Four nights and many blood transfusions later, I was evacuated from Dakar to Nuremburg, Germany, where my mother was waiting for me. A tall, blond-haired doctor in a long, white coat introduced himself to us. “So what did they tell you in Dakar?” he asked me.
“Nothing,” I said. In Dakar, a man in a black suit who carried a long, thick, needle had entered my hospital room. He wiped my chest with antiseptic and stabbed my sternum with his needle. I lay there screaming with pain as I watched the syringe fill with my blood. He left without saying a word.
“Well, you have acute lymphocytic leukemia,” the German doctor said. My mother started to cry. I lay there, unable to speak, staring at the second hand ticking away on the black and white wall clock.
Early on the snowy morning of January 12, 2011, I held Kathryne’s IV bag in my hands and kissed it. Today I am alive because Kathryne’s immune system engrafted itself quickly and without any major problems. Kathryne and her stem cells are among the many miracles that have kept me alive the past two years.
In the first email I received from her, I learned that Kathryne is twenty-six, the same age as my sister, and that she has a brother my age, twenty-two. Since receiving the transplant, I have begun to like extra spicy food just as she does. Kathryne maintains a food blog; I spent three months working as an apprentice in a restaurant kitchen near Strasbourg, France.
Each time we communicate, we discover yet another common bond. Both of us studied abroad in France and speak French. We share a common love for good coffee. She loves flying; I am a private pilot. The list goes on. Someday we hope to meet.
Since this all began, I have been trying to find something good to come out of these two years of fear, pain, and fighting. This special connection with a remarkable person is it. What Kathryne did for me is a model of selflessness and compassion for all of us, made more profound because she didn’t even know me.

Aug. 26 2012 03:44 AM
April from California

Hello--
First off, I'm not quite sure how old this forum is. I may a bit late on this post, or rather, the strange happening I will soon explain, happened too late for this forum. Either way, this is a birthday story. I was about to turn 30 and the travel bug had bit me. My husband and I yearned to travel somewhere a bit exotic and different from any other trip we had taken. After spending a night of research solely based on the online reviews of fellow travelers, I decided, really just randomly, to go with Cozumel, Mexico. I could not have been more unfamiliar with this desitintion, but that was the thrill! We decided to depart our home city the day before my birthday, April 9th. We arrived at destination one day later: April 10th! I was estatic to be in such an amazing location on my birthday. In fact, I was so thrilled and in my own world, I almost didn't notice the driver inform us of the name of the town closest to our hotel. The town was named, 10 de Abril. After much disbelief and research, I realized the impossible. Out of all the vacation spots in the entire world, I had chosen to vacation on my birthday on an island off the western coast of Mexico; this island was Cozumel and the town in which we closely stayed in on my birthday, April 10th, was also named April 10th, what are the odds?

Dec. 29 2011 05:45 AM
Drew H

I've got two:
First, I used to play the video game Counter-Strike online a lot. I live in Michigan, but I was playing on a server based in Texas. I was chatting with one of the regular players on that server and came to find out that he and his friend we played with lived less than 5 minutes away from me in Michigan. Not only that, but his dad regularly worked with my dad and his friend that we played with had taken my sister to senior prom.
Second involves my first year at college. The first day I arrived at the University of Michigan, I called the cell phone of one of my friends to go to hang out with him. He had lost his phone though, and I ended up talking to someone who had found it. On the last day of the year, before I was going to move out, I decided to have lunch with the aforementioned friend as well as my lab partner from organic chemistry. As we were eating, my friend was playing with his phone and my lab partner remarked that the phone looked familiar. My lab partner took the phone and went to the photos and brought up a picture of himself. He had been the guy who had found my friends phone on my first day of college, who I had called. We had, by luck, ended up being lab partners in organic chemistry. And by luck, on the last day of the year, we found out that he was the one who had found the phone.

Jul. 27 2010 03:19 PM
Barbara P

I currently live about 50 miles from where I went to high school. So I was mildly surprised one day to see that one of the moms dropping off her son at my daughter's day camp (near my home) had gone to the same high school as me. But I was even more surprised when I saw her about 20 minutes later at my younger son's daycare (near my workplace, about 15 miles in the other direction), dropping off her other child!

Jul. 07 2009 12:47 PM
Chris

In 1986, I went on an American-sponsored expedition in Nepal to get the first American woman on the top of Mount Everest. All of us climbers and trekkers were American, but from all over the country. The woman I met in the mountains who was to become my tent mate, was named Peggy, and she was from Utah. One of the fellow trekkers on the climb was Bob, from Oklahoma. We all became friends, but over the years had lost touch with each other. Flash forward to 1995-- 9 years later-- and I was having lunch with my family on the second floor of a restaurant in the town to where I had moved (Greenwich, Ct.) and half way through the meal, I heard someone say "Chris." I looked behind me and to the table next to us, were seated Peggy and Bob, also having lunch. We were speechless for a few seconds, and then we absolutely freaked out! We figure that our lives will forever be entwined by our experience on Everest. (By the way, nobody made it to the top of Everest that fall on 1986.)

May. 24 2009 12:08 PM
mike house

This is an amazing story NYC story, 100% true, totally incredible...

A few years ago the actor/comedian/social commentator Danny Hoch put together a one man play called "Jails, Hospitals and Hip Hop." This was his first major work as far as I know and it was a huge success. He went from relative obscurity to landing an HBO special, a major movie release based on one of the plays characters which was titled "Whiteboys", tons of acting spots, etc. But my story starts before his fame set in.

Jails, Hospitals and Hip Hop had a short run at PS 21, an independent theater on 1st ave and 10th st back around 2001 I think. I was a big fan and really wanted to see it. I had never even been to a play before and I was super excited. So I walked over the theater about 2 weeks before opening night to buy tickets and to my dismay they are sold out. I was bummed but soon forgot about it and moved on. Exactly a year later the same theater was hosting it's annual "Hip Hop Theater" festival, curated by Sarah Jones (can't quite remember but pretty sure it was her), and the highlight of the festival was going to be a one night only staging of Jails, Hospitals and Hip Hop. So here I am exactly one year later, same theater, same play, one night. Again I head over to the box office with plenty of time to spare and guess what...sold out again! You can imagaine I'm totally bummed about this but also a little angry at the fact that this would likely be the final ever performance of the play in an intimate theater which only about 200 people could probably squeeze into. By this point Danny Hoch was way famous so a 3rd chance to see him live was very unlikely. Anyway, so the day of the play rolls around and I had forgotten about it but I was coincidentally sitting across the street talking to a friend that worked at Commodities Health Food market. We were sitting on a front stoop and I had my bicycle leaning upright on its kickstand. When I noticed all the people lining up outside the theater I was reminded of how I wasn't getting in that night so I started sort of loudly complaining to my friend. I told him the whole backstory, about missing it twice and how this was probably the last time to see it before fame set in. I may have even been cursing the eager audience members and commenting on the vast swaths of beige and khaki they all seemed to be wearing. I finish my diatribe after a bit, say goodbye to my friend and proceed to mount my bike for the somber ride home. As I'm swinging my leg over the seat post I notice a crisp white piece of paper curiously lodged into the spokes of my rear bike wheel. I pull it out of the spokes and find that it is A SINGLE TICKET TO PERFORMANCE OF JAILS, HOSPITALS AND HIP HOP WHICH WAS STARTING IN 5 MINUTES DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET!!!!!!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?! I ran back inside the health food store to give my friend a hug thinking that he obviously somehow knew how bad I wanted to see this play and to ask him how the hell he slipped into my spokes without me knowing and how he even got such a hot ticket..At first he accepts my jubilation but quickly tells me that HE HAS NO IDEA WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!! To this day he swears that he didn't get me that ticket.. so my even more exciting theory is that someone must've overheard my bitching about missing the play twice and just slipped it into my spokes when I looked away or something. How insane is that!?! I went to the play, it was incredible, and nothing that awesome has happened to me since...Oh and also I was coincidentally wearing a Dead Prez t-shirt and they had a ton of songs in the production..

