Monday, April 23, 2012

Six Degrees of Me

Well, this is day two of Smilegram Paper's Earth week giveaway; I hope you are all LOVING her page and entering to win. I LOVE when my friends win things. Even if I've never met them face-to-face (like my bloggy friends), I get excited just to hear that someone I like/and/or respect has won something. Probably unnaturally excited. It's the same feeling that I get when two people I know and like from two VERY different walks of life are friends on facebook. Example: A friend of mine from second grade is friends with a friend I met my first year of teaching in Charlotte, North Carolina. My third grade teacher was Mrs. Bergner (the woman DESPISED me) at Washington Hunt Elementary School in Lockport, NY (the part about Mrs. Bergner was unnecessary, but my self-assigned therapy is to talk about her hatred of me as much as possible so that I will eventually get over it. The woman was like four hundred when she taught me so I am pretty sure she is in a better place (though I am not 100% sure she is in a BETTER place. She WAS an incredibly mean woman. Just sayin'...) by now. Where was I? Oh--right--one friend from Lockport, NY and the other from Charlotte, NC.  How in the WORLD did these people meet (it wasn't through me)? What. A. Small. World.

My husband makes fun of me because I always ask people if they know OTHER people. He makes fun because it is rarely "Oh--my friend Spring Rain went to that school and would have graduated with you. Do you know her? She is over six feet tall and had pink hair at the time..." and is instead, "My cousin Joey lives in Italy--maybe you know him? He is about 6' tall and has dark hair and dark eyes...?" The thing that drives my husband so crazy is that the second scenario works more often than you would believe.

Two Februaries ago, my husband and I were at the airport bar (I love how that makes it sound like we are so worldly. I won't mention that it was when we went to the stupid Mayo Clinic. OOPS. I mentioned it. Oh well...) waiting for a connecting flight and had so much fun talking to this great couple (for my bigoted friends out there, take a breath--I don't want to send you reeling over the edge or anything...and I REFUSE to get into politics or religion today so please don't make me!) about their many travels. Both handsome gentlemen (NO NEGATIVE COMMENTS or you are not invited to play today...) own(ed) and work(ed) at a restaurant near Philly and were headed to their condo in Florida. They mentioned that they spent an entire summer in Scotland (which, I think you should know that I believe I am an expert in everything Scottish because my dear friend Kate and her husband (and the most gorgeous Godson you will EVER hope to see in your life--nope, not biased...just telling the truth...) lived on Isle of Sky for years. The funny thing is, I am no longer one hundred percent sure that it was even CALLED Isle of Skye. Was it Isle of Mann? No--his sister lives there. Hmmm...if only I had a way to research this right now...but that would take extra typing, and I HATE extra typing...What's that? Have I ever actually BEEN to Scotland? knowing someone who lived there is enough, isn't it?!).

Being the self-proclaimed expert on Scotland, I offered (as I watched my husband roll his eyes--yes--I SAW you, Dave--I ALWAYS see you!), "Oh my goodness--my friends lived in Scotland--maybe you MET them!" This is when I saw these fine young gentlemen ALSO roll their eyes slightly (NOT as obviously) and exchange a look with each other. I'm sensing a theme here. I'm fairly certain that the look said, "Okay--this woman is LOOPY! Ever time we meet people, one or both of them end up being LOOPY..." At least, that is what OUR look would have said...

They tried to cover their tracks and to be as gentle as possible (they CLEARLY thought that I was certifiable. As do YOU I know...), mentioning (in a "Back away from the sharp objects" type of voice), how Scotland is quite a bit larger and more populated than some people think. I cowered, tail between my legs, while we discussed the restaurant business, medical issues and insurance issues at length. Somehow, the conversation (warily) came back to Scotland and my new friends mentioned buying jam from a croft (yep...I said "croft," because THAT is how Scottish-by-friendship I am!) in Glendale (Isle of Skye--I AM going with it because I am ALMOST certain that these names are correct...) while they were staying at a Bed and Breakfast there. I am about to LEAP out of my skin (or at the very least, my chair) because I am now almost POSITIVE that the people from whom they purchased their jam were my friends and I was quite thrilled by the fact that I could tell ALL THREE of these fine young gentlemen to SUCK IT. I don't know WHY I love that feeling so much (not the telling people to "suck it" feeling--the whole "I KNOW someone who drove on that same road..." feeling)--I just DO. I LOVE to feel like we are all connected and the more I speak to complete strangers like we have known each other for years, the  more I realize that we all indirectly HAVE known each other for years. It is especially comforting when speaking with someone fun and nice. Not-so-comforting when visiting with stupid or angry people, but I suppose every "family" has one. I'm pretty sure that the "one" in my family is me, but anyway...

It's like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon. I know that practically everyone on this planet is younger than me these days (yes, I know that statistics probably tell a different story, but if I weren't as lazy as I am I would give you the statistics of my life and show you that when I lived in Montana there were maybe three--okay--four moms that were my age in my MOMS and MOPS groups. I may have been the most emotionally immature one, but physically I was like a hundred and literally I was one of the oldest. I mean "literally" as in L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y--not as in "possibly." I thought I should clarify. Again, there were MAYBE four of us even IN our thirties--it was seriously insane), but I like to hope that everyone reading this has at least HEARD of Kevin Bacon and if not Kevin Bacon, then at least the whole concept of the six degrees of separation. I COMPLETELY believe in this and feel that if we are going to uncover the six degrees, we need to communicate--loudly and frequently. Loudly so that people around you can possibly hear the names or places that you mention and perhaps jump in ("I couldn't help but overhear that you taught in Guam...") with their own information ("My sister taught in Guam for five years..."). Frequently because the more information you give people, the more likely they are going to find some connection. You know--if you throw enough against the wall, SOMETHING is bound to stick.

Why is this so important, you ask? I have absolutely no idea, but it FEELS important to me, so can that just be enough?

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