So Close (and yet…)


My sister, who just moved across the country to Los Angeles seven months pregnant with her second child to take a job with Hulu, sent me a text saying she’d met a woman who knows Jimmy.  It’s one of her new co-workers at Hulu.  At almost the same moment, the woman texted Jimmy a selfie of herself with my sister, saying: “Guess who I work with?”

My sister and my mom were very baffled by this, by the “small world” factor I suppose. I wasn’t phased though, for reasons that don’t totally make sense, and that even contradict one another.

One is that Jimmy knows a shocking amount of people. And like, not like the way most people “know” other people–he has deep, substantive connections with a shocking amount of people. So is it weird that my sister would encounter one in a different state and city? Not really.

Another is that, like a great many of the people he knows, this woman went through the program (about a decade ago). This made it especially not-that-surprising.

Why? Well, I intend for my sister to do the program. So, of course she would find herself magnetically pulled toward people who have done it, because lord knows she’ll never listen to ME about it (but someone she barely knows, now that’s a different story – that person may actually have credibility with her, and at the suggestion of someone like that is the only way she’ll ever do it). Because I believe I am a powerful person, it’s not that surprising the planets would align in this manner. In fact, maybe this chance encounter was the entire reason for her taking the job with Hulu and moving across the country.

But, I also believe the Universe likes to taunt me (it comes from my inflated sense of self-importance).  So, it’s almost like this connection happened for the sole purpose of the Universe being able to say to me: “See how close you’re getting to this thing you want very, very badly? Now watch how it doesn’t happen.”

My sister, by the way, doesn’t think much of Jimmy, and it doesn’t seem like that opinion will ever change. So how, you might ask, did she and her coworker even discover this connection? Why would Jimmy, a person she would like to forget exists in her life, ever come up in conversation with a new acquaintance?

Well, she had shown the woman a picture of the boys, as Baby Batman and Baby Superman. The woman instantly recognized them. “I know those babies,” the woman said, and then was incredulous when my sister said they were her nephews and that she and I were sisters.

Facebook is weird, right? This woman has never met our babies, she knows them only from Facebook. She had met me before, though, while I was pregnant with the boys, which she told my sister. She said she had met me at a going away party, for someone who had also moved to Los Angeles. I told my sister I didn’t at all remember meeting this woman (pre-baby memories are really fuzzy, sleep-deprivation is a powerful thing), but I remembered the going away party — it was for Stephen, one of Jimmy’s groomsmen at the wedding.

My sister perked up at the mention of Stephen’s name. “Nate loved Stephen,” she said. Nate is her husband. “They were like, best friends at your wedding. Why didn’t you tell us he had moved to southern California? We are trying to make new friends here. Give us his number!”

I said well, I didn’t know you had connected with him, but yes, you should get in touch – he has a daughter that is exactly your daughter’s age.

So she excitedly got his contact information — from Jimmy, because I didn’t have it, and I presume they’ll make arrangements to hang out together soon. And I want to feel good about this, and encouraged, and even excited,
because both Stephen and his wife are program veterans and program believers, but, I can’t.

I can’t shake the feeling that it’s just the Universe, taunting me again. “See how close you are to your sister finally accepting, and even liking, your husband? See how close she is to becoming open to the program? Now watch how it STILL doesn’t happen.”

I don’t care anyway though, so, whatever (you think if I play it cool, things just might end up working out…?).


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