Apr. 24 2009 07:44 PM
Jim

P.S.
RE: The above miraculous husband/ wife re-connect at Hardees. There's more to the story, involving a very old dog and a severe storm in which lives were lost.

P.S.S. Remember the days of letters, when P.S. sometimes just wasn't enough? This is not a Hardees commercial. In fact I could not go to Hardees even for a sort of anniversary celebration, as I am now gluten intolerant. I might have been gluten intolerant at the time, although that is irrelevant to the story. But it may explain a lot. Exactly what a lot I'm not sure.

Apr. 10 2009 04:05 PM
Jim

My wife and I, while living in St Paul, had planned a summer vacation to our remote cabin in NE Minnesota, near Lutsen. The date was not set, and she decided instead to attend a week long art class in Duluth. I felt a little betrayed, but the fact was we weren't doing well generally, had spoken openly of divorce. Wen she was gone for two days, I decided to go on my separate vacation to the cabin. There was no way to contact her; she had no idea I was coming.

On previous vacations to the cabin, we had a tradition, to stop for lunch at the Hardees in Two Harbors, 1/2 hour north of Duluth. I was running late, almost too late for lunch, but at 2:30 PM decided to go ahead and stop at the Hardees for lunch. Needles to say I was shocked when, only several minutes later, my wife walked in. It turned out she had decided to camp in a campground north of Two Harbors instead of staying on campus at Duluth as originally planned. She was heading back to Duluth, and decided to stop for a late lunch.

The chances of our meeting up like that were astronomical, and had an affect on both of us. We decided the coincidence was meaningful, and that we should put aside talk of divorce.

Apr. 09 2009 06:32 PM
Jim

I was writing a memoir called GATHERING MY LIFE INTO FEATHERS, the theme of which was to gather the most meaningful events from my life, the experiences with shine. As I began to write the first chapter, I could not remember the name of the root beer lady, Dorothy Molter, who had lived in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern MN. on the Isle of Pines selling root beer to canoeists passing through. She wasn't central to the story I was writing, but because she had been a local legend, her inclusion would make for interesting detail. So I went on the Internet, Yahoo, and the first web page I brought up (it's still there- canoecountry.com/dorothy) had a single picture of Dorothy and myself. I was on that island only once and we only chatted briefly. Of all the pictures taken of Dorothy, what's the chance I'd find one of me, standing tall in the foreground, appearing nearly twice her size. And what's the chance I would find this picture on the Internet over 25 years later, just as I was writing that chapter.

Apr. 06 2009 06:37 PM
Matt

I met a woman on a flight from Harare to Johannesburg in 1998 or so. She had grown up in Harare in the 60s and 70s, a member of the small Greek community there. Harare was such a small town back then, she said - so small, in fact, that once, home alone at the age of 7, she had answered the phone to hear the voice of an immigration official at the airport. A tourist from Greece had arrived whose papers were not in order, translation was required, and the official had looked in the Harare phonebook for a Greek who might help. So she helped. Twenty-five years later she was on vacation visiting family in Athens. She was in line to change money at the bank. The gentleman behind her in line noted her Zimbabwean passport. “Ah! I was in Zimbabwe once. Such a friendly place it was. My papers were not in order when I arrived so the immigration official simply called a Greek-speaker he found at random in the phonebook and we were able to sort everything out…” [If you like this story I have this woman’s name, can help you try to find her.]

Apr. 06 2009 02:00 PM
Nikki T.

Last fall it came to be that I would have to take a Greyhound bus from Duluth, Minnesota to Jacksonville, Fl. I had moved from Jax six years prior and had no intention of ever returning, but as fate would have it, I was now mid-way through a thirty-six hour bus ride. I spent four hours sitting beside a wool-clad mennonite during which time the heat was broken and the temp on he bus averaged about 85 degrees. It was a smelly situation and for no other reason, I found a new seatmate. He was, in fact, traveling from Montana to Jacksonville and we got to talking.
We came to discover that, before moving across the country, we both lived in the same neighborhood and shared a few common accqaintances. But there was more...
As it turns out we both lived in the very same apartment and had the same job. The EXACT same position (arts and entertainment director at a neighborhood venue). He had been my replacement! It was the last position that either of us had before moving away and now, we were both returning on the same day. On a greyhound, no less.

Apr. 03 2009 03:07 PM
Brooke Ellsworth

Via bus back into the metropolis of New York from my hometown in Massachusetts, I decided to re-experience Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle." This is a book I have read many times throughout my life. One I've committed sentences, paragraphs to memory.

It was probably the N, R, or W train that I finished it on. I closed the book, put it into my shoulder bag, and reveled in its magic all the way into Brooklyn on the L train.

I should probably give a brief side-note pertaining to one of the book's themes. In it, Vonnegut invents a religion called Bokononism. Throughout the novel, he interjects fictional sayings and concepts integral to the made-up religion. Many of the characters practice Bokononism.

Back to me: I climbed above-ground and began walking down the side-walk away from the train. About five minutes later, some guy walked directly up and stopped right in front of me and held out a folded paper. I hesitated before taking it. Honestly, the first thought that flew through my mind was that he was handing me chewed gum in a napkin. Nonetheless, curiosity did what it usually does, it won. I took the paper, he turned around and walked in the direction he came. I opened it and inside it read:

"Do you exist?" -Bokononism.

Coincidence? Some crazed loner who followed me from Port Authority? This is not a quote from the book, it is made up and attributed to Bokononism. Does it matter? Should it matter? Either way, it took my breath away.

