Montreal is a bit of a small place. Stick around long enough and you get to know pretty much everybody. Back in the day, this meant that sometimes I would avoid making eye contact on public transportation, for fear of running into someone I barely knew and having to small-talk it all the way to my destination. Sounds grinchy, sure, but it was handy.
Twelve years ago, give or take a few days, on a sticky, humid Montreal evening, I was on my way home from dinner with a friend. I got on the metro, sat down, forgot not to look up and there was Christian, looking at me, trying to figure out where he knew me from. We looked at each other for a fraction of a second too long – pretending like it never happened was not an option. Curses, I thought. There goes my solitary ride home. We started chatting and I figured out pretty quickly that we were going to the same stop (drat) AND that he would be waiting for and taking the same bus as me too (double drat). It was pretty much the worst-case scenario of small-talkiness. Look what happens when you look at people, I said. And now he knows where you live, I said. Dumb, dumb, dumb, I said.
This story? TEXTBOOK MORAL STORY. As in, don’t-wish-you-avoided-a-person-on-the-metro-because-you-may-just-marry-them kind of story. I sure learned my lesson. Happy anniversary, baby. I love you.