Coincidence is all... What's yours?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Les Kern, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    Last week we invited an old friend to dinner who flew in to attend a wedding. I live in Illinois, he is from Maryland, where I am from. We keep in touch, even though I haven't lived there since 1982.
    He brought his parents, and they asked if it would be okay to bring a neice of the mom. Sure! We never met them, and they live in a town about 30 miles from me and my family.
    At the dinner we found out that the neice worked at the same place my wife worked at before she married. Stranger still, my wife and daughter took a tour of the US Weather Service in Romeoville Illinois last week. At the dinner was the husband of the neice, who works at the Weather Service, and was not 10 feet from my girls during the tour.
    I've heard of stranger coincidences... like the time a friend of mine who took a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway. During a stop in the middle of nowhere, she turned a corner and literally ran into her first love, whom she hadn't seen since 1965.
    Got any better ones?
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    Well this one isn't as interesting in that it's not going to have people saying "fate!" and there is no love involved, but I thought this was quite a coincidence.

    When I was younger, I went on a vacation with my family to Hawaii. While we were there, my parents met a couple who was getting married that week, and spent some time with them. They left Hawaii two days before us, but when we were flying home from Hawaii we ran into them at LAX, because they apparently had some hiccup in their travel plans preventing them from moving on to their next destination. Then, about a year later, we ran into them again in a restaurant in Phoenix.

    Another one (sadly, not even as interesting as the first lol):
    My brother lives in WA, my mother lives in NV. My brother was on vacation in New York, and he was sitting in a restaurant having a conversation. Sitting in the same restaurant was a friend of my mother, who had never met my brother, but the two of them met in that restaurant, despite that they didn't immediately know who each other were.
  3. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    My Dad went to Australia last year, he'd spent a couple of years working there 40years ago. He took a train somewhere near Perth I believe and got talking to the only other bloke in the carriage and it turned out they were both Vets! That they had both worked in a small town in NSW and both knew remember one particular dog from 30+ years before.

    My brother went on a hike through the Indian jungle and bumped into an old school friend riding an elephant!
  4. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    I used to live in Belgium. While there, I attended an international school and was best friends with this one girl Allison. I used to go over to her house all the time; I saw her brother Greg all the time and his best friend. Then, when I moved back to the US, I met this guy in high school who went to the same school in Belgium as me and turned out to be Greg's best friend. We were also in a play together at the school -- but we don't remember each other!
  5. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I'm sure we've had a thread like this before but I have three...

    1 I'm on a relatively spur-of the-moment long weekend in San Francisco with the guy I'm seeing (from London). We're walking through Union Square on our way to have a drink before heading out to the 49ers game. As we're waiting to cross the road, we hear our names called. It's a friend of ours from Amsterdam (from NFL Europe) who is also in town to see the game although we didn't know that.

    2 I've worked late one night and it's about 7pm. Our office (then) was an 11 storey building with 4 elevators in banks of 2, facing one another. The lift zooms down and the doors open. The doors of the lift opposite also open at the same time. In the lift is one of my good friends from high school who I'd lost touch with - she was auditing our company's books.

    3. I'm on the way home from work and I've stopped in at the fishmonger and bought a large bag of mussels. They're sitting in the top of a carrier bag. On a very crowded train home, I'm standing and the bag overbalances. The bag of mussels (very cold and clammy) falls onto a woman's (in a skirt) ankle who is sitting down. She jumps and apologise to discover it's another old friend from school.
  6. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Some interesting stories so far... Can't beat them myself.

    1. I had a nasty sort of a break up with a boyfriend of a year and a half. Then I got with the boyfriend I'm with now-- turns out, his dentist is my ex's father. :eek:

    2. My parents went to China for a two week long stint and my mom bumped into her childhood buddy (who typically divides her time between NY and Taiwan). They had a celebratory "coincidence" dinner. A few days after my parents got back home, my mom bumped into that same friend in an art supplies store. :p
  7. floriflee macrumors 68030


