Friday, June 23, 2006

Bowling circles galore

The ivy league bowling event went fine. There was no air conditioning in the place so everyone clung desperately to their ice cold drinks trying to hide all the sweat. (This heat wave needs to end.)

At first, I sensed I was in a sea of young people. I overheard one person ask if they were '06 too and another say she graduated four years ago. My thought was "wrong place for me." They all looked like pretty normal people, so I wasn't as apprehensive about impressing anyone. Even though I knew I could do it, I was too uncomfortable to walk up and join in a random conversation with people who I did not know. I'm always impressed by those who can work a room of strangers with ease.

Cat Hair came a bit late. Later, I found out she hadn't been feeling that well all day. I was relieved to see her. Neither of us recognized any of the twenty plus people mingling. Surprisingly, the ratio was probably four women to each man. This would have been a like a buffet for any single guy. You would have predicted the turnout be the other way around considering all the tech companies nearby. Is this a bad sign for single gals?

The crowd grew substantially by 8pm. Cat Hair looked over my shoulder and said she recognized a woman behind me. She guessed her name was Ae or El. I looked behind, spotted someone I recognized and corrected her by adding, "no, that's Organic." As we walked towards the woman, I realized that we had identified two different women standing next to each other. The funny thing is that they came together. I had just had dinner with Organic the previous night. Al works with Chi, the friend through whom I met Cat Hair. What a strange world that each of us knew one of them.

Later, another woman recognized me. I briefly met Fern at a company where I interned at during grad school. She also happens to be good friends with my old boss and a grad school friend of with a colleague of mine. When I introduced her to Organic, they had several friends in common.

Fern was not ivy league either but had been invited by the organizer, FrenchD, because they are friends. When she told FrenchD that I swing dance, he mentioned that he's learning and has a female friend who dances quite a bit. At first, I couldn't recognize the name he said, but his description of her made me realize that it might be Suna. Sure enough, twenty minutes later, Suna tapped me on the shoulder. People joked about how I seemed to know everyone at the happy hour. I suppose it was a good feeling to know that I have the ability to network if I try more.

Degrees of separation are always entertaining. The world feels a little smaller every time it happens.

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