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It Really IS a Small World

Posted by Andrew M on November 05 at 01:07 pm

Are you familiar with the theory of “Six Degrees of Separation“? It states that all 7+ billion humans are linked to each other by no more than 6 connections. So, if I know Steve and Steve knows Matt, I am connected to Matt through 1 degree (Steve). If Matt knows Ali, I am connected to Ali by 2 degrees.

I’ve always thought the idea is fun to think about in theory, but it’s even cooler when you discover some of the completely random connections between people in your life.

My Favorite Customer

Lemonade Stand

My siblings and I ran a small lemonade stand every weekend during our summer vacations as kids. We set up shop on the corner of a busy street in suburban Atlanta that attracted hundreds of runners, walkers, and cyclists each weekend.

Thanks to the Atlanta heat and “Rock Bottom Pricing“, we sold gallons of watered down lemonade at $0.25 per cup. On a good day, we would each profit $5 or more (after paying mom and dad back for expenses, of course). That was BIG money in those days. Now I wish I had listened to my parents and saved it. ;)

We began to attract regular customers, but one British lady always stuck out in my mind because I loved hearing her accent, peculiar jokes, and strange phrases from “across the pond”. She also packed extra quarters in her fanny pack to buy our lemonade before and after her morning run. She quickly became our favorite customer.

Of course, eventually we grew up, got out of the lemonade business and never heard from her again. But the story doesn’t end there…

About 10 years later my grandparents took a sightseeing trip to London and stopped in a pub for a pint and some fish and chips. They started talking to the British lady on the next stool about travel and living overseas. Wouldn’t you know it…this woman had lived in the States just outside of Atlanta and was a frequent runner. (You know where this is going…)

It didn’t take long for them to figure out that the nice British lady was our favorite customer! They laughed at the near impossibility that they would end up at the same pub after 10 years on an entirely different continent!

We’re All Connected

I love the random moments in life that remind us how connected we are to each other. I’ve got plenty more, but I’m sure you do too. So, it’s your turn. What random connections have you discovered that seem to prove the theory that it really is a small world after all?

Photo Credit

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Cuban Queen Crazy Chick
    Cuban Queen Crazy Chick says:

    That’s amazing!! Loved your story, Andrew! Can’t think of any of my own stories like that off the top of my head right now, but I enjoyed hearing yours. Thanks for sharing :D

  2. No Photo
    msbeth says:

    I had always dreamed of visiting Paris France and finally had the opportunity a few years ago. Of course I had to see the Lourve and the Mona Lisa. I am standing in front of the famous painting and commented to one of more tour members. A lady on my other side said “Oh, you are an American”. I acknowledged that and said I was from Texas, she said she was too, I mentioned I lived near the state captiol. She did too! Then she told me her suburb and don’t you know it…We lived two miles apart from each other. Can anyone calculate the odds?? Life indeed is all about connections and it is a VERY small world.

  3. Valentine Chick
    Valentine Chick says:

    Well…my husband and I had been looking for property around our hometown for several years. Finally, we saw property for sale, right location, distance from town, out in the country, etc. After talking to the property owner and finding out several couples also had been hoping to buy the same acreage, the owner decided to sell to US. Not the end of the story. My grandfather, looking out for my best interests, stopped to look at the property to see if we were “getting the best deal”. Turns out the property owner and my grandfather are cousins!! They just hadn’t seen each other in years. So, this made the sale even more special. It was like the property was staying in the family.

  4. No Photo
    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    Wonderful stories. Love to all Miss Faith in Florida, USA

  5. Janz Joolz
    Janz Joolz says:

    Love these small world stories! Love em, love em, love em!

  6. Alice P
    Alice P says:

    I’ve got two stories. When I was young there was the sweetest gift shop in our home town. My friends and I visited it as often as we could. Who knew I would marry the son of the owner? My Mother In Law graciously let me use the shop’s name for my jewelry business. Now when I take my jewelry to shows its fun to see a smile on people’s faces as they remember this shop they too loved to visit-even if it meant travelling for miles to get there.

    My husband comes from a large family–8 kids in all who are spread out around the country and seldom get together. One spring we found out that nearly half of the siblings had conferences or events scheduled in San Diego during the same week. How funny to meet up with them and eat an awesome meal at Old Town San Diego!

  7. No Photo
    D D Mystic Chick says:

    Our present house was built by our next door neighbor of our previous house… we are it’s second owners so we didn’t find out until we met the neighbor next to us cuz he had built both houses.

    Andrew, cool story about the lemonade stand, your best customer, and your grandparents… the odds of being at the same place at the same time many years later and many miles away!

  8. Steve
    Steve says:

    I’ve got one for you, Andrew. I grew up with my grandparents in northern Michigan (Alpena), and we used to vacation there during the summers. My mom’s family owned a cottage nearby on Grand Lake, but that was eventually sold because no one spent the time to keep it up.

