It's not just a small world, it's a teensy world.
Or maybe small worlds become eensy teensy when you return to your alma mater over reunion weekend.
If you're like me, and a big big fan of avoiding people, let me tell you: reunion weekends are not the places to avoid people. Rather, you will run into nearly every single last person you never really wanted to see. And see none of the ones you did want to see.
It's funny how reunions bring out the jovialness in (most) people (aside from the asshole with whom I worked on the newspaper. All I got from him was a "Oh yeah, I saw you last night at at the dance but didn't feel like coming over to say hi", and "Yeah, I'm leaving town now. See you in five years." I kid you not). People you didn't even talk to in college suddenly become old friends and there are hugs and squeals and "Ohwhathaveyoubeendoing?"s.
I'm guilty of it too. But that's because goddammit, I am apparently sometimes blind AND deaf (or more likely, just always in my own little bubble where I don't pay attention to others) and I get waylaid. It took me nearly an hour to walk two little blocks, what with all the people I had to talk to.
But, to illustrate small worlds:
- On the commuter rail down from Boston to Providence, a guy I had studied abroad with in Paris, yet somehow lost touch with post-graduation, ended up sitting next to me on the train. I was immersed in my new favourite magazine that will surely separate more of my money from me, looked up as I turned the page, and yeah, no kidding. Of all the gin joints in all the world - or perhaps, more accurately, all the train cars in all the world. It was actually good seeing him, especially since I learned that a couple of years ago, he'd had a crush on me. (On a side note, I really appreciate how lousy my friends are at telling me such things. I'd thought he was cute years ago - you know, it's because he's smart, was on the soccer team, and speaks French. I'm easy like that. And then, seriously, two years ago, one of my friends mentioned that she saw him like a YEAR BEFORE, and that was when the crush was revealed. I guess that's slightly better than the other friend who just told me - seven years afterwards - that this other guy I liked freshman year liked me back. My friends, while they rule, also sometimes suck a lot.) I guess I'll keep in touch.
- I never watch the Martha Stewart show, because I always forget that it's on, but last week I caught an episode that featured Martha and some girl making t-shirts into cool tops. (I think I was trying not to do homework again.) Then over the weekend, I met that girl, because oh wait, it turned out she was my friend's friend. When she was introduced to me, my friend said, "Oh yeah, and she was on the Martha Stewart show recently!" and I was all, "NO WAY, I NEVER watch that show but I saw you on it!"
And it wasn't even my reunion year - that's next year, folks. Maybe I'll dye my hair before then so that nobody can recognise me. Or I will work on perfecting my avoidance techniques, though really, I suck at it. Note to self: Pay attention to the outside world, dammit.
And oh yeah, had I stayed in medical school, I'd have been a doctor yesterday. It's just a touch surreal to think about.