We’ve been thinking about the wild and woolly world of coincidences this month at threads. I mean, have you heard of this doozy about the Titanic? Or this crazy list of coincidences from history?
We decided to ask a few of the threads team and friends to share some of their own stories of the surprising, serendipitous and downright scary. If you have any crazy coincidence stories of your own, we’d love to hear them in the comments section below!
“SAM! LET GO OF THE CHICKEN!” These are one of the few phrases that spring to mind when recalling the holiday my family spent on a French farm. ‘La Rochelle’ is where I’ve convinced myself we spent that two week vacation, even if it’s far more likely that remnants from GCSE French have leaked out of the memory compartment entitled: ‘EDUCATION’. Wherever in the country we were, I remember we drove. And it took ages. And sometimes my parents forgot that France drives on the wrong side of the road, which at the time was hilariously entertaining for me and my younger brothers.
One day in France, my parents took us to a theme park for the day. In a queue for one of those rides that drenches you at the end, I spotted Nicola from my primary school class! What are the chances?! Our families chit-chatted for a few minutes before heading our separate ways. Over dinner that night we laughed about how coincidental that was.
One week later, my parents lugged us about 150 miles south to visit a tiny little village kown for some Gallic castle; this was obviously my dad’s turn to pick what to do this day. As my brothers and I hunted for an ice-cream shop, I was stopped dead in my tracks. “Nicola?!” Yet again, the McConaghie French holiday itinerary had aligned once more with a girl from my primary school class. We were all suitably freaked out, so conversations were a bit more awkward this time. I didn’t see her again until class started back in September.
Before taking a trip to London I prayed that God would do something cool on the journey. On the train there were a group of people further down from me chatting. I took little interest in them until a few buzzwords caught my attention. Church. Faith. God. I surreptitiously lifted my head to listen. A group of Christians had struck up a conversation with a fellow traveller.
One chap in the group then began encouraging their new friend, offering him kind, thoughtful, generous words. The train pulled up and the group headed for the door. I felt compelled to say something to this chap so gifted in encouragement. As he passed I nervously interrupted him. “Hey,” I offered as put out my hand to shake his. “God bless you.” He looked surprised, understandably, and said thank you. A mere coincidence perhaps, but I think there was more to it than that. It all felt very cool.
I was sitting in a cafe in Soho, minding my own business and reading a book, and the guy at the next table decided he’d like to chat. No problem: I’m Australian and always up for some chat! Next thing I know, the guy, who was much younger than me, decided to ask me out for dinner. I politely declined, and told him how much older than him I was (his eyes nearly popped out of his head – rude). Anyway, months later, I’m waiting for a friend outside a cafe in another part of London, and who should I suddenly spot walking down the street toward me, joy lighting up his eyes as he speedily approaches?! I think he thought it was some sort of sign from God. It was actually really funny – we had another good chat. And we are now married (jk).
I’ve actually found it incredible the number of times I have coincidental encounters in a city like London. Three times now, I’ve run into people in the street or on the tube who I knew from my days of living in New Zealand – what are the chances?!
I went out with my friends for my birthday a few years ago, and was excited to spend the night dancing with pals. But then, while Shola Ama was singing her heart out (I can’t remember which one of her TUNES she was performing right at that moment, but I like to imagine it was You Might Need Somebody), I locked eyes with a tall, dark stranger – or something like that. You get the idea.
After the initial polite chit chat, we realised that our home towns were two train stops away from each other, and our flats in London were two tube stops away from one another, too. Spooky! Things got weirder when the next day, following the obligatory Facebook stalk, we realised our mums had been friends for the last 30 years and we had definitely been thrown together for play-dates in our younger years.
Six years later and we’re planning our wedding for this summer.