Apr. 03 2009 01:40 PM
Katherine Vaughn

My husbnd is from the capital city of Morocco, Rabat. We met when I was his English teacher in 1991. I had gone to Morocco for a postgraduation adventure after college, with just a one-year contract to teach English to (mostly) adults. I grew up in Maryland, but my parents had come from Indiana. I have an aunt and uncle in southern Indiana, in a tiny town called Gentryville. As it turns out, my husband's sister had emigrated to the U.S. ten years earlier and had been living in Connecticut, when she met and married a man from Gentryville. For a time, they lived in Gentryville, and so when I met my husband, my uncle and aunt had already met his sister because she worked at a local restaurant. The eerie thing about it was that my husband's family lost contact with my sister-in-law, and so when a terrible tragedy occurred in my husband's family (two other sisters killed in one car accident in Italy), I was able to call my uncle, who called over to my sister-in-law's husband's parents, who were able to get me in contact with my sister in law to give her the news. She and her husband were living in Minnesota at the time, and nobody in my husband's family knew how to get hold of her. If she had not ended up in Gentryville and I had not married her brother, she might still be in the dark about the accident that claimed the lives of her two sisters.

Apr. 01 2009 11:30 AM
Roy

I graduated from high school in 1961. I stayed in touch with my English teacher from those high school days and one day, about 25 years later, I had arranged to meet up with him and sit in on one of his classes. We arranged a meeting time before his class and, as I entered the school, I saw him emerging from the library with a copy of "Hamlet," the subject of his class that day. After we greeted each other he casually opened the cover of the book to find that I had been the last person to check out that particular copy.

Mar. 30 2009 02:54 PM
Tom

In the early 40's, my then 7 year old mother and her younger brother and sister were put into a Lutheran Orphanage in Alexandria, MN. Many years and feelings of abandonment put a strain on the familial relationship and contact became more and more infrequent.

In 1960, my mother married and moved to California where I was born in 1966. I grew up learning I had cousins back in Minnesota, but never met them.

In 2002, I had to go on a work trip to Minneapolis. I did some digging, and found contact information for my cousin Julie (my mother's brother's daughter). I made contact and we met upon my arrival in MN.

As we discussed lives, history, work etc. It turned out that she was a personal legal secretary for a senior partner of large Minneapolis law firm. The lawyer's name was Tom Moe...my dad's cousin. She never knew.

Mar. 30 2009 12:09 PM
Katie

I had been living in the state of Oregon for 2 years, and my older sister had recently moved in with me. One day we were driving and she wanted to tell me a story but she felt she couldn't tell me any of the details until she could reference the Oregon town involved. Giving me no context (other than "town in Oregon") she said, "I can't remember the name, but for some reason I'm thinking of hot dogs..."

Without skipping a beat, I asked "Roseburg?"

Roseburg was correct. Neither of us had ever been to Roseburg, and it was several hours south of where we lived. At first we didn't even notice the absurdness of this exchange, but a few moments later, we simultaneously exclaimed "Wait, what?!"

When she had said "hotdog" I immediately thought of saurkraut (a topping I never eat, that we had never previously talked about), which reminded me of the name Rosencrantz, which of course reminded me of Roseburg.

This is one of many coincidences between the two of us.

Mar. 29 2009 12:03 AM
Hammer

This could be an interesting study in statistics. How many listeners/readers does it take to come up with a great series of coincidental events, and what is the statistical chance of that happening to THAT SPECIFIC PERSON v. the statistical chance of that happening to ONE PERSON of that group of listeners.

Mar. 26 2009 05:56 PM
Hannelore

As an addendum to my previous post, I should mention that my college friend and I had found the new apartment in Brooklyn through a colleague of mine in Manhattan (who was originally from NC, as well). Our new roommate (with the niece who went to my high school and the nephew who was one of my mother's former students) was my work colleague's brother-in-law's brother. So, the fact that he and I were both from Minnesota was random enough to begin with, we had thought! Also, oddly, my college friend who was moving into the apartment with us is named Liz, I go by the nickname Hanne, and our new roommate's other niece's full name is Hana Elizabeth. What?!

***another story, one of my high school teacher's had a son a few years younger than me. I spent many morning before high school having intellectual conversations with this teacher Mr. G and his son Young G. I left Minnesota, and was sad to learn a few years later when I was at college in DC, that Mr. G had died. A few months later toward the beginning of a new semester, I was sitting in a theology class when the kid sitting next to me asked me if he could borrow my notes from the last class. It was Young G. That was odd enough. But no, there's more...I moved to NYC a year after I graduated college. After a day at work in Midtown Manhattan, I got on the subway to head down to the PATH train to my apartment in Hoboken. Who got on the train at the next subway station? Young G again, who worked a block away from me, but had been working out at a gym near the next subway station down. He too was on his way to the PATH train to take him home to his apartment in Hoboken.

*** another gem of a story: I took acting classes in NYC and became pretty good friends with my teacher Ms. F. She had invited me and I had intended (and enjoyed) an autobiographical performance of hers in a teeny tiny theater space in Manhattan. A few months later, she invited me to her birthday party at a park near the Hudson River. I arrived to find a small group of about 10 people gathered around a tree, and suddenly a girl walked towards me, saying in German, "Hallo, Hanne, what are you doing here?" She (Jenny) was a classmate of mine from when I was an exchange student in Berlin in the 10th grade. As it turned out, Jenny was in NYC studying film and had shot a documentary about my acting teacher Ms. F. Of course, I wanted to see the documentary! I got to see the documentary a few months later at Ms. F's home. It included footage from the theater piece I had seen in the teeny tiny theater space. And sure enough, it included footage of Ms. F taking her bows, and who was in the front row giving her a standing ovation? Me.

P.S. After moving into my new apartment in Brooklyn, I later learned that my new roommate (with the niece who went to my high school and the nephew who was one of my mother's former students) had made out with my acting teacher Ms. F some 10 or so years before. RAN-DOM!

Mar. 25 2009 06:12 PM
Hannelore

I left my hometown back in 1996, a suburb of Minneapolis with a population of around 50,000 people. A few years ago I moved into a building in Brooklyn that had two apartments in it, housing a total of six people. I only previously knew one of those six (she was a friend from college, originally from NC). I soon learned that not only was our new roommate also from Minnesota, but that his niece (whose room I was taking) had graduated from my hometown's high school 4 years before me), his nephew was one of my mother's spanish language students at a school in Minneapolis 3 years before, one of our neighbors upstairs was the little sister of a guy with whom I had graduated from my hometown high school, and her new roommate (whom she'd found through craigslist, originally from the Finger Lakes region) was a college roommate of yet another friend of mine from high school. Only one person in the building did not have some connection to my hometown in Minnesota, that I had left 10 years before!

Mar. 25 2009 05:51 PM
Kelly C.

I never actively read my horoscope but in high school if my mom happened to be at home in the mornings she'd read it to me from the paper. One morning Gemini read, "Today you will be unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight." I remember thinking it was bizarrely specific for a horoscope.

