April 19, 2010

Happy Accidents

Coincidence is a funny thing.

Twenty years ago, Scott and I hung out together almost obsessively. We listened to music, cruised the backroads of Northern Virginia illicitly smoking cigarettes, watched Iron Maiden concert videos and even formed a band - The Spookies (we were terrible but then that was the point).

Even longer ago than that, five year olds Beth and Julie became fast friends.

Ten years ago worlds collided when Scott and Julie met at a wedding. Our wedding. They've been together ever since. And we've all remained friends despite the fact that we haven't always lived in the same state...or the same country. Even more amazing is the fact that our kids have become friends.

Two generations of friends.


I read a book a few years ago, I Thought My Father Was God. Since it was a a collection of essays solicited through NPR's National Story Project, the quality of writing was a mixed bag but there was something striking about it. An overwhelming percentage of the stories involved coincidences, happy accidents. I thought it was strange, out of proportion. But happy accidents are everywhere.

What's your happiest accident?

Posted by Chris at April 19, 2010 7:00 AM

Almost four years ago my husband and I moved to Florida so I could begin my PhD program. He was a high school math teacher at the time and hadn't found a job by the time we moved, and since we had planned on his being our primary salary, it was stressful.

Then, a few weeks after moving, I needed to transfer our car insurance to a local agent. Not knowing who to go to, I just looked at all of our insurer's agents in the phone book and found a street that I knew. There were two agents on the street, so I picked the female (solidarity and all).

When I went to the agent's office (which happened to be the furthest away of the two), they asked about my husband's employment. I explained and they mentioned that they had an opening. He went in for an interview the same day & got the job.

He stayed there for a year before leaving for a better job, which he loves.

He's much happier than he was as a teacher and it never would have happened if I hadn't picked the female agent.

Posted by: Catherine at April 19, 2010 8:04 AM

Just to let you know, I'm going to win this one hands down. Ready? I met my husband through a mutual friend. We later discovered that our moms had gone to college together, and even used to be bridge partners there, but had lost touch. They had known each other so well in fact that my mom lent her wedding gown to his mom! So the first time I met my future MIL, she threw her arms around and said I looked just like my mother. She took me by the hand and led me over to her wedding album, where I saw photos of her in my mom's dress, and even saw my own parents in the photos from the reception. Wow, huh? And it goes without saying that if my mom had ever said to me, "Honey, I ran into an old college friend and her son is single and he sounds very nice..." I would've run screaming in the other direction. (P.S. I loved "I Thought My Father Was God.")

Posted by: Karen at April 19, 2010 8:28 AM

3 1/2 years ago, during my Divorce party at a local bar, I got drunk and had a 'one night stand' with this guy who was in town from another state.
Except we actually hit it off and I ended up marrying him last year. :)

Posted by: fauve at April 19, 2010 8:48 AM

Okay, Karen seems to have this one.
I met Hubby due to A Series of Unfortunate Events!
I was literally forced to go to "Chuck-E-Cheeses" with my kids for a Sunday event where families got pizza, soda and of course all the madness and mayhem that CEC provides for $5.00.
The Ex and I sat watching the kids play. Mandy was 6 and Katie was 4 when they came back to our table with a little blond girl. She was 5 and she sat down asked for a pen and paper, so she and Mandy and Katie could get together for a play date. It appears that she asked them where they lived and discovered that we were building a house just down the road from her.
So, I got a call a few days later to bring my kids to "the farm" to play.
So I went and met Hubby #2 at that time.
Now here is the weird part. We were both married and not looking for another spouse. In fact we were good friends after that for over 4 years before our marriages fell apart.
I went back to work in a grocery store and every time I was working in the fast lane check-out, I would look up and see Hubby #2 in line. Yes, flirting with me.
We married after a whirl-wind courtship and celebrated 22 years last week!

Posted by: Maribeth at April 19, 2010 8:55 AM

An overheard conversation that went "if singing is the first thing you think of every morning when you wake up, you should be at my college"

He wasn't talking to me but it was meant for me... A couple of years later I left home and country to study there and life was altered irrevocably! For the better too.

Posted by: Deeleea at April 19, 2010 9:03 AM

Feb 21, 1987. Me and 3 or 4 frat brothers are walking into a party at another fraternity. She and a friend are leaving. A 30 second shift in schedules and we never meet. If she and one of my friends didn't know each other from the dorm the previous year our groups pass each other without a 2nd thought. Instead, we stop to chat. I really don't remember talking to her at all beyond the "hi" with the introduction. She spends the night talking to one of my friends and invites him to her sorority dance. The next morning upon sobering up my friend remembers he has a girlfriend with a jealous streak and instead sets me up to take her to the dance.

