Coincidental Overlap: How Two People Nearly Met For Years, Until They Did
Studio 54, New York City
A few years on from my English educational visit, I was back in New York, for more schooling, and with a job bar-tending at Studio 54, the huge complex of bars that were the hallmark of the disco era. There were various events at the club, including performance artists, music, and such, and once again, my wife was there. You see, yes, she was English, but she had obtained a job and visa working for a famous photographer, in New York, at exactly the same time as I was working the bar, and she was present for many of the events I worked. So once again, she was there at the same time as I was, but we did not meet. Very likely I served her and her boss drinks, and I definitely recall the photographer being there, being interested in photography myself. But we did not meet, at least not knowingly.
Zanzibar and Downstairs, London England
Imagine two people, continually over many years, being in the same place at the same time, and never meeting, or, at least, not yet.This is the story, in abbreviated form, of my now wife and I, and our frequent overlap long before we ever met. You see, it seems we often were in the same place at the same time, but never met, or, I should say, we had never met as of then. Obviously, today we are married, so by now we have of course met. Let me explain.
I was in England for graduate school, back in the mid 1980s, and frequented two London bars during that time, the Zanzibar and the Downstairs. These bars hosted great bands, and good crowds, and were the place to be back then. This of course is something on the order of 30 years ago. My wife too frequented those bars, saw many of the same concerts I did, and most likely we ran across each other, unbeknownst to us. But as we both saw the same shows, we now know we were in the same place at the same time. We just never met.
Photo work done for, you guessed it, my wife
Newport Rhode Island
A few years following my return from England, and during my stint in New York, I frequently traveled to Newport RI to visit friends. The Chart House Restaurant had just opened, and we often ate there, my friend and I... I of course was completely unaware that one of the managers of the restaurant was, you guessed it, my now wife. She eventuality moved to Florida, for another Chart House gig in Key West or Miami. I remained in New York. But as luck would have it, I had grandparents living first in Miami, and later after my grandfather passed away, my grandmother remained there, living in her house in Key West for a time, until she moved to Miami Beach to be closer to medical care and to her son, my uncle. I visited once a year or so, and of course, we ate at the Chart House restaurant, both in Key West and in Miami later. Again my wife was working as the manager in these places during the time I visited. Yet we still never met.
She ended up married, as did I, me in New York, and she once pregnant, back in England to be near her parents, along with her American husband. She eventually ended up with a job at Morgan Stanley, while I practiced law in New York. No overlap during this period. But soon she moved back to the States, and landed a job back first in Massachusetts and then back in Florida. I remained in NYC. She eventually was divorced, about the same time as I was, and moved back to Florida to work at a club, now called the Hard Rock Cafe, but at the time called Mario City. She had a young son, and after some employment issues following the sale of Mario City to the Hard Rock group, she again moved to Newport RI... as chance would have it, I was teaching at the University of Rhode Island at about the same time, and had "retired" from law. I was building a photography business, and somehow, she was working at a landscape architect firm, the which I had solicited for work. I had sent postcards, and had an agent I had hired to help promote my services, contact the firm.
Oh so close, yes?
Rhode Island brings us together
Photo work, and more.
We met finally, with her hiring me to do work for the architecture firm. She used to call my answering machine to hear my voice, and once I actually picked up the phone. We spoke for the first time, and arranged to meet a few days later. We became good friends during the time I was doing the work for the architecture firm, and eventually she decided to leave the firm to pursue an alternate career in consulting for various firms and non-profits on book keeping and management issues. I had built my own photo website by this time, and her clients were asking about getting sites for themselves. She approached me asking if I could do that for her, and for her clients. We had lengthy discussions on what the web was all about, and whether we could make some money at building and designing web sites for local businesses.
Just prior to 2000, with the millennial panic for Y2K, we formed a company to help assist clients in getting through the issues of that scenario, although in fact little problem ensued. We developed the web company, and in about 2 years had a staff of 20 people working for us. This business worked but we ended up caught in the collapse of the dot com industry, adn had to fold the business up. This was at great expense to us, and great feelings ensued, with both of us taking large losses.
But we were not yet married.
Post Web Development
After this, I moved to continue the web development effort on my own, and my now wife went into mortgage brokering, and eventually real estate. I had moved to Lambertville in New Jersey, and she remained in Rhode Island. Eventually I moved back to Rhode Island, as it became apparent to both of us that we were more than just friends and business associates.
We both worked real estate, invested in property, and soon started another business, a real estate brokerage. This went well and soon developed into a thriving business. Just before the collapse of the real estate market in Rhode Island, I proposed, and she said yes!
We were married on April 22nd 2006. We remain so today. I have adopted her son, and we continue in real estate. So many tiimes we were in the same place at the same time, but had never met. Finally we did, and the adventure continues.
We intercepted each other over the course of many years, but had never met in truth. We probably were face to face a dozen times, and it did not register. Until it did. We have rehearsed this sequence many times, and I thought I would get it down in writing, in brief format, while we debate the merits of doing it in long form.
I wonder how many people have had similar experiences. It seems to me that coincidental overlap might not be as uncommon as it seems. I look forward to participants in the poll letting me know just how often this might actually take place.
As for me, I am very glad we did finally meet, despite the loss due to the web business. We hope to have a very long rest of our lives together.