    Dec 21, 2004
    During my last year of college I developed a keen interest in the Indian culture--mainly due to one of my roommates dating a guy from India. I'd never shown any interest to it or anything like it in the past. Anyway, after college I spent about three years trying to find a convenient time to fly out to see a very good high school/college friend who was getting her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. For whatever reason, we could never coordinate schedules. Finally, one day she tells me during a phone conversation she has someone for me to meet--he's Indian AND Mormon (a rare combination). I thought "yeah, right", but a week or so later while perusing the Net I decided to look up airline prices. I found a deal for Salt Lake to Baltimore for $170. "Amazing!" I thought. I went out to visit for a week. I ended up meeting the guy, and he was all right--a little quirky and weird (I can say that because he'll say the same about me). :) One night my friend had a doctor's appointment to go to that was near the guy's house. He and I planned to meet during her appointment and go for a walk around the neighborhood while I waited for her appointment to finish. During that time I got a phone call from work where they told me that the Salt Lake office where I was working was going to close and that I would be getting laid off in about four months. Even before the call/trip, I'd felt that it was time to get out of Utah, but could never decide where to go. When doing some job research I found out that the D.C. area had the fastest growing IT Industry. So I took the plunge (after much deliberation) and moved to the east coast. Within a week of moving, I had a job in Virginia. Within the year, I began dating the guy my friend introduced me to, and now we are married. Just recently, I left my job in Virginia (couldn't stand the commute) and am working from home for the company that laid me off when I lived in Salt Lake.

    Coincidence perhaps, but it's funny how things work out sometimes....
  8. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I went to the British Isles a few years back. I knew my ex was in London and we were on good terms and actually we intended to meet up. At one point during the trip I got on the Underground and as the Underground left she was standing almost right outside my window... sorta odd. She didn't see me though. Ended up meeting up with her a few days later.

    On the same trip I went to Dublin and actually got a hotel room on St. Patricks Day... probably the last hotel room in all of Dublin! When I got there to check in it turned out a girl from my apartment building in the U.S. was staying at the same hotel. Sorta odd.
  9. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Oh what a sweet story! It actually reminded me of a similar story that my cousin went through.

    He and this girl dated all through high school and they both went to UC Berkeley. They tried, but decided to date other people and to this day, are still very good friends. Anyhow, their first year (at Cal), she wanted to introduce my cousin to this girl friend of hers but both she (the friend) and he resisted because who really wants to be set up on a blind date thingie?! As they all go through college; my cousin's good friend keeps trying to get the two to meet up but they both keep resisting.

    Somehow, my cousin meets this amazing woman and they start dating. They start talking and lo and behold, she was the friend of his good friend! :p

    They've been together now for a few years and married last July. Just bought a home in Pasadena. :D
  10. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    I ran into another MR member at Fry's once a couple years ago. :D
  11. dops7107 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Perth, Oztrailya
    That school wasn't in SHAPE, was it? :eek:
  12. realityisterror macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2003
    Snellville, GA
    We ran into some family friends in Savannah, GA, about 250 miles from home...
    It wasn't really incredibly, but we ended up eating lunch with them, and their kids sort of annoy me... :p

  13. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    Nope, ISB. But I did meet another guy at the same HS in the US who went to SHAPE as well as another girl who went to St. John's.
  14. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    Two stories:

    1. I was flying back to Texas from Oregon visiting my family. I hadn't originally planned the trip, but a friend gave me a voucher for standby travel on SW airlines, since his sister worked for the airline at the time. Although I had no problem traveling up to Oregon on standby, on return to Texas I learned that the only flight to Austin that day was overbooked and I wouldn't (obviously) be allowed on.

    Wondering what to do and having some free time, I decided to call an old highschool friend of mine in Madison WI, having picked up an old address book while at my parents. It turned out that it was her birthday the next day (I had forgotten), and that the day after that was another HS friend of mines wedding and he had been trying to get a hold of me in Austin to invite me.

    I hung up and got on a flight to Chicago, although right as I was boarding the plane I noticed that they were announcing space on my original flight to Austin. Funnily enough, I got back to Austin for free since I had casually noticed an Amtrack voucher at my parents house and asked if I could have it as I was leaving the house for the Airport. I also ran into 3 ex-gf that weekend, although that was largely due to the wedding.

    2. Many years ago when I was 16 I went to a New Years party at a friends house, and ended up meeting this amazing girl who was from Rockford IL, up visiting Madison. She was the typical friend of a friend. Anyway, we really hit it off that night, although I was to shy to ask to see her again.

    Five months later, my friends and I are on our way down to Chicago to see Dinosaur Jr play in concert. I had been thinking about this girl and made my friends stop at a phone so I could call this girl and invite her to the show, as we had an extra ticket (I had gotten her # from a friend since New Years, but hadn't used it yet). Rockford is on the way from Madison to Chicago after all. I spoke to her dad who said that she was out with friends. I was somewhat dissapointed.

