As many of you local folks know, I spend a lot of time in CA with my “little people”. My last trip there coincided with the celebration of the spring major religious holidays. In my case this meant celebrating at a Passover seder. Now in Jewish culture (not religion) we have a “thing” called Jewish geography. It is similar to Kevin Bacon’s six degrees of separation. In it, when we meet someone new, we begin by finding out their geographical history, immediately followed by, do you know “ so and so”? Inevitably we find some distant way in which we are connected. Now bear with me, this blog entry is not about Jewish geography, but really is about needlepoint geography and friendship.
It just so happened that on the second day of the Passover holiday, I had two invitations for the seder. My daughter’s sister-in-law and brother-in-law were hosting a kids’ seder. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were hosting an adults only seder. So I figured out a way to attend both.
Since I was arriving late to my sister-in-law’s and brother-in-law’s seder I knew the religious part would already be underway. So, I tried very hard to enter the room as inconspicuously as possible. Rather than climb over people to my assigned seat, I just plopped myself down in an available seat at the end of one of the tables. I knew the woman to my right, but the woman to the left of me had her head down and so I paid her no attention.
After a bit I got up to use the rest room. As I was returning to the table, the woman who had been to my left got up and whispered to me, “Barbara, I know you.” It took me a moment to place her since she was out of context. I soon realized that this woman was Deb R. I knew her from the shop in San Mateo, Luv2Stitch, where I hang out to stitch while visiting the west coast. She has also been present at the few ANG chapter meetings out there that I have managed to attend.
As I was thinking to myself, but trying to not say, “what is she doing here?”, Deb asked me that very question. I paused and said, uh, my husband is Marcia’s (our hostess’) brother. At that point, Deb said, “get out. I’ve been in this family for 32 years.” To that I replied that I had been in the family for 44 years. Now my curiosity was really piqued.
For many years I had heard my brother-in-law speak of his Long Island, NY childhood friend, “Rocky”, who lived on the west coast and helped to ease the family’s transition when they moved to the the Bay area back in the ‘70s. I believe I even met Rocky’s mother at another long ago seder. So I was a bit more than surprised when Deb asked if I had ever heard of Rocky. I said, “of course!” It turns out that Deb is Rocky’s (aka Joe’s) wife. We were both thunderstruck.
By now the religious part of the meal was over and visiting time really began in earnest.
During the year or so in which I became acquainted with Deb, we had happily been sharing wedding planning notes since her son got married the same weekend that our daughter did, last fall. At some point, my brother-in-law Elliot came over and Deb suddenly said to him, “that’s why you didn’t come to our son’s wedding!” The connections went on from there. Deb was sharing how her daughter was a speech therapist. I started to laugh and told her that so was mine. At that point, Rocky chimed in that their daughter had consulted my daughter several times before deciding to enter the field. Deb and I were further amused!
Needlepoint shops, ANG chapters, shared wedding weekend and daughters in the same field made this out of context encounter so much fun! I think in that short hour and a half I went from having a very nice needlepoint acquaintance to having a lovely, fun needlepoint friend.
Now that is how needlepoint geography works!