Monday, April 24, 2006

Small world? Nah, it's just Ottawa

On Friday Scott and I went to Kathy's surprise 40th birthday party at the Granite Curling Club. I have known Kathy's husband Bill for 18 years and Scott has know him even longer. So we're milling around at this party, checking out all our old friends and familiar faces. I start drinking and being loud as I tend to do when reminded of my former, single, kid-free life. Then in walks a woman I've met before but not in this gang. She smiles and waves at me then starts walking over. I'm thrown by her since she's obviously out of context. Where have I seen her before? She comes over and starts talking and it dawns on me... it's Miss F, Elliott and Audrey's English teacher. She's married to Kathy's cousin. Wha? I feel like taking my vodka and cranberry and going home. Not that she's not a perfectly nice person but there's acceptable behaviour for parent/teacher interviews and acceptable behaviour for those who haven't been in the company of adults in over a week. With a bar serving cheap drinks. And let me tell you, they are not the same behaviour. I didn't even know her first name. We laugh about that and she tells me it's Jen and we promise each other that what happens at the Granite, stays at the Granite. But this happens all the time here in Ottawa. A few cases in point:

The time when I first moved here and I had the same taxi driver 2 days in a row. He was decidedly underwhelmed when I excitedly told him, literally freaking out in the backseat. Hey, it never, ever, happened in Montreal.

The time when I got my first full time daycare job. Daphne and I talked about our boyfriends (later husbands) all the time. How they loved the outdoors, were raised in the country and were a lot alike. When we finally went on a double date, Scott and John realised they used to be next door neighbours/classmates in a small town just outside Ottawa.

The time a few weeks ago when I went to a college friend's house party and saw Jo from behind the makeup counter at my pharmacy who's been selling me makeup for 5 years. Tina and Jo have known each other for years.

And on and on and on. Whenever this happens, everyone says "small world" but you know what? The world is big. Huge, even. It's Ottawa that's small. At the party we were talking about six degrees of separation. In Ottawa it's more like 3. We're like a big happy family. And that's cool. Just don't make a fool of yourself in public. It'll get back to your mum.

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