    We all get to the show, and the crowd is really thick during the opening set. As the set ends the crowd thins some, and I decide I want a cigarrette - but I don't have a lighter. I tap the girl in front of me on the shoulder and it turns out to be the girl I was looking for. I had a great time and she was very happy to see me.

    Six Years later, a friend and I go to NYC to see a multi-day show put on by Matador Records. It is the last night of the show, and there are a few bands left to play. It is inbetween sets and people are just sitting where they were standing to save their place. I am sitting chatting with my friend, idly gazing around the crowd. I notice this Indie kid with a patch on his bag which looks like it's from a club in Austin. Curious, I tap him on the shoulder to ask him where he got the patch. Turns out, he is Italian and doesn't speak very good English, so he taps this girl on the shoulder - and it is the same girl (from our story). She had hosted this guy on exchange and on a whim had decided to drive to the show from Chicago (!), since the guy had never seen NYC and was leaving shortly thereafter. Sadly, we couldn't hang-out after the show, as she had to drive back. I decided that if I run into her again, that I should consider marrying her...

    Sorry so long...
  15. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    I can't think of any real coincidences, but when I was running marathons, I can't tell you how many times I would be running down the course and have some guy I had see at Chicago or Big Sur come up and say "hey remember me?"

    That's pretty odd when you consider most of the races I run have 40,000+ partciants.
  16. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    Maybe, but if you and the guy from Chicago are consistant and always place 39,999 & 40,000 each time less so.;)

    PS I'm really tired or I'd thought up a really good 'bringing up the rear' innuendo.
  17. floriflee macrumors 68030


    Dec 21, 2004
    It must be those short tight running shorts that show off your legs that remind him.... :D
  18. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    That's funny. My wife (she was my girlfriend at the time) and I were in Savannah on a date and she ran into some people she knew from HS.

    Also interesting, is that a while back I went to a Creed concert with my then-girlfriend. Well, we broke up but I found out later from my wife that she had tickets to that concert as well, but she didn't end up going.

    Lastly, I used to volunteer for the Atlanta Beat (women's soccer), and I found out that my wife and her family used to go to all of the games.

    Talk about weird. So many times we could have met, or passed by each other, and now here we are married.
  19. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    For me, coincidences often involve numbers – 'round' numbers.

    Last weekend, for example. Following hours of annoyance with an avatar that bore a number:
    1. a question about the number (405)
    2. an explanation involving numbers, lines and frequencies and coincidental association, by a third party, of that number with my name
    3. hours more spent finding an alternative avatar then experimenting with ways of drawing the number over the alternative
    4. a first attempt to upload the numbered avatar appeared to fail
    5. when I realised that upload had succeeded, I made a profile post – giving credit.
    The number of that post? 5000 – I couldn't possibly have planned it. Just coincidentally a nice, round, number
  20. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Here in the UK I worked with someone who returned from a holiday on the other side of the planet (Australia, if I recall correctly) with the following anecdote.

    Just him, on a deserted beach. Not a tourist destination. Someone emerges from the water in diving gear. It's his neighbour from the far side of the planet.

    Just him, and his neighbour, coinciding on a deserted beach on the far side.
  21. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    This thread is from '06
  22. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Coincidence: I read that observation - about '06 – 06 minutes after it was posted. Numbers, again …

    screenshot 2015-07-13 at 19.47.44.png

    Now I'll contact that work colleague to discover whether his beach encounter was in 2006 … nope, it was before 2003.
  23. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    This Mac is from '05, so it's fine :)
    Picture 1.png
  24. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    At the Atlantic Olympics in 96 and got talking to a girl sat on a bench. She knew my cousin who lived just outside Chicago.
    Thats a coincidence!
    I'm from the UK btw, so only have about 6 relatives in the US.
  25. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    I've always wondered about the odds of running into someone you know or have some relationship with.

    I worked at Disney World for a time. It was amazing the number of times that I heard stories like this or even experienced them. The sheer number of people that go there has something to do with it, I think.

    The other thing is your family. I run across people all the time who knew my grandfather - he was a teacher and coach and touched a lot of lives. Add to that I have a rather unusual last name and it increases the odds that someone will recognize it.

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