March 2, 2020

fellow bloggers, where were you 8/10/96 . . . I know where one of you was

Where to begin?  Well, if you haven't read my backstory to this amazing 6 degrees of separation (or in this case lots less than 6 - after you read this, you can do the math and tell me how many degrees it is, I'n confusd'd) you can read my last post as a beginning if you haven't yet -to bring you up to speed.  

Beyond that . . . 

April 30th 2019, I buzzed into my study to check my email in the middle of making breakfasts, packing lunches, and welcoming babies at drop off. 

That's when I got the most unexpected email EVER.  

It was from Kari at A Grace Full Life.  I had emailed her to ask her about where she lived in Chicago several weeks earlier.  I was using my blog email, but I told her to email me in the future at my 'real' email because I don't often check my blog email.  

I felt comfortable that she was good people, aka NOT friends with my awful neighbor Mary Ann - the one that Coach lives in fear will discover my blog and the true but damning stories I share about her.  So I let my blog guard down and revealed my ACTUAL last name without a second thought as it is part of my email address.  

I don't even remember when I first stumbled across Kari's blog.  I think I was clicking on blogs earmarked as awesome in other blogs that I read.  She left a hilarious (of course) comment on a blog that I clicked on and I decided to check her blog out.  I am guessing that it was around a year and a half ago.  So our little 'Where do you live in Chicago?' email exchange took place about 6 months after we had become blog-acquainted.  

Kari leads a double life as a detective, apparently, and she started to put a few things together.  She saw photos that I posted from my wedding in a post from October and something clicked.  Then she noticed that my last name from my email is the same last name as the dude that was the best man at her first wedding.  


Then she emailed me the email that I have here as a screen shot.  

When I read that she thought she attended my wedding, I was like, HUH? NO YOU DI-IN'DT!  Because I think there were a hundred or two hundred people at my wedding, but I feel confident that I KNEW who my guests were.  Am I alone here?

I emailed her back this:  

Me:  On Apr 30, 2019, at 7:10 AM -wrote:
My husband's name IS COACH What the what?! You were at my wedding.  . . who are you, masked-john-hughes-lover?  Or should I ask who were you married to? I feel like I was at all the weddings when COACH was a groomsmen. My curiosity is peeked?

These are some of my proofs - the Irish dancers
 at the top right.  In the middle is a glimpse
of Kari from a picture she is in with
 the other people at her table. 
Who'd a thunk it?
 Kari:  Also, did you have Irish dancers at your reception?? 

Well, now I had no doubt.  This woman who I randomly met through blogging WAS AT MY WEDDING AND MY RECEPTION and saw our little Irish dancers.

I returned to making lunches and unloading the dishwasher, but my mind was spinning.  Coach leaves for work before 5 am three days a week, but this day he was home.  I was waiting for him to come downstairs after his shower so I could ask him if he had ever been a best man in someone's wedding before we were dating (doubtful because we were young when we started dating), or while we were dating and I didn't attend.  

My memory is freaky, deaky amazing.  Coach - well, not so much.  So to ask him at 7 am to remember weddings he attended 24 years ago was like asking him to remember what he ate the first time we dined out and it wasn't fast food.  (see:  dating, young).

He wrinkled his nose and squinted his eyes like he was trying to see himself standing on an alter in a tux.  "Hmm, I don't know.  Did you go to Wagner's wedding?  Was I best man in his wedding?  I don't know.  I don't remember if I went.  How would I have gotten there?"  (see:  memory sucks, also - he can't recall how he arrived places and managed life prior to me arriving on the scene and taking care of, um - details.  Cute, right).

That's when I let out a huge GASP:  "OMG Coach her name is Kari Wagner Hoban.  She must have been married to Jay Wagner!"    

Coach's face now had that panicked is-Mary-Ann-gonna-find-out-you-blog look.  That:  wait-just-a-minute-here,-I-thought-you-told-me-this-blog-thing-was-anonymous! look.  

I was waving him off, who cares!  "Listen, Kari thinks she was at our wedding.  Was Jay at our wedding?  I don't remember him being there, do you?  Were you really best man in his wedding?  You must have gone to his wedding in Ohio with you parents."  

Coach:  I probably went with my parents, if you weren't there.  He got married the summer before us.  Was I his best man?  I guess so.  

Me:  He didn't have his brother as his best man?  I mean you guys were neighbors but were you that close?  You were a year behind him in school.  

Coach:  His brother was pretty young.  I guess I could've been his best man.  You didn't go though, huh?

Me:  No, I would've remembered.  (duh)  ANYWAY - I have been reading his ex-wife's blog.  She was at our wedding.  How freaking crazy is this?
Kari was in one of these pews!

Meanwhile, Kari and I emailed back and forth a million times that morning (as the chil'n I sit for sat in high chairs much longer than necessary and wiped food they didn't want all over their trays and their faces and threw it on the floor).  

