Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I recently reconnected with a friend on Facebook. (The Universal Friend Reconnector and Love Broker.) A week later, I bought a compost bin. An hour after I set up said compost bin in my back yard, I checked Facebook. My friend posted something asking if her FB friends would be interested in composting advice. She had no idea I'd just bought a bin-- just set it up an hour earlier!-- so the timing seemed too coincidental.

It must be a sign! The Universe wants us to bond over composting! (Or as one friend said, maybe it means we need to dump the leftovers on our past relationship to let it decompose for a while.)


I attended a lecture/luncheon at the university a few weeks ago. I made a new friend-- it turned out we had a mutual acquaintance. That wasn't a huge coincidence. I know lots of people, and the subject of the lecture insured that like-minded people would be there.

Here's the coincidence. In trying to set up a lunch date with my new friend, we were discussing schedules. She said it would have to be next week, because the week after that she was going to NC to help her parents move. I'd been planning a trip for a few weeks now to go to NC with my brother to help my dad move. I said, "You won't believe this, but I'm going to NC (Wilmington) that same week to help my dad move." I asked her, where in NC will you be? Answer: Wilmington!

So we're both going to be in the same place, 870 miles away from where we live, at the same time, doing the same thing-- helping our respective parents move.

We agreed that this was a weird, ridiculous coincidence. My Universe-Sign-o-Meter was off the charts! This must MEAN something!

It didn't.


I don't really believe in signs from the Universe. We are pattern-seeking animals, so we often find patterns that aren't there. Usually what we see as "signs" are simply things we wanted to see in the first place. Things that have been on our mind.

And when you think about it, coincidences are not as amazing as you think. In the first example, I got interested in composting in the first place because of this particular friend. And it was the first warm spring day, on a weekend, when people would have things like gardening on the brain.

I was talking about this to a friend and she sent me this video. As the summary says: "A poor understanding of probability leads many people to put forward supernatural explanation for events that are far more common than they think. This video shows how probability theory is sufficient to explain even seemingly remarkable coincidences."

I love scientific shit like that.


Because I always find things in patterns of three, here's another coincidence I noticed this week.

Whenever I drive to my hometown to see family, I drive through West Lafayette, IN. Just North of Lafayette, as you're coming into town, is a street sign that says Nikole Dr. I have an ex named Nikole, with the same unusual spelling. The street sign right after Nikole Drive is Debbie Drive. I have a sister named Debbie (same spelling.)

I don't know what that coincidence is supposed to signify, other than the developer who built this particular neighborhood also knew a Debbie and a Nikole. And apparently a Donna and a Mark. And a North Connie and a South Connie.

Although these street names are, in a literal sense, signs, they are not Signs from the Universe.


Jolene said...

Whoa, what a freaky coincidence re: the moving thing!! And the last picture was freaking hilarious. I love the way you think of all of this scientific shit. My brain doesn't operate that way at all ;-)

Tim said...

Thanks, Jo. Sometimes it's a curse, having such an analytical brain. But it keeps me busy and out of trouble.