I had been in a musical earlier that year. After school, I was sitting with the boy who played my romantic opposite in a classroom and two girls entered. One of them squealed and demanded that we sing a song for her. After much badgering and uncomfortable denial we obliged, singing half a duet. She literally shrieked as we were singing, bursting into applause at the end and bounding away, leaving us dumbfounded.

Every time my mother has offered to read my horoscope since, I have politely declined.

Mar. 24 2009 11:41 PM
Katherine

My husband and I were in Hawaii on our 10th anniversary trip. Our daughters were at home in Washington with grandparents. One night my husband woke up suddenly, nudged me awake, and told me I had to call home and talk to our daughter Samantha right away. When I asked why, he seemed hesitant, but then said she had a school report due that morning. It didn't make any sense. But he was insistent that I call, not him. So I called home, and my stepmother answered immediately with relief. She was trying to find the number of our hotel, because Sam had been sick all night and she wanted to talk to me, the doctor-mother, about whether to take her to the ER. Our daughter was actually OK, and proud of her score of vomitting 27 times in one day. I think this isn't actually a coincidence, but demonstrates a deep, mysterious connection between my husband and his beloved daugher.

Mar. 22 2009 11:13 AM
Nate B.

In June 2001 I was on a 7 day backpacking/rafting trip in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana. My wife and daughter were thousands of miles away from me and our home, at a wedding in San Diego.

Our party had been completely out of contact with civilization for about 3 days when I was struck with the instantaneous realization that I was going to be a father again. There was no wonder. One second I wasn't thinking about it, the next second I knew without a doubt.

About 4 days later, when we came out of the woods, I called my wife who was still in CA. She knew too, with the same absolute certainty. A few days later we visited the OB and found out we were both right. My son was born 8 months later, one day after my birthday.

Mar. 19 2009 01:39 PM
Constance Van Flandern

Just a funny coincidence.
I was having a perfectly uneventful pregnancy with my first child and was a good 6 weeks away from my due date when my mother, an artist, called to say that she had had a strange dream about our baby. She said in the dream she had been quilting a blanket for the baby in vivid Orange and Black colors with a large number 13 in the center. Those colors and number represented something worrisome to her and so was calling to make sure everything was okay. She had been so haunted by the dream she woke up and had made a drawing of the image.

I assured her everything was fine. Then, just two days later, my water broke for no apparent reason, very prematurely. I was kept in the hospital for several days before my daughter insisted on being born with no hospital intervention--the date: Friday the 13th! She was early--but in excellent health. My mom sent me the drawing which we have framed--a baby holding the number 13 in the center of that traditionally Halloween color combo! It was a little spooky.

To thicken the plot: our son was born three years later but he was 2 weeks late--not early as the doctors predicted (since I'd had one premature baby). His birthdate is exactly the same day (13th) AND month as my daughter. They share this birthday with a first cousin too! Thirteen is now our lucky number.

Mar. 19 2009 11:47 AM
Liz

Katherine, I would watch that movie ;)

Mar. 14 2009 01:32 PM
Katherine

My arm started hurting once when I was seven years old. I remember it distinctly - it was summer, I was in the back of the family station wagon, and we were on a 2-day road trip to visit my aunt in Colorado. It was on my right arm, exactly where I had a freckle. Instantly I knew that my future husband had broken his arm.

Flash forward to my dating years. For some strange reason, I always remembered the incident and always asked boyfriends if they had ever broken any bones. I didn't really believe in it, but it was an interesting conversation nonetheless (though I never told them why I was asking).

I met a boy while studying abroad in Paris, and one month into dating I asked him. He replied that he had broken his right arm when he was eight, and it was exactly where I had had my pain. He even had a freckle in the same spot. I knew we'd get married from that second on. Sure enough, we were married 5 years later. We say we were brought together by the freckles.

Mar. 11 2009 02:57 PM
dan

one day I came home late from a party. At the party we had been discussing diabolical possession, some friends claimed they'd witnessed some. the thing is I got home at about midnight, I was living alone at the time, and thinking of the previous conversations I was feeling scared and had trouble falling asleep. so after a couple of hours of sitting in my bed (lights on) I came to a logical conclusion, I though: there are only two options in the world, ONE-the devil does exist, but then so does God, and he will protect me. or TWO-the devil doesn't exist so I have nothing to worry about, either case the devil can't harm me. the same exact second I finished thinking that last sentence, a earthquake happened (4.something in R.scale), at the moment I didn't know if the earthquake was real or not, I relaxed when I got outside and saw my scared neighbors

Mar. 07 2009 11:54 PM
Chris

About 15 years ago, I was living in San Francisco, having recently moved from Los Angeles. I would occasionally drive my motorcycle back to LA to visit friends, and one particular weekend I decided to do just that. The problem was that I was living paycheck-to-paycheck, on a small budget. Having just paid my rent and monthly bills, I had only a few dollars in my pocket. From previous trips, I knew fairly precisely how much gas was required for the trip. Given the gas already in the bike, the gas mileage of the bike and the current cost of gas, I knew I would run out of gas about 75 miles from my destination. Of course, I went anyways... I decided to stop early to top off my gas tank. And lucky me, the cashier gave me change as if I had given him $20 instead of the $5 bill I actually handed over.

Mar. 06 2009 04:12 PM
Sarah

I was adopted in a closed adoption in 1979. All I ever knew about my birth family were some vague details and soem medical info on a type-written sheet supplied by the adoption agency. In 2007, over Thanksgiving, I sent my information to a mutual-consent reunion agency. Within 3 days, I was on the phone with my half-sister I didn't know I had. I hadn't informed my (adopted) family that I had begun my search, so I got on a plane to fly home to tell them in person. While waiting out my layover in Minneapolis, a woman sitting across from me overheard my phone conversation with a friend about the amazing news. We got to talking and she told me that she used to work for the adoption agency that I was adopted through... in the year I was adopted... in the small Montana town I was adopted in... and that her best friend at the time was at my birth. One other interesting tidbit: One of my new-found half-sisters and I share a birthday.

Mar. 05 2009 11:36 PM
Celeste

My mother had a girlfriend in high school in the mid-1960's whose parents were relatively older than average. WHen she inquired about it, she heard the most amazing love story! It turned out that they had been engaged as during WWII as a very young couple and planned to marry soon, but were arrested and sent to different concentration camps.

Years later, the woman was walking down the street in New York City and passed a familiar man on the street. As you may have guessed, it was her long lost fiance, whom she had presumed dead! They got married immediately and started their family. Suffice it to say that her parents hardly ever fought and never took each other for granted.

