You Want to Hear Something Totally Crazy?

My across the street neighbors decided to go away for a couple of days and I was talking to the lady that lives there about feeding their cat.

It was one of those conversations that should have taken two minutes and we both ended up standing in my driveway talking about life for 45 minutes when I should have been unloading the trunk full of groceries I was supposed to be handling.

Somehow we got into the subject of retirement. These neighbors have kids about my age and none of them live in this area anymore. She was telling me how they have friends that live here and there and how [insert retired professional athlete here] is a good friend of her husbands and they might end up near where this guy lives.

And I said “Oh, my Dad went to college with [aforementioned retired professional athlete] at [big sports school]. They were in the dorms together.”

My neighbor, whom I have lived across the street from for almost four years stares at me for a minute and then says:

“My husband went to [big sports school] and was in the dorm with [same retired professional athlete]”.

Holy shit people, my Dad was in the dorms with my across the street neighbor. They were freshman the same year. I have lived directly across the street from this man for FOUR YEARS and I didn’t even know that he went to the same college as my father.

It is like when you are on facebook and you realize that two of your friends from totally different places know each other. Like when it turned out that a lady I knew from preschool lived on the same street as Aviva when they were growing up in Colorado.

But what are the odds? And who else lives here. I feel compelled to run around asking everyone where and when they went to college.

Has this happened to you?


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  1. The son of our neighbor (also across the street) went to the same college as me, but later, when I had moved back there to work. I didn’t know him well but it was a small place and he was a student leader so I knew who he was. And the head of the middle school where my son goes now was also there at the same time. We missed overlapping by a few months. Then there’s the owner of the Pirates, whose wife I missed playing rugby with by a semester. I didn’t play as a freshman and she didn’t play as a senior. But we try not to think too much about the ownership of the Pirates, if we can help it.

  2. A million times! With my own husband even.

  3. Isn’t it crazy?! I love when that happens on Facebook, too. Just goes to show that it’s a small world sometimes and we’re more connected than we think.

  4. It happens with me all the time. Except I am from a big family and sone one always knows someone else.

  5. My dad was in the Air Force almost my entire childhood. We did a lot of moving around. When I was in middle school we were living on an Air Force base in Germany. One of the kids I went to school with had been born in the same hospital as me, about two hours after me, in the room across the hall. We never met each other until we were both living on this tiny base in Germany.

  6. I love coincidences like that. They make me realize the world really isn’t as big as we think it is.

    Perhaps because my husband and I falling in love and getting married began with a funny coincidence, maybe that’s why these situations intrigue me.

  7. Yep, it happened. With my across-the-street neighbor, even. I blame you.

  8. So weird! I have had strange collisions of friends but never something as extreme as you’re describing – I am wondering what your parents think of this!

  9. A guy I went to high school with turned out to be the college roommate of someone my husband works with. Three different states involved there.

    Also the mother of one of my son’s friends here in Mass. has a cousin who lives next door to my inlaws in NH.

  10. It’s happened a zillion times.
    – Like the time I was in London, having scored rush tickets to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. I found myself two seats away from my high school English teacher. Who is American. And taught me in Bangladesh.
    – Like the time I was stopped at a bus stop in in Austin by an elderly gentleman who asked me my Dad’s name, out of the blue. (I look just like my Dad.) Turns out, his daughter interned with my Dad. In Bangladesh. And he was meeting her at the bus stop.
    – Like the time that two of my college buddies discovered that they had dated the same guy. One met him in high school in Texas. The other met him during college in Israel. He helped me find an apartment when I moved to Austin.
    – Like the time that the new hire in my department here in Texas turned out to be the older sister of my high school classmate. Out of a class of 25. In Bangladesh.
    – Like when the mentor I was assigned as a new employee at my job turned out to be someone I’d sung with in choir, and is now one of my closest mommy friends.

    Teeny tiny itty bitty world.

  11. Oh, one more. My cousin on my Dad’s side married the best friend of my cousin on my mom’s side, and they didn’t realize this until they realized they’d both friended me on Facebook.

  12. My best neighbor friend during high school ended up being freshman roomates with a girl I was actually in high school with. I saw them as friends on FB and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how they knew each other since I couldn’t remember them knowing each other when we were kids. Small world…

  13. Years ago I read an article in Scientific American about coincidence. The premise was that we are amazed by coincidence but only because we do not see all the near misses. The high school friend you run into in Cape Town but because you stopped to talk to them you missed your kindergarten teacher coming through security… I have never been able to find the article again but this one comes close

    Also those coincidences would be much higher for me as I have travelled a lot and lived abroad for many years. Presumably the people I meet in the airport are in the same social circles.

    You are into sports, you recognise the famous sports guy’s name. Without that commonality the spark of recognition wouldn’t have happened.

  14. I work with 2 people who were at UCF when we were there. There’s another guy that was at Fullsail at the time and we determined we went to some of the same shows downtown but never met until years later at work.

  15. mistress pink says:

    Thats so funny and wild. You have to love when things like that happen.

  16. So crazy! I always feel twilight zone-ish when stuff like that happens. In a good way, though, like the universe is smiling at my naivete :)

  17. A few years back (okay like 10) I started dating a guy, someone I met in a bar. Turns out, he was also from Kansas City, was at KU at the same time I was, his dad lives minutes from my dad and his Mom lives in Phoenix, AZ just blocks from my sister. Small world, indeed.

  18. That is crazy! This happened to me on Facebook. I was looking at photos from a friend’s wedding and I’m like “hey, I know that guy that is picture with my friend, the groom.” And then I was like “wait, HOW DO THESE PEOPLE KNOW EACH OTHER?”


  19. There was a guy I went to high school with, and it became a joke that no matter where we went – if we told someone where we were from – they’d ask us if we knew him.
    It was cemented when we were in Europe – told a French Girl where we were from and she said “Oh DO you know Simon B?” and we all about killed ourselves.
    It’s a small world AFTER ALL……

  20. Alright, so long story short… My husband and I attending a wedding years ago, of one of his good collage buddies…attending the same reception was my parents old neighbors (weird twist, they were neighbors twice. Moving only 2 miles to the same street) and good friends. Come to find out that my parents lived in this apartment building, and the neigbor friends lived above them. They baby sat for a little boy who lived across the street from them. They all knew him. That was his wedding I was attending. To weird.

    And speaking of FB, I was baffeled at how two of MY friends could talk on each others FB pages. Come to find out my grade school friend and my H.S. friend knew each other from a job they once worked together.

    It’s a small world!

  21. In 1997, I found out that my neighbor in California had deployed with my father in 1951/52/54. We had lived next to him for almost five years. Flash forward to 2005, I move to Maryland and wind up meeting a guy that my neighbor worked for during those same deployments…

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