Small World After All

January 31, 2010
A saved post from November . . .

New York may be the capital of the world, but it's also a small town, where your boyfriend's cousin is also your best friend's boss.

You see the same people around and quickly discover mutual acquaintances when you do meet new faces.

Forget six degrees. It's two and a half.

So when it comes to careers and couples, your past can definitely be your present.

Me and the boyfriend were laughing hard earlier this week at one guy's laid off story of getting his first interview in months. He got to the office and he and the CEO kept thinking the other looked familiar. Then it clicked. The CEO was the same guy the interviewee bullied in elementary school. He was promptly escorted out with security.

Fast forward to last night and I am mingling with colleagues at a Good Hair panel, ready for a lively and hearty talk on our issues as Black women when it comes to hair, color and all the issues in between.

I take a seat and the lady behind me taps my shoulder.

"You went to Howard?" she asks.

"Yeah," I answer, having no memory of ever meeting her. She says how she remembers me and mentions a mutual acquaintance. We laugh and talk. She's originally from the city but has travelled all over the world and is back figuring her next move. She asks for my info for us to hang out sometime and I give her my email address, since I dont have my new cards yet. I tell her to email me her info, when she says she can do better. She pulls out her colorful business logo, with her info on the back.

"My boyfriend has one of your shirts," I say, eyeing the one of kind logo. The shirt is DOPE and I asked him all about when we wore it. He mentioned a t-shirt designer who was growing her business.

She looks at me inquisitively, not sure if I'm sure this is the same company.

"He went to Howard too," I share. And she perks up and asks his name. I realize I may have stumbled into TMI, as I stall, then say his name.

"Yeah, he brought one of my first designs, Tell him hello." she smiles and we eye each other at the happenstance of us sitting a row a part and how our paths have crossed.

My work buddy gets there and we settle down as the panel begins. It's amazing and so many different stories of black hair and identity are shared, and why we do what we do to our hair, a topic Chris Rock NEVER addressed. As one sister says how she hasn't gotten a promotion since going natural, Michaela Angela Davis shares how she was chased because of her natural blond thick braids, as girls surrounded her to cut them off.

Afterwards, I mingled some more and said by to former coworkers, friends and my new found t-shirt making acquaintance.

Later that night, the boyfriend and I have movie night and I break out my Phase Ten cards, as Stevie Wonder plays. It's about 3am.

I remember the t-shirt maker's hello and break out the logo card and tell him my story.

He smiles. . . Then says he use to have a thing for her.

I try and think back to what her facial reaction was when I said his name.

He's launched into their story of timing always being off, sending messages between their friends they were interested at different times, and one always having a boyfriend or girlfriend when the other was single, so they never dated.

I sigh. Glad their was no ex drama there, curious how she feels about the situation of stumbling upon me . . . and wondering if we still will grab drinks.