Mar. 02 2009 01:27 PM
Stephen

Summer of 2006 I was working at a big NYC law firm on Lexington Avenue. I scheduled a meeting with a persistent vendor at he nearby Starbucks but would first meet him outside the building where the law firm was located. After watching and waiting and approaching a few others who looked to be waiting to meet people, I made contact with the vendor. We exchanged names and headed over to get a coffee and talk shop. We talked quite a while, almost an hour, when he brought up an issue that for me was out of left field. Further explanation made us realize that I was supposed to meet another vendor with the same first name and he as to do the same with a propsective client. We concluded our meeting, which had been going very well until the realization. I stepped outside, called the vendor I was suppose to meet who was actually sitting the next table over from me. The real meeting went nowhere and was a disappointment compared with the flukey first one.

Mar. 02 2009 12:14 PM
Jill

In the early 90's I worked for a very small company (maybe 9 employees?) in Florida. One of my co-workers and I realized one day that his best friend from high school in Nebraska married my college roommate from Iowa.

Feb. 25 2009 10:49 PM
Beth

I keep noticing Facebook friends who I know from various places but who don't know each other (i.e. one from my hometown, another I met in college or in the country where I live now) having nearly identical or just strangely similar statuses. For instance, a college friend wrote "... wants it to be spring." The status update directly before that is from my cousin living in Bulgaria, who wrote "...wonders could spring really be near?"

Also today, two people mentioned the same local auto show. Last fall, a friend from high school and a friend from college updated their photo on the same day to a picture of them eating shish kebabs off of the stick.

I think it boils down to what David Sedaris said in that story about the glass eyeballs in the museum shop: we aren't as creative or unique as we think.

Oh also, once I was getting in the car and a song popped into my head. For some reason I kept singing along as I turned on the radio... which was playing the very song I was singing and it was at exactly the same spot I was, to the word. But my boyfriend has convinced me this is not that big of a coincidence considering how oldies stations have a set of songs they play every hour.

Feb. 21 2009 04:12 AM
Ken Paddock

It was 1978 and I had recently finished college on the east coast and was about embark on a tour with the Peace Corps in the Philippines. The stint was to start with a 3 day training session in San Francisco where a number of other volunteers would gather together for an overview of the journey to come. I had never been to California before so I booked a ticket to Los Angeles one week before the date I needed to be in San Francisco. I planned to make my way up the coast arriving in time for the training.

I didn't care so much for LA so after two days I bought a Greyhound bus ticket to San Luis Obispo. There were three empty seats on the bus, each adjacent to a female passenger. Which lady would I choose to sit by? I quickly made my decision, not based on anything in particular, parked my back pack in the overhead compartment and settled in for the several hour ride.

The typical small talk exchanged between traveling strangers began with me asking, "So where are you headed?"
"San Francisco"
"Oh? Me two."
"Yeah, I'm going to a training session there.
"That's funny, me too. A training for new Peace Corp volunteers."
"For the Philippines?"
"Yes. How did you guess?"
"Well, I just arrived from the Philippines to help give the training for new volunteers. Looks like we're headed for the same place."

Soooo....this is really weird...but it's gets better!

"So where were you stationed in the Philippines?" I ask.
"On the island of Palawan," she says.
"Is that right? I know a Peace Corps volunteer from that island! Well, I don't really "know" him but I've written to him a couple of times. His brother was a graduate student in my department at Cornell and he suggested I write to Dan to get some first hand knowledge of the Philippines."
"Oh my God," she exclaims, "You must mean Dan Gerber! He's one of my best friends!!"

I can only think that I was meant to be in that particular seat on that Greyhound bus.

Feb. 18 2009 02:46 PM
Curt

In the spring of 1985 my then girlfriend (and now wife) decided to move from St. Paul to Minnetonka Minnesota. My girlfriend took a trip to Omaha and left me to the move. We had purchased carpet squares and shades when we moved into the St. Paul apartment and we realized that they would not go with the new Minnetonka apartment so I called the St. Paul landlord and asked for the number of the new tennant "Kathy" so I could find out if she wanted me to leave the carpet squares and shades for her. I called her and she was interested but she was also somewhat confused by the conversation and thought it unusual that the carpet would not be staying with the apartment. After about 10 minutes on the phone, we came to the realization that this "Kathy" was moving into my apartment, rather, she was getting ready to move into a south Minneapolis apartment. She was, however, interested in what I had and drove across town to look at my stuff. Not only did she take the carpet and shades, but she also purchased a couch and a chair that I was trying to get rid of. I called my St. Paul landlord back and he had no idea who the Minneapolis Kathy was or where he got the number.

Feb. 17 2009 11:55 AM
Sapana

My family took a trip to Budapest a few years ago. As I was walking by a fountain at the castle I thought to myself "gee, once you've seen the Fountain at Trevi [in Rome], nothing else is quite as impressive," and not *two seconds* later, a woman with two companions expressed out loud almost that identical thought (and I mean almost word-for-word). I stopped and just stared at her as they continued walking. It kind of freaked me out....

Feb. 13 2009 02:10 PM
C. Todd White

I had a very strong feeling, in early March of 2000, that I needed to get home--now. I was a grad students and instructor at USC, but I trusted the hunch, rented a car, packed up the dog, and headed toward my home in Missouri.

I did not tell anyone I had left until I was in New Mexico. Then I notified by work, via cell phone, and called my mother and aunt. After spending a night in the car, I arrived in Missouri and crashed at a friends house. The next morning, my mother called to tell me that my grandfather had died that morning.

The three days that followed were total twilight zone. For three solid days, i knew what people were going to say before they said it; I knew what I needed to do before I was told. I felt almost like a liviing angel, having messages to tell people--and they listened, in amazement.

During my grandfather's funeral, I learned what I had be summoned for. I did what I needed to do, when it needed to be done. I was there for my grandmother, to step to her side when she was alone for the first time in over fifty years. Grandpa wanted me to be there--to comfort her when he couldn't. I'm sure of that.

There is more I could say, but let me close with this. When I was packing up for my return trip back to Los Angeles, I took with me one of his old golf jackets. When I got home, I immediately went to a friends house--and a TV show was playing that I had never seen or hear of before. Crossing Over, by John Edward. Edward closed his show like he was talking directly to me, saying that life was not the end, that I should trust the "messages" that come my way after a loved one dies.

I was stunned. And I was wearing the green jacket. For some strange reason, I put my hand in the pocket for the very first time and pulled out three things: a white golf tee, a screw, and a receipt. Instantly, I knew what they were.

The white tee was a perfect metaphor for Granddad: the white was his goodness, he tee his health and vitality, he love for nature and being out and active within it. The screw represented family, which is a stronger bond than the nails of friendship.

But what I saw next sent a shiver up my spine. The receipt was for a bottle of orange juice. The date was exactly one year prior to his death. To the day.

Feb. 13 2009 12:58 AM
Esther

Yet another coincidence story: My older daughter, Una, was born on the same birth date as my father: June 13. Una was born 9 days before her due date, just 3 minutes into June 13!

