COINCIDENTALLY – Marilyn Armstrong

A good friend of mine had a crisis today. She inadvertently dialed a very out-of-date phone number. It had — a long, long time ago (more than 25 years) — had been Garry and my number. Back when we lived in Boston. I think before we were even yet married.

When she called the number, she got (on that number) a high school boyfriend from whom she had not heard since high school.

How do those ancient phone numbers somehow creep back into our files? It was originally a secondary phone number belonging to Garry, back when he had two phones — one for the office and the other for personal friends. Before cell phones. Before even the giant old brick of a cell phone.

She was convinced there was some cabal behind it. How could that ancient boyfriend from high school somehow wind up with her college best friends’ out-of-date telephone number? There had to be collusion of the most heinous kind.

Maybe it’s the times we live in. Or maybe the problem is that we read too many books and watch too much television and old movies where “there’s no such thing as a coincidence.”

Except, really, there is. Not just one, but many coincidences. Reality is full of things that just happen. Entirely by chance. No collusion or planning.

It took a delightful hour of chatting for me to almost convince her there was no cabal or conspiracy — and the Russians had nothing to do with it. It was just “one of those things.” Stuff happens. For no reason.

I don’t think she really believed me.

32 thoughts on “COINCIDENTALLY – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. I have several Coincidence Theories. I know you can’t wait to hear them. My favorite (Movie worthy) is that we are linked inwardly – though we don’t know it. I’ll try to mesh this together with my Sub Space Anomaly and Time Travel theories … hmmm …


  2. Years ago I met someone new in town and we became friendly and exchanged phone numbers. Much to my surprise her phone number was my childhood home phone number (I am still living in the town I grew up in) It had been about 10 years since my mother had moved and the phone # was out of use. There is was again, back in use – crazy that someone I actually knew had that number!!


  3. It is as if we’ve stepped back in time to a horrible era in time, instead of the enlightenment we all sought so hard to achieve. As for coincidence, there are several. It happens!


  4. Life in 2018 is a vast series of small miracles (which is what some call coincidence). I was thinking that as I microwaved some food….what would my grandmother have thought of microwaves? Something that only happened in science fiction novels I bet. The minute cell phone, which one can now wear on their wrist? Surely Star Trek, although I believe Star Trek came along after granny died. I don’t think grandma would have been greatly surprised at the political climate though…it’s much the same as in her day – sans the intelligence factor.


    • It’s like when I got a new phone number in San Diego and I wanted it to spell a certain word. Then I called my brother who was living at my mom’s house, using her phone (she was dead) and damn. That was HER number.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Did you ever read any of the books by Jasper Ffjord? He’d got “real” characters who cross over into the “book world” which is his version of “outer space” and one of the things he warns his “book operatives” (as opposed to the “human operatives”) is that in the human world, there are coincidences. Don’t get tangled up in them or we’ll have to send you to the lethal land of conspiracy theory where ANYTHING could happen.


  5. There are an infinite number of things going on in the world every day, so even things that have a one in a billion chance are going to happen somewhere to someone, and eventually to you. We wound up getting a new member placed on our bowling team this year to fill a vacancy we had, and come to find out she grew up in the house I live in now (which is only 45 years old). Out of the thousands and thousands of houses in this area. Weird coincidences will find us all the time…


  6. I had a funny experience when I moved to Salt Lake City UT, back in ’89-’90, to take a new job. A friend of mine had arranged a new apartment and phone line for me so all I had to do was move in. On the very first night.., the first freakin’ night, I get a call on my new phone. Now bear in mind, I hadn’t even given it out to anyone yet. So I answer and a voice says “Hi Ben, are we still on for the church(Mormon) singles dance tonight.” HUH!? Singles dance? Then it hit me she called me by my name, Ben. I say “Who are you, this is a new phone and, Yes, my name is Ben but I don’t know anything about a “singles dance,” or you, for that matter?” There was a silence on the other end and finally, she said, “well, would you like to go anyway?”

    That was my first date in SLC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There was simply no way it could have been anything BUT coincidence. We haven’t had that number since we moved to Roxbury in 1990. So anyone could have it now … but it is kind of odd that it ended up as belonging a boyfriend from high school. Synchronicity.

      Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.