Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mrs. Linklater's Cosmic, er, Comic, Universe

The last roommate I had at the orthopedic rehab center took one look at me and said, "I think I know you."  I didn't have a clue who she was. 

I can't tell you the number of times people have said they know me, but even though they're completely convinced, it always turns out they've got the wrong person.  My sophomore year in college some guy called me up in the dorm and said I sat next to him in English. He was sure I was that girl, because he had taken the time to find my picture in the yearbook. Nope. Wasn't in that class. I asked him to call me back if he ever found the real girl he was pining for.  He did and all I could think was, "Geez, I'm better looking than that."  

Another day, another year, I was walking down Rush Street in Chicago on my way home from work when I was accosted by two young men, shouting, "Sheila!!! Sheila from the beach!!" Based on how thrilled they were to find me, that must have been a great summer threesome. But, sorry guys, I'm not Sheila, I'm Mrs. Linklater. 

So when my new roomie at the home, Janice, claimed she thought she had a past history with me, I warned her that I seem to look like everybody's long lost sorority sister, crazy aunt, worst date, or old girlfriend. Until she said, "Weren't you married to Mr. Linklater?"  And ta-da, turns out we used to socialize during my short period of marriedness at the home of mutual friends. That was more than thirty years ago. 

Acting like a couple of eighth grade girls making crank calls, we called up the mutual friends and left them a voicemail so they could share in the exciting news about our re-connection. Hey, Sharon and Peter, remember us -- Janice and Mrs. Linklater? From a long time ago? We're sharing a room at the local nursing home following our respective hip surgeries. Does life come full circle or what?  Janice even threw in another tidbit -- remember that birthday cake Mrs. L got Peter for his 36th birthday? The one with the sculpted frosting and cake torso of a seriously built babe in a bikini that said, "To Peter: a perfect 36"?  

Surely Sharon and Peter must have jumped for joy when they heard our message. I remember how excited Janice and I were just sitting on our beds in matching compression stockings and open air hospital gowns, tripping merrily down memory lane over the coincidence of it all. Of course, we didn't really expect to hear back right away. Especially after all this time.  But sometimes when the stars and planets line up properly, fate cannot be denied.  

The very next day Janice's son, an attorney, was asked to attend a bar association committee meeting at a large law firm. The last time Peter saw Janice's thirty something kid, the young man was still several weeks from birth. Turns out the meeting Janice's son had to attend was at the same law firm where Peter is a partner. When you consider all the Chicago law firms [hundreds] and all the bar association committee meetings [dozens and dozens], you might expect that the chances of Peter and Janice's son intersecting would be pretty low, especially the day after our reunion after thirty years. But no-o-o-o-o-o. There they were in the same room. Peter and Janice's son. Of course, Janice's son didn't realize who Peter was until after the meeting. So we have to wait to hear Peter's reaction the next time they meet. 

But still and all. Cosmic.  


Myra said...

Wow...what are the chances of that happening...ever? Guess, pretty good huh? Glad it was only your hip that was replaced, not your sense of humor!

Remo said...

I can see you using the "Sheila from the beach" line in Cabo.

The Six Degrees of Mrs L continues...

Anna said...

I see that not even a hip replacement can disguise the enigma that is Mrs. ....I mean, "Sheila from the beach."

Melissa said...

LOL, cosmic is not a word I thought I'd ever read here!!

Chris said...

That's a pretty cool gig you have working with your beach vacations. Show up, romance the menfolk using a pseudonym, and then break their hearts never to be seen again. That is of course until they bump into you in the windy city.

Hope you feel better soon, Sheila From The Beach!

Robin said...

Great story! A small world indeed! Glad you're doing well.

Robin in Texas