Feb. 12 2009 10:34 PM
Esther

Here's another coincidence story:

Back in 2003, I was introduced by a mutual acquaintance to a man named B. J. Bailey, and at the time, he was a sociology instructor at West Point Military Academy. My husband is still an English professor there.

The next evening I spoke on the phone to an old high school friend of mine who lives in Seattle. I had not spoken to her in quite a while, so we spoke about this-and-that. I mentioned that I had met this guy B. J. Bailey and his family, and my high school friend said, "That's funny. I work with someone named B. J. Bailey, too. Only she's a woman." We laughed and thought nothing more of it.

When my high school friend went back to work the next day, she mentioned the coincidence to her co-worker. My friend's B. J. Bailey said, "Well, I have a son whose name is also B. J. Bailey, and he works at West Point!"

Feb. 12 2009 04:55 PM
Esther

On the morning in June 2005 that my mom was to get on a plane to come visit me in New York for two weeks, she got a call from Ohio State Univ. hospital to let her know that they had a kidney for which she was found to be a suitable match (she suffers from polycystic kidney disease). She had been on the transplant wait list for about nine months. So, she called to tell me that instead of seeing me she was going to have kidney transplant surgery. Needless to say, I dropped everything to fly to Ohio to be with her for her surgery.

At the time, my father was attending a conference in Beijing, China, and wasn't planning to return until a few days later.

My mom's surgery was a success, and with my mom in recovery, I was able to drop by my parents' house to pick up some stuff for her. As I was driving back to the hospital, my dad pulled into the driveway, about four days before he was due back from his conference. It was obvious from my dad's expression that he was expecting the worst when he saw me back in Ohio when he knew that my mom was supposed to be in New York with me! So I yelled to him, "Good news! Mom has a new kidney! See you at OSU Hospital!"

On top of all of this, my twin sister had died suddenly four months earlier at the age of 38. To this day, my mom feels that my sister was "sacrificed" so that she could get a kidney she so desperately needed. But the fact that she got it on the same day she was supposed to leave town, PLUS have my dad arrive back in town on the same day of her surgery, was, to me, truly mysteriously miraculous coincidence.

Feb. 12 2009 04:41 PM
Mary

My story involves my engagement to two young men and eventual marriage to a third man. All of whom were friends with another man.

Chapter One: Tom.
We were engaged to be married in 1966. He had a friend from art school, Tim. One lovely summer evening Tom suggested that we meet up with Tim and his girlfriend to go dancing on the Sunset Strip. Tim was housesitting for a friend's mother and Tom and I picked up Tim and the girlfriend at this house and went out on our double date.

Chapter Two: Michael
We were engaged to be married in 1969. At some point in our relationship Michael wanted to take me home to meet his parents. When we drove up to their home, I told him I had already been there and did he know Tim? Yes. Micheal and Tim had grown up together and Tim sometimes house-sat for his parents.

Chapter Three: Gary
Lest you think I was just flitting from man to man, I finally met Gary, to whom I was married in 1976 and to whom I am still married! But when I met Gary in 1974 he was an art director at an advertising agency and he was working on an account with an illustrator who turned out to be Tim.

Tim wove in and out of my life through three important relationships in my young life, a familiar person, yet always at a distance.

Feb. 12 2009 12:46 PM
Michael

So, I was living in Rome in an old palazzo that my college was renting for its European honors program. When the weather was warm, my roommate and I kept the windows open for fresh air and to hear the sounds of the city. BUT, this meant that flies often flew inside. At a certain point, my patience for one fat, buzzing invaders had run out. These Italian flies were quick and I had trouble catching them in mid-air. The fly settled itself on the ceiling and, being short, I grabbed the nearest object I could use that would put me within slapping distance: my roommate's shoe. I climbed on top of the window sill and with a well-timed and well-aimed smack, the fly's remains were plastered to the ceiling, surrounded by the dirt-print of the shoe. Here's the coincidence: from my higher vantage point, I could see that just one foot away from my own victim, there was another squashed fly, long dead, with another shoe print around it. I had unknowingly created an echo in time! Flies are not normally swatted on the ceiling and a shoe is not normally the tool one uses for this purpose. The chances of this event happening twice boggle my mind.

Feb. 12 2009 11:21 AM
Janine T

While applying for colleges many moons ago I spoke with an admissions counselor at Oberlin, which was a good distance away. Nothing seemed strange when, at the mention of my hometown, she mentioned having a soon-to-be son-in-law who lived in the next city over. Ok, sure, that’s quaint. The literal next day at school our government/econ class was visited by a collection of business people who were to assist our small teams with investment strategies. The newly appointed advisor to my group inquired as to our college application efforts, and I mentioned Oberlin. As coincidence has it, he then mentioned his soon-to-be mother-in-law who works as an admissions counselor there.

Feb. 12 2009 08:59 AM
elizabeth

One time I lost $20 because I put it in my back pocket and it fell out. I decided to retrace my steps but I didn't find the money. I had given up and decided to go pick up my laundry down a path that was not where I had walked (this was in San Francisco) and I see a $20 dollar bill folded like a little tent sitting in the middle of the street. My original bill was not folded but horribly crumpled. There was a group of people behind me and if I didn't find that money, they surely would have. What are the chances of this happening. It made me wonder if maybe there was a god, but if so, why would he reveal himself in this strange silly way.

Feb. 12 2009 06:34 AM
Matt

This coincidence has always fascinated me, it involves five different people across four different states. See if you can follow this: It starts with me, I'm from Delaware but for a month when I was in high school I went all the way to southern California to study animation at a summer program called CSSSA. While there I made friends with Gina, who was originally from the SF Bay Area. After high school I moved out to California to study animation at CalArts, and there I became close friends with Charles, who was originally from Colorado. Meanwhile Gina went to Pomona College, but we stayed in touch.

After college Charles moved up to the Bay Area to work at ILM doing special effects animation. Gina had also moved back to the Bay Area and about a year later invited me to her wedding. I came up from Los Angeles for the wedding, and I emailed Charles to see if he'd like to get together while I was there. He couldn't because his girlfriend Lisa had a friend in town that they had plans to meet up with. Lisa is from Hawaii, but went to college in Colorado and met Charles there while he was back visiting friends a few years earlier.

I went to the wedding and was seated next to Leon, one of Gina's friends from Pomona College. We started talking and he mentioned that he was from Hawaii and I told him I had gone to CalArts, etc. Then he says, "I know someone from CalArts." And wouldn't you know it was Charles! It turns out Leon went to high school with Lisa, and he was the friend Charles and Lisa had made plans to hang out with later that night. Charles sure was shocked when he and Lisa came to pick up Leon and found me there as well!

