Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kinship

I was at the inspection for a house that I had just sold in my neighborhood.  This meant sitting for two hours in the home while the inspector did his work; not something I was looking forward to.

When I got to the house, the man, “Jeff,” was also just arriving. Once he started to work, and we bantered about a little, we quickly found that we had both graduated at around the same year in the same part of the city suburbs as each other.

We talked about growing up there, the movies we used to see, the theaters and burger stands we used to frequent, and we even discovered that at about the same time, we had developed a greater than normal appetite for mountain climbing, and subsequently, both having laid off of it for the past few years.

It turned an obligated afternoon into fun reminiscences.  And it got me to thinking afterwards why it is that people relish having common histories.  I guess it’s obvious that it validates one’s own sense of who they are to hear common stories and situations told back to them.

But I also think that the longer you go in life, the more dispersed everyone becomes on this planet.  Therefore, those people you shared things with become less and less encountered.  Meeting someone with a common personal history that afternoon made me feel, …well…, not alone.  It was a good feeling and a delightful surprise.