The vortex of coincidence

March 16th is the six month anniversary of the first date between Barb L. and I. It is also the birthday of my soon to be ex-wife. Our first date was on September 16th. This is the birthdate of Barb L’s soon to be ex-husband.

This is but a small part of what Barb L. calls, “The vortex of Joe Huffman coincidence”. That should be “JoeH/BarbL” instead of “Joe Huffman” but she named it months ago and we are kind of stuck with the name at this point.

As RobertaX and many others have pointed out our brains are pattern matching engines and find “interesting things” where there really isn’t anything of particular significance. But still it’s fun to look at the patterns sometimes.

Within a minute or two of our first date Barb L. and I started noticing a plethora of coincidences between us:

  • Her first and middle names are identical to that of my (soon to be ex-)wife.
  • Her (I can’t wait until he is my ex-)husband is not named “Joseph”. That is the name of his identical twin.
  • Her mother’s name was Josephine.
  • Her son’s middle name is Joseph.
  • She has a hand gesture that is identical to one used by daughter Xenia for the same circumstances.
  • She spent time on a farm when growing up and even milked cows by hand like I did.
  • She lives on the eastside of Lake Washington, as do I, and works in downtown Seattle about six blocks from where I work.
  • Her mother’s birthday is the same as my wife.
  • Her son’s birthday is the same as my wife’s sister.
  • Her birthday is one day after my brother’s birthday.
  • Her birthday is one day before my wife’s sister’s birthday.
  • Both her mother and my wife’s mother were teachers.
  • We both went to the University of Washington at the same time (but to be best of our knowledge we never saw each other).

Yes. I’m aware of the birthday paradox.

Anyway… we aren’t superstitious but every once in a while, we look around to see if there is someone filming us because it sure seems as if there is a script writer in the background someplace. And that guy that walked by as we were kissing around the corner at REI at one day at lunch time and said, “Don’t worry, no pictures were taken!” didn’t exactly reassure us that we aren’t acting out someone else’s script and we are being recorded on video for a reality show on Lifetime or something.


5 thoughts on “The vortex of coincidence

  1. There IS a script-writer around here. Just not working on YOUR script. Though, if you wanted, I could likely still work you in somewhere 🙂

  2. “…it sure seems as if there is a script writer in the background someplace.”

    Some say that it is just common paranoia. “Simile; you’re starring in some version of The Truman Show” and all that. On the other hand, since we as a species seem to repeat the same mistakes over and over again, there surely is some sort of “script”. Most of us do play one of a few well known, pre-established roles and this has been going on for all of recorded history.

    “All the world’s a stage” was first said how long ago?

    I’ve chided Barron about this, warning that rebellion is one of those roles, that some people know this and are counting on you playing your role for their purposes, and unless we can take a step back once in a while, reading our “scripts” a few pages ahead, we will certainly find ourselves in a scene we never bargained for.

    Others have said that by yourself you have no will, that what you think of as your will is not your own but is planted in you by outside forces. Hypnotism. And since we’re bordering on the metaphysical with this conversation, I’m reminded of another Jesus quote. This is for those who think of Jesus as God also,
    “Of myself I can do nothing. The father within me; he doth it.”
    In those two sentences, he is saying he has no will of his own, and that he is not God. He, in the terms of your post here, is saying that there is a script writer, but then if you look just a little bit closer you find that there are many references to there being more than one script writer. In that context, we are regarded as free agents, being courted by different production teams. You sign onto one team, you get a certain script. You sign onto another team, you get a completely different script.

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