Better than a single serving friend!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/18 11:16 -04:00, original URI:

Maybe a little technical with some language stuff though mostly personal, some may prefer to skip!

It was back on Monday when I posted Better than an elevator friend, but... and talked bout n interesting flight down to San Jose where I apparently had met what johnw (crediting Fight Club) in a comment called a 'Single Serving Friend':

To give credit to Chuck Palahaniuk's Fight Club: You call them "Single Serving Friends".

"Everywhere I travel, tiny life. Single-serving sugar, single-serving cream, single pat of butter. The microwave Cordon Bleu hobby kit. Shampoo-conditioner combos, sample-packaged mouthwash, tiny bars of soap. The people I meet on each flight? They're single-serving friends. "

This was an excellent suggestion that really captured what I was trying to express, the thing that I had no word or term for.

Of course it proved to be unnecessary!

Waiting for the flight home, I had been listening to music but none of the songs seemed right just then. In a mood that I could not really define, on my way home from the 31st Internationalization and Unicode conference knowing I was voluntarily missing the Unicode Technical Committee meeting and that I did not attend the first day even though I was right there with them co-located with my conference.

I ran through the usual suspects (Aimee, Kathleen, Fiona, Vienna, Liz, Matthew, Elliott, et. al.), but no luck. None of the songs were singing to me just then, just at me. If you know what I mean. I took off the headphones and just decided to wait.

Then, out of nowhere, my toxicology comrade walked right up to me!

She started by apologizing for walking off without saying goodbye (but no worries there truly. She was just very focused on getting out of the airport and to be honest she probably didn't even notice I wasn't behind her until she was well inside the airport -- like that scene at the end of The Devil Wears Prada when Anne walks off the job).

I had to mentally adjust things for a moment there, I had put her in that single serving friend category and figured I'd never see her again and all. :-)

But then we just started talking, almost right where we left off (though we were kind of random then so I guess we were just random again and any apparent continuity was just an illusion of associative linkage!).

Seemed like we were both "on" and the jokes were funny. Mine were mostly not new though they were to her, and the vice versa may have been true but they were funny anyway so I didn't mind.

Unicode comrade Asmus Freytag even walked up and after I dissuaded him from calling me a VIP he decided I must be a VIE (very important entity). He walked off before I could introduce them, though I did have to explain that he wasn't actually being insulting with the whole VIE tack or anything. :-)

I mentioned to her that I even wrote about our encounter in my blog and explained how she had dashed the whole single serving friend notion.

"Is that a personal blog?" she asked, curious. I guess I don't seem like the LiveJournal type (which is a good thing if you ask me).

"No, it is a professional one. Though I post a lot so I add the odd personal post now and again."

She asked if I had a card and since I did have a few left, now she has one. She may even read this post at some point, at which point I have no idea what category she would be in yet somehow I'm not worried.

Through random chance, she turned out to not be a single serving friend, and I have no terminology worries now as this seems to have become far more conventional....


This post brought to you by (U+1944, a.k.a. LIMBU EXCLAMATION MARK)

John Cowan on 18 Oct 2007 12:00 PM:

A coincidence is what we call a piece of design that we don't yet see the point of.

And obviously she didn't think of you as a SSF.

Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Oct 2007 12:48 PM:

I admit to being a fairly agnostic sort most of the time, and given the circumstances (neither knew when a return flight was happening for the other) the odds were against ever seeing each other again. I am reasonably certain that a dev geek and a scientist both might really see nothing but coincidence here.

I'm not complaining either way, mind you.

Though I am pretty sure she figured the same thing after we had last "parted" -- a better way to spend some time on a plane....

Besides, if someone/thing really had some design or intent here, there would have been an upgrade available for me!\ :-)

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referenced by

2011/01/24 The single serving [girl]friend that almost was

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