Not only had so many of us met each other in such different places, but we were close enough friends that we stayed in touch in order to discover the connections years later at Gina's wedding. And not only was it a coincidence that we all knew one another, but that out of everyone at the wedding Leon and I were seated next to each other, and that he had plans for Charles and Lisa to pick him up from the wedding later on.

I met Leon again a few years later at Charles and Lisa's wedding in Hawaii, I was a groomsman and he was the officiant.

Feb. 11 2009 11:58 PM
Brian

Not much, but a few days ago I was in the car with my friend while visiting him in Orlando. That day we got in my other friend's car (the friend I was with does not have a car so we borrowed my other friend's car), and as we were pulling out of the parking garage, "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Group came on, and I mentioned how much I enjoyed the song. Later that day as we were pulling out of the garage again, we realized it was Frankenstein again and also at the exact same point it was as the first time.

Stuff like this happens to me and my friend all the time, we tend to think the same stuff at the same time, have the same songs stuck in our heads and start singing it at the same time, same place in the song, and we tend to realize weird things at the same time too. Its pretty much a disaster of laughing and joint realization every time we are together, which makes everyone around us confused.

Feb. 11 2009 10:33 PM
Dustin Baly

My wife and I live near the Town of Eldorado, California. There was another town in Colorado called Eldorado, but they changed the name because there was a certain percentage of mail that was perpetually mistakenly sent back and forth between these two towns. We met in Eldora, Colorado, the town that used to be called Eldorado. When we met we quickly discovered an incredible series of coincidences that our lives had in common. It began with the discovery that the last book we had both just finished was "Einstein's Dreams". Soon we both discovered that we were both middle children, both English Majors, both left handed, and both had many other commonalities. Sometimes when we lay in bed next to each other I could feel a twitch of energy originate in her arm and travel over to mine. Quite frequently she or I will say something and realize that we were both sharing the same thought moments before. Every time we have taken each of our blood pressure measurements, the results were exactly the same. We wondered if our kids would be just like us, but they turned out to be a lot more social than we are.

Feb. 10 2009 02:46 PM
Angie

My father died on my mother's birthday. My niece and one of my cousins were born on the anniversary of my grandmother's death.

Feb. 10 2009 10:57 AM
vs

I met my boyfriend's grandparents two years before I met him, in Central Park. I was walking around after a visit to the Hayden Planetarium, and my roommate stopped to pet a dog that belonged to a friendly elderly couple (an Jewish man and his British wife) sitting on a bench. We had a short chat about the breed, cockapoo. Two years later, my boyfriend took me to dinner at his grandparents apartment right off Central Park West, and when I saw the dog, Lulu, I realized it was the very same couple I had met in the park.

Feb. 10 2009 09:11 AM
JT

This didn't happen to me, but it's a rather remarkable coincidence - and it DID happen to a dear friend of mine with whom I can put you in contact if you agree that it's an extraordinary confluence of circumstances.

My friend is a middle-aged professional woman who lost the love of her life in a tragic accident more than 20 years ago. For a while thereafer, she kept in touch with her lover's brother, who was a good friend of hers. Over time, they lost contact, he moved to another city, and it seemed that they would never have the chance to speak again. (You already know where this story is going, but the getting there is the fun part!)

A few months ago, the anniversary of her lover's death had rolled around again, and this friend of mine was home sick with an abdominal condition. Among the few things she could eat were mashed potatoes, so she ordered in from a busy Manhattan restaurant. Upon delivery, she noticed that she had received TWO orders. One was hers, labeled with her last name and her phone number.

The other listed a phone number but no last name. She considered just keeping the potatoes and letting the restaurant sort it out, but she decided the nice thing to do was to call and let their intended recipient know. They could then order another round or arrange for the restaurant to pick them up. She decided to do a search for the number, to ask for "Mr. (or Ms.) Whatever." Upon doing so, she discovered that the last name was rare - extremely rare, and it was the same as her long-dead lover. I'm not going to share the last name here, but suffice it to say it was not "Smith." She called to let them know about the potatoes... and, with some reluctance, she introduced herself by name. That's when she discovered it truly was her lover's brother.

They had a long conversation, and were able to happily reconnect and rekindle a friendship that had been extraordinarily fulfilling and meaningful in the past, and which both had regretted allowing to slip away. In order for that to happen, she had to be ill with a stomach condition that restricted her diet; she had to order mashed potatoes from a restaurant rather than making them at home; a long-lost friend had to ALSO choose mashed potatoes at the exact same day and the exact same time, from the exact same restaurant; the restaurant then had to accidentally combine the orders; she had to choose to call that person rather than calling the restaurant; and she had to look up the name so she could address them properly. Each event, taken on its own, isn't that much out of the ordinary; but together, they created a coincidence of remarkable unlikelihood and importance to those individuals involved! AND it happened on the anniversary of the death of the person who originally connected them.

Only a New Yorker would say, "Only in New York!" But... ONLY IN NEW YORK!

Feb. 10 2009 04:27 AM
Jody

My sister married a guy with her same first and middle name with one minor spelling difference. After she took his last name they were both named Tracey (or Tracy) Lee Parrot. Somehow the last name Parrot makes it seem extra funny to me. Then they had two sets of twins. It's probably for the best that they didn't name them all Tracey too. Having the same names made their divorce fairly complicated... each one getting mail meant for the other.

Feb. 09 2009 08:45 PM
Julia C

When I was in High School, I was taking advantage of using my mother's car for the day and decided to explore. I took a turn down a road I'd never been down before to see where it led. Off of that road was an old cemetery with beautiful Live Oaks draped with Spanish Moss. I drove through the cemetery on a small dirt path and decided to stop the car and get out. When I looked out the window at the tombstone I had stopped the car next to a chill went through my body. It had my name on it.

Feb. 09 2009 08:23 PM
Nick C

To set the stage, I'm from Portland, Oregon. In 2002, I rode my bicycle from San Diego, CA to St. Augustine, FL. I posted to a blog daily while on the ride. Here's an excerpt with a crazy coincidence:

May 8, 2002
51 Days Riding
68 Days since leaving San Diego
Tallahassee to Wacissa FL
38 miles Today; 3077 miles total
Wacissa River Park

I was in a snarly mood when I left this morning. Fighting traffic to get into Tallahassee last night set the stage. I wasn't looking forward to fighting my way out of town. I was thinking there wasn't really anything more to see on this trip and I was ready for it to be over. Then guess what happens....

By now you've figured out that I'm pulling a trailer; a Beast of Burden, or BOB. All of my previous self-contained touring was on an upright bike with panniers mounted front and rear. Last fall, as I was researching my options for loading my Tour Easy (a recumbent) for this trip, I ran across the mention of a guy who'd ridden this route last year with the Adventure Cycling group. He rode a Tour Easy and pulled a BOB, and I got in touch with him via email to ask how it all worked out. Don's report was favorable, and on the strength of that I bought the BOB. So far it has performed flawlessly.