Paraphrased snippets from our emails:

Kari:  Did you find me from Becky's Noodleroux blog?  She would love this story?  You even mentioned what high school you and Coach went to and I initially missed that clue (I now downgrade Kari from the detective that I recently gave her credit for being).  It's the same high school that my ex-husband attended.  
I half expect a little Kari cameo to pop
up behind us here like
 Forrest Gump in the
 movie when he pops up in the
 footage form the White House.

Me:  Possibly Noodleroux, or from No Wire Hangers Ever.  If Coach gave a speech at your wedding, then I would bet there were a fair number of 'um' sounds in there.  I said to Coach, how could we forget if Jay was at our wedding?  We said almost in unison:  Well, he is pretty forgettable.  Yikes.  

(insert sound of me running upstairs and digging through bins on the floor of my closet till I find my wedding proofs, flipping through the proofs - tiny shriek as I find the picture from the table Jay and Kari sat at).  

I texted her a photo of it.  More emails and text messages.  Lots of laughing out loud exchanges.  Me realizing that my mother-in-law borrowed the dress she wore to my wedding from her neighbor, who happened to be Jay's mom.  

Eventually we met for lunch.  If she lived closer to my neck of the woods in suburbia Chicago, I would like to get together more often.  If you haven't read her blog, you are missing out.  This is one hilarious chick, who had the foresight to attend my wedding in August of 1996.    

People, where the hell were the rest of you?  


Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so freaking hilarious! It's a SMALLWORLD after all. I love it all....especially since I love both you and Kari.
Coincidence? Serendipity? All of the above.
Do you think Kari was at Maryann's wedding too? ;)

I went back and read the post regarding your wedding/in-laws from 2018. Yikes....I had no idea that was what you were dealing with. I would just ignore the hell out of them even though I know that must be really hard. But, apparently, they are NOT going to change.

Ernie said...

Suz - HOW CRAZY IS THIS? I got nothing done the day Kari emailed me. I was just all a twitter going 'what the?!' It was too wild. Her ex husband grew up 2 doors away from Coach and sat in the backseat on our first date. Bah! Too much. I love Kari too and dang if only we lived a tad closer and could cross paths more often.

Yes, my in-laws are not the typical nutty in-laws brides find themselves rolling their eyes over. These people are super hard to explain. I officially washed my hands of them after they stepped in it a few times last summer. I used to call regularly and give them an update on the kids. Now I don't bother. I'm sure they wonder 'what happened?' Hmm? Coach understands but reminds me that they mean well. I get that, but someone should have told them a couple of decades ago to back the fuck off. They don't know their place. As God is my witness, I will be the most AMAZING mother in law.

And - Kari has encountered them - in small doses. Ha!

Charlie said...

How cool, I love this! What a brilliant coincidence! It’s amazing how many people we must have these types of connections to that we never find out about.

Now I would have loved it if we were both in NYC at the same time a couple of weeks ago and got to meet up. That too would have been pretty cool!

Kari said...

I love the precariously placed picture of me. It’s like I’m a little elf hiding out amongst your pictures.
I love this story so much.
We need to get together again soon. ❤️

Ernie said...

Charlie- It is an incredible story isn't. What are the chances that I would read her blog and that we would eventually ask each other Chicago related questions that would lead us here?! Yes, a New York meet up would have been great. I am hopping over the pond to go to Dublin early April for Curly to dance in World Championships - unless this crazy virus ends up shutting it down.

Ernie said...

Kari - Ha - that was my version of Forest Gump picture of you peeking out at all of us. Hee hee! We will be in town at the start of spring break before the girls and I head to Dublin. I am sufficiently freaking out about how much time I need to commit to my upcoming class. Starts March 9th for 8 weeks. I am too old to pull all-nighters.

Beth Cotell said...

How cool is this?????? I love a good It's-A-Small-World story!!!

But now is your husband really freaking out about everyone finding your blog?

Ernie said...

Beth- I do find it to be a one-in-a-million type deal.

The morning we put the pieces together, he literally froze in place and looked at me kinda wide-eyed. He calmed down when I told him that Kari assured me she would not be revealing my true identity.

Gigi said...

That is absolutely wild!!

Suzanne said...

Wow! What a small world!

Ernie said...

Gigi- You said it. It reminds me of a scene in a movie. Not sure what the rest of the movie would be about, but this part would be hilarious.

Suzanne- cue the Disney Small World music. The vibe in my kitchen that morning was hysterical.

Nicole said...

Wow, how cool is that! Such a small world!

Ernie said...

Nicole - Exactly - the world felt so much smaller after this!

Becky said...

This whole story is killlllling me! I'm glad you found each other and am especially thrilled if I played even a small role. It's a small world after all!

Ernie said...

Becky - thanks for stopping by and reading this story. How about it - evidence that the world is super small - at times. This whole thing continues to floor me.