We'll be married 19 years in August.

Oh, and in the creepy coincidence department...my wife was born on the same day my parents were married.

Posted by: COD at April 19, 2010 9:15 AM

My brother was in the Navy, stationed in Hawaii, and he and his wife got married there. It was a small-ish wedding, only about 70 people. A friend of his was there with his girlfriend - not unusual. What is unusual is that this friend would end up being my husband -- but we never met at the wedding.

Fast forward 3 years, to my apartment in Boston. I have some friends in town (who are also friends of my brother and SIL's). They tell me another friend is in town visiting his family - he's still stationed in Hawaii and they haven't seen him since they left the island so they're thinking about getting together. The more the merrier, I say. Said friend comes over to BBQ....at the last minute, because he was supposed to be in DC interviewing for his current job, but the interview was postponed.

5 days later I am on a plane with him back to Hawaii, and two years later we're married.

He has a pictures of my brother's wedding with me in the background talking to people at his table, but we never met. If we had met at that time, it never would have worked out. If our friends hadn't been in Boston visiting me when he was there? If his interview hadn't gotten cancelled? What are the odds? Ahhh, I love it.

Posted by: Caitlin at April 19, 2010 10:12 AM

I should also mention that his parents live 5 minutes from the office I worked at for almost 5 years in Boston, and that he was there visiting them many, many times right under my nose!

Posted by: Caitlin at April 19, 2010 10:15 AM

May 2, 1987 I saw my future husband across the Montego Bay Jamaica airport greeting his friends who arrived on another flight. My first thought was "oh, he's cute", my second thought was "you're here to relax and read forget it!".

Odd thought when you're heading to Hedonism but you see I had buried my mother 3 weeks prior after taking care of her with my father at home for 2 months after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I was supposed to have gone on the trip during March with 6 friends but now I was there with one friend who decided to wait until I could reschedule.

He decided at the last minute to join his friends on the vacation and had to scramble for flights to get there at the same time as them.

We met up again at the beer truck where my friend had struck up a conversation with him. Fortunately, he was going to the same resort and we all got on the same bus. There were eight of us who spent the entire week together.

At the end of the week, Mark and I pledged our love to each other and went our separate ways. Did I mention I was from Connecticut and he was from California?

He came out to see me in July and we decided it would work, I went out there in August and we got engaged. By October I moved to California and a year later May 6, 1988 we were married. We'll be celebrating our 22nd anniversary this year.

Posted by: NancyJ at April 19, 2010 10:31 AM

20 years ago, a girl named Jennifer dialed 525-7890 instead of 524-7890 and she asked for Holly. I said, "I think you have the wrong number, but I know two Hollys, which one are you looking for?" Turns out I knew the one she was looking for, and Jennifer and I we were mutual friends who had not yet met.

After 20 years together with Jennifer, it's by far the happiest accident of my life.

Posted by: Brad at April 19, 2010 10:37 AM

I do, wholeheartedly, believe in happy accidents.
I had a 2 1/2 yr old, 8 month old......finding out your pregnant again...........My happy accident just turned 11 on April 15th...

Posted by: Christine at April 19, 2010 11:48 AM

What a great happy accident! In 2004 I had just started blogging, and clicked on a blog on Typepad's Recently Updated list. I enjoyed reading what I found and last year the blogger and I got married.

We didn't liveblog the wedding though.

Posted by: Katherine at April 19, 2010 3:15 PM

I think my happiest accident was meeting one of my best friends in the parking lot of a tanning salon.

Or how about going to Ireland to meet a guy who grew up 20 minutes from where I lived in NY?

Posted by: Rose @Dozenroses13 at April 19, 2010 4:32 PM

My husband and I "met" courtesy of a plastic boat he and a friend stole from me and my cousin when we were 6. We "met" again in high school when I worked at the same movie theater as one of his best friends. We finally met for real when I waited on him in a department store in 1986. I wasn't supposed to be working in the men's department that night, but someone didn't show up and there I was! We just celebrated our 21st anniversary last November!

Posted by: Sue R at April 19, 2010 5:35 PM

Easy. I accidentally made two babies at once.

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at April 19, 2010 7:59 PM

Serendipitous happenings are my absolute favorite thing in life. Everything things get really bad, something happens that makes it that much better again.

I think my favorite moment of serendipity was the circumstances that brought me and my boyfriend together. At the time I wasn't sure about it, but now I look back and its one of the best things to ever just fall into my lap.

Posted by: Debra at April 20, 2010 1:46 AM

I have that stuff all the time. Freaks me out. But I love it!

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at April 20, 2010 11:54 PM

My beautiful daughter : )

Posted by: english thorn at April 21, 2010 12:20 PM