    Fast forward into middle school, when I met my best friend who lived in the same neighborhood as my family. His dad grew up on Grand Lake as well… it turns out that my friend had been vacationing up there at the same time I had been.

    His family eventually wanted a permanent place up at the lake, so they bought a cottage. It was the one overlooking the lake, right after the big dip in the road beyond the bend… the same lot that my family had owned 10 years back!

    Needless to say, I have a standing invitation to visit the cottage from now on.

  9. lizbeads
    lizbeads says:

    On my first trip to England I visited Stratford on Avon. I walked into a pub to have a drink and noticed a patron wearing a Pittsbugh Penquins jacket. As a Pittsburgh resident at the time. I naturally had to speak to him. He was a local gent who just happened to like the Pens!
    :ater on that same tirp I walked into the restauratn at my hotel and there a sign indicated the American beer special that month was Rolling Rock. I grew up not 10 miles from Latrobe PA where it was brewed and we drank that in college! I had not come all those miles to see that so I walked out!

  10. No Photo
    Andrew M says:

    Lizbeads – I thought you were going to say you were the woman in my story. That would have been cool!

    One more quickie – My father lived in Indonesia for 2 years as a teenager while my grandfather worked for an American oil company in one of the tiny, remote villages in the middle of the Sumatran jungle. My father’s best friend was an Australian boy named Peter. He still talks about him almost 50 years later.

    When I was 15, my family took a trip to Indonesia to visit the tiny village. It hadn’t changed much. The oil company is still there and gave us a driver to take us to an even SMALLER town to see some real jungle. There was another visitor in the car with us…from Australia. Get this! He was Peter’s co-worker back in Australia!

    That was too weird…meeting a friend of a friend in the middle of the jungle in a village of no more than 100 people.

  11. J Yee smart chick
    J Yee smart chick says:

    Andrew, what a cool story about the British customer that was your fav, and your grandparents met her when they traveled to London 10 years later.

    My own “milder” version is how I came to meet up again with a classmate from elementary school in Honolulu. A friend of mine, Patricia got her masters degree from Antioch University in Seattle where I’m now going to grad school. On one of my visits to her when Pat was on campus she said that one of the Antioch staff said she saw me and recognized me because she had gone to the same elementary school. Sure enough, when I saw Lynn, we laughed about the coincidence: she had moved to Colorado before she came to Hawaii, and I had moved to California and northwest Florida before we met again in Seattle WA!

  12. Shelly m
    M mccallister mrs chick says:

    Straight out of high school I decided to join the navy so I could travel. I was based in San Diego and served onboard ship. I made several friends that I became close to. After being onboard for almost a year and a half I became ill many times over and over with kidney stones and it was decided that I would recieve a medical discharge. The decision was made rather quickly and I happened to leave while one of my best friends was at training on the east coast. When I arrived home I tried for several months to reach her with no success. I later found out that she was in an accident and never returned back to the ship. Many years later I was working for AT&T and was assigned to the Military calling card office. During one of the upsets overseas my company would allow service men over seas to call our service dept and we could transfer them for free to a loved ones number with no charge. One morning I got a call from a young man very upset telling me he heard we could let him speak with his mother. We were required to get the person’s name we were connecting them to. That day I connected that young man to my friend i had lost contact with almost 19 years earlier. It is a moment i will never forget.

  13. No Photo
    Luv2bead - Little Chick says:

    That’s great Mrs Chick!!!

  14. Elaine aka Belly Chick
    Elaine aka Belly Chick says:

    Wow…great stories!!! I have only had the pleasure of having very, very small coincidences. :-D

  15. JacquiO
    JacquiO says:

    Hi, just wonderin’…how come there are so many Screen Names with CHICK in them?!

  16. Valentine Chick
    Valentine Chick says:

    Mrs. Chick you gave me chills with your story! :)

    And JacquiO…a while back someone,don’t remember who now, came up with the idea we could call each other chick or chicky as a friendly gesture. It stuck and we all decided on chick names for ourselves, or had help from others and that is what we call ourselves today, still! Anyone can be a Chick in the Chick nest. It is a very positive group of beaders and LB fresh pickers who like to chat, laugh, share, empathize, encourage, counsel,and help each other with life’s daily trials and tribulations. It is a wonderful group to be a part of! Would you like to be a chick too? Think of your interests or something special about you, and decide on a chick name. I’m sure Lynn Chicky LE has a list of all the real names and chick names so we don’t double up or get confused. Just let us know!!! Welcome :) Oh yea, we love LIMA BEADS too!

  17. No Photo
    Andrew M says:

    JacquiO and Valentine – There is a Garden (our beading community) group for Chickies: http://www.limabeads.com/fresh/groups/chickies

    In it, you’ll find Lynn’s “Official List”. It does exist!

  18. Valentine Chick
    Valentine Chick says:

    Yep I just found it! You beat me to it Andrew!! Thank you for your help. Please check it out JacquiO. We would love to add another chick name to our nest!! LOL

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