Once beyond the Tallahassee city limits, the ride became quite nice, using an old railroad bed that has been converted into a hike/bike path. At lunchtime, I stopped at a grocery store for a sandwich and got into a conversation with a woman who wanted to know about the trip. While we were talking another guy came up and waited patiently until we were finished, then extended his hand to introduce himself.

Queue up the theme to The Twilight Zone:
"Hi. My name is Don Dietrich. I saw you ride by and came back around to find you. I ride one of these, too."

My jaw dropped. "No way! Don Dietrich? You rode this route last year! You're even on my discussion list! I'm Nick Corrado."

His jaw dropped. Rod Serling voice over:

"They'd never met. They'd never even talked. They'd only exchanged a few messages over the ethereal medium known as the web. Even though a continent separated them, they were about to meet....in the Twilight Zone."

When we corresponded 6 months ago, he was living in Atlanta. He's originally from Tallahassee but just recently moved back. A guy with a superstitious bent could read a whole lot into this encounter. Its still a little spooky.

Feb. 09 2009 07:11 PM
Corey

I had a dream when I was sixteen that I was in a small indiscriminate room with mouldy white wood paneling and I was sitting in a small student desk in the middle of the room listening to a recorded test and writing down the answers on a tiny tiny piece of paper. I thought the dream was nonsense. Two weeks later I was wisked away to a drug rehabilitaion program for troubled young men in Western Samoa. When you misbehaved at the program they would sit you in a small indescriminate room with mouldy white wood paneling in a small student desk and make you listen to taped audio quizes about Beethoven or Joseph Lister which wouldn't be so bad if they didn't have only 6 or 7 different tapes that they would play over and over. They didn't have enough paper either so they would tear the little paper they had into little pieces for us to write our answers on. After being there for six months I hadn't spoken to anyone outside of the program and was being rewarded for my good behavior by being be allowed to call my mother for the first time since I'd been there. The morning before we were going to travel into the city to make our phone calls I was dreaming about some nonsense which ended as if in a movie with rolling credits and over the credits was a song with the lyrics "Go back to you home." The program had a minumum of a year duration and it all depended on how well you behaved so I hadn't expected any less. When I finally talked to my mother I was surprised to find that she had decided to pull me out early... And I got to go back to my home. Not a miracle. but strange anyway... This sort of thing happens to me all the time. I really should write down what I dream.

Feb. 09 2009 05:46 PM
Zad

I just got off the bus from work and now I had to go purchase tickets for the next bus to get home.

I got in line and looked at the schedule and my bus wasn't going to arrive in another 5-10 mins.

Which was just enough time for me to buy my ticket.

I got to the front of the line to buy my tickets. I paid by debit, so I swipe my card but the machine was broken. So I had to wait and transfer to another
cashier to buy my ticket.

This time was just enough for my bus
to arrive and leave, and my next bus
wasn't going to be there for another 30 mins.

So I randomly decided to walk home.

As I was walking(bored) I thought I'd call up some friends that I haven't spoken to in while. I called up
one friend and she picked up.

I asked her how she was and where she was. I would have never asked her where she was but she sounded like she was in transit.

She told me where she was which was at the corner of the street held up by the lights. The same lights that I was using to cross the street.

Her and her friend waved me over I got into their car and they drove me home and we got to catch up in person.

So a broken debit machine, a missed bus, a random decision to walk home and a phone call to a friend got me a ride home...it was an amusing evening.

Feb. 09 2009 05:46 PM
Philip Stephenson

I don't know how impressive this will strike anyone else, but years ago, when I was still in college, I decided to call one of my best friends from high school. We didn't talk frequently during college, and hadn't spoken for months at the time I decided to call. When I dialed her number, however, instead of a phone ring tone, I heard an odd click at the other end of the line, and as I said, "Hello, is Kristin there?" her voice replied "Hello, is Philip there?" We had called one another at the exact same second, despite having not spoken recently, or agreeing to call. Neither of our phones rang. Just the click, then the voice.

Feb. 09 2009 04:58 PM
Sandra

My mother was offered by a walk in insurance sales man, cancer insurance. Having no cancer history in the family or herself she still decided to take it. The insurance went into effect, she was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer immediately after. Because of the chemotherapy treatment she was able to afford with this insurance, and her amazing strength, she is now in full remission.

Another story.

My sister had painful heartbreaks after suffering through 3 miscarriages during her second trimester of pregnancy. She decided to wear the patch and forgo her dream of ever becoming a mother to save herself from more pain.
While on the patch she became pregnant and carried her child to full term. She is now the mother of two wonderful children.

Feb. 09 2009 04:30 PM
Rick E

In 98 I was a newly minted BFA turning wrenches at the local bike shop sending resumes everywhere when I got an email out of the blue from a web design firm looking for a designer.

Apparently, one of the salesmen had met my dad a tradeshow and he gave the salesman my name and email. What's weird about this? This was the only trade show my dad had been to in 15 years and did it only because it was nearby.

I got the job which was, also coincidentally, in my gf's (now wife's) home-state and only one town over from her home town.

not-so-coincidentally, the business went under in 2002 at the end of the dot-com bubble.

Feb. 09 2009 04:13 PM
Lauren Suffian

coincidence: Take your pick.
-I found a used book in the Denver ARC store that was just what I wanted. It was inscribed by the author "To Lauren". I'd never owned this book or met the author.
- I sat next to a woman in a Fri eve service and told her I loved her new haircut and color. She asked if I knew her since she'd just moved to Colorado from St. Louis, Mo. I described her usual hair color and style which she said was correct. It turns out she was my sons 1st grade teacher in St.Louis 20 years before.
-My father died at 46y/o in 1972. At Jewish Hospital nursing school in the mid 1970's I was caring for an unidentified man who had a head injury while out for a walk, was found and brought in,in a coma to the hospital. He had not spoken or opened his eyes since found. I was leaning over him with my name badge swinging in his face while bathing him. He opened his eyes and read my name badge out loud and asked if I was related to Milton Suffian, I said yes he was my father. The fellow proceeded to tell me lovely stories about his friendship with him. I had to leave and said I'd be back later. I told his name and identifying information to the hospital and left. I came back that eve to visit the man but he had died. The staff said he never responded after I left but they had contacted and notified his family who was able to visit him before he died.
-Around 2002 I met an older couple to teach them about diabetes. The husband noted my name and asked if I was related to Milton Suffian. I said that he was my father who had died suddenly 30 years before. The fellow told me that he had known my dad from kindergarten in the 1930's. After an hour of teaching this couple about how to take care of their diabetes. The fellow took my hand and said "your father would be so proud of you". My father and I had quite the conflicts over my poor school performance when I was young. My dad never knew that I had become successful academically and professionally. This fellow gave voice to the words that I had thought I would never hear.

Feb. 09 2009 03:09 PM

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