Service of Kismet or It’s a Small World

May 4th, 2023

Categories: Coincidence, Kismet, Restaurant, Theatre

A friend who, like me, doesn’t answer a phone call from an unknown name or number, did one day. Long story short, the person on the other end of the line became his girlfriend.

Last weekend I went to a smashing performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance,” produced by The Blue Hill Troupe. It was magnificent. Founded in 1924, the troupe’s mission is to create enjoyable theater performances for New Yorkers and make money for NYC charities. Members range in age from 21 to 100 and they put on two shows a year. So many actors want to participate that they had two for every major part—the chorus stayed the same– and divided up the performances.

As I arrived early, I spoke with the woman next to me who was there to see her son perform. After a few minutes it was clear she wasn’t from these parts so I asked her where she lived and she said New Hampshire. I mumbled that my stepdaughter lives in New Hampshire. Turns out this woman is the postmaster of that town, population 1,600.

But that’s not all.

There was a two-page spread in the playbill featuring troupe member pets—dogs, cats and a bird [photo below]. I mentioned that I was charmed by it and we began to speak about pets. She said that her son, who lives on the Upper West Side, had taken her to The Black Lab Café for breakfast. Here dogs bring their human partners for coffee and light refreshment. It’s also a great place for those without dogs who long for one to pat or scratch behind the ears. Most four-legged guests play along. Guess what? My New Hampshire-based stepdaughter had sent me a gift card to this café where I recently enjoyed afternoon tea with a friend! According to NYC has some 27 thousand restaurants. Some coincidence–right?

Do you have any memorable examples of kismet or evidence of how small our world can be?

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11 Responses to “Service of Kismet or It’s a Small World”

  1. Hank Goldman Said:

    Very cool!

  2. ASK Said:

    Most unusual encounter was meeting a PR client: The head of one of the members of the now-defumct French Crystal Federation in Aswan, Egypt, getting off the train with his wife. We were both stunned to see each other!

  3. Anonymous Said:

    One day when I was dog sitting for miss Vivian a 35 black standard poodle we were coming back from a walk. Suddenly Vivian stopped with her tail wagging. I looked down the street and a lovely silver haired woman was trying to get her black rescue Greyhound into her car. I yelled can they say hello. Ten minutes we were upstairs in my condo and Louise and I have been friends ever since. That was 15 years ago.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    WOWEEE! You win.

    I was just at the Met Museum with a friend. Every time I go with her she meets one of her neighbors.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Lovely story!

  6. BC Said:

    A doctor friend worked in Saudi Arabia for 10 years, and met several other doctors there. About 15 years after working in Saudi Arabia, she went on a vacation to Australia. She sat in an outdoor cafe late afternoon for tea and a sweet roll. Who comes along the street but a doctor she had worked with in Saudi Arabia! What are the chances for that happening?


  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    That it is! Hard to top.

  8. Lucrezia Said:

    I’m going to my grave unable to figure out who this very familiar looking person passing my table at a restaurant was. Someone who could have been his twin reappeared as a courtly but drunken seat mate on an airplane. Since both seemed elderly and these incidents took place years ago, I’ll just have to continue scratching my head in wonder. Are past lives possible and these folks have come to visit?

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Could he be a celebrity? I’m terrible at identifying them but some friends can a block away! Sounds like the start of a detective story. Please finish it!

  10. Kathleen Said:

    Great! We met several years ago, volunteering at a clothing sale at a nearby church, met a woman wearing a sweatshirt with the name of our tiny hamlet at our country lake. We discovered both have lived there on summers for ages, but never had met because the houses are scattered and there is no central gathering spot, only the post office. We became good friends and then ended up buying her apartment, so she’s always in our thoughts. A wonderful serendipity.

  11. Deb Wright Said:

    I have lived in a small town–started at seven thousand–now thirty thousand–for fifty years. Being a teacher, Scout leader, library volunteer, etc. it is natural to run into people I have known. But here is one for the books. I was walking around the block and a youngish woman stopped me. She asked if I was Mrs. Wright. I said yes–no clue! She was one of my students in the 70’s. I looked at her and I remembered these large blue eyes and said Karen? Well fast forward about seven years, and I walked my grandson to his kindergarten door. There to greet him was Karen! She had become a teacher. So, my former student is little Nolan’s first teacher.

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