It works, bitches.
I seem to be poaching a lot from XKCD recently. Ah well, it's all an homage, yes?
So anyhow...I had the weirdest serendipity moment yesterday. Bean and I were down in Palo Alto and I needed coffee for me and a snack for her - Starbucks on California Ave was jampacked and you know, Starbucks. It's for desperate times only, bitches. Anyway, I went next door to this independent bakery/coffee shop and was waiting in line when Bean dropped her stuffed cat on the floor. Someone behind me picked it up and gave it back to her before I could fully turn around to thank them, but out of the corner of my eye I thought "man, do you ever look familiar..." Turn fully around, and am pretty convinced I know who it is, but shyness prevails and so I ask diffidently "um, excuse me, but did you go to Chapel Hill?"
Me..."um...Caitlin? (nom de plume - we're all about privacy here)
So as it happens, this was the at the time sophomore roommate of my very dear friend freshman year, with whom I had lost contact somewhere around 1995, and it has always grated at me. Sadly, Caitlin did not have information for my friend, but at least we sat down and had a great chat, and I met her nice husband, and got to hear about their first baby being due on Sunday, and it was all just very lovely and small worldish. What it also did was re-energize my efforts to find my friend, and after some digging and false starts on Facebook, I actually found her sister (whose name is somewhat similar, but my friend had gone by her first name in school, so I didn't quite remember her correct middle name, anyway - stuff happens). Sister wrote a sweet email back and passed on my friend's email address and said "oh, she will be so excited to hear about this!". I sent off my email and huzzah! We are now friends on Facebook and have the for real email contacts and it's just amazing to me that after 15 years - we can pick up a friendship again.
When I left Carolina at the end of my freshman year, it was one of the hardest things I had ever had to do - to this day, it remains on the list. It was a year that still in many ways was my 'happiest' in the most global sense. Moving back home after living on your own for a year at the ambitious age of 18 is a bit of a setback, and though I eventually settled into a life at U of Toronto and made some wonderful friends, that freshman year hung heavy for a long time, not least because I had left three friends I missed sorely. I ended up marrying one of them, thank goodness, but the other two I thought I might have lost forever - now I've found one again and I think I might have found the other on the self same Facebook (thank goodness for pictures too because seriously, we're all like ADULTS now and it takes a minute to find the 18 year old girls in those faces, I think for all of us). I tend to not devote a lot of time to the applications on Facebook, and I apologize to people who send me umpteen requests and invitations that I don't pay attention to, but for nothing else, I am so grateful that I have been able to get back at least a little bit more of that one shining year.
Lest you think I'm devolving into maudlin sentimentality, I leave you with the thought that the three of us knowing each other (and to be fair, we were not so much friends collectively though we did hang out here and there) was a bit like the start of a bad joke: "So an Episcopalian from Canada, a Hindu from Texas, and a Jew from Tennessee go to the University of North Carolina..."
Update: I found my other friend and we have made contact. The bad joke, she is complete.
by at July 26, 2008 3:56 PM