Apparently it’s National Serendipity Day today. Cause there’s a day for everything now, so why not?
August Writing Prompt #18 reads “August 18th is National Serendipity Day. Tell me about something spontaneous you’ve done.”
I once had friend tell me if she ever had a daughter she was going to name her Seren. Short for Serendipity. I don’t remember who the friend was and I currently have no friends with daughters named Seren, so either I’m no longer friends with this person, she doesn’t have a daughter, or she changed her mind.
Anyway. I looked up serendipity because I was pretty sure that it didn’t mean spontaneous. It doesn’t. Its meaning is more along the lines of “happy accident”. Which now that I think of it, would be a pretty great name for a “surprise” baby.
From the Oxford Dictionary:
But it doesn’t really matter, since the event I’m going to tell you about was both spontaneous and serendipitous.
When I was 18, one of my friends came by my house and said his step dad was driving to Montreal (this being one of the biggest cities in Canada, about 2 hours away from where I lived) and we could all get in the back of his van and go there for the night, hit all the clubs, stay at his friend’s place in Montreal and then take the bus home the next day. I decided to go. This was a very spontaneous thing for me, because I followed rules always. And picking up and going to Montreal on a whim didn’t seem like a the right thing to do. Trips like that needed to be planned well in advance.
Oh, and when I say van, I don’t mean mini-van. I mean one of those 70s like vans (even though it was the 80s) with no seats or seat belts in the back where you sit on the bumps made by the wheel wells. Or on the floor. Like this, only not even remotely as nice. So closer to this. But not that bad. There were 3 or 4 of us in the back of the van I think.
So after surviving the drive to Montreal in the seatbeltless death mobile, we went to meet up with the friend. And we never found him. This was in the age before mobile phones so when multiple trips to pay phones turned up nothing after an hour or so, we just decided to go hit the clubs anyway and figure out sleeping later. We were going to be up until 2 am anyway, so maybe we’d just hop on a bus and go home then.
Club, club, club, drinks, shots, etc.
2 am. Turns out there are no buses leaving for home until somewhere around 9 the next morning. And you can’t just hang out at the bus station for 7 hours because it’s like closed. And locked.
Between the 3 or 4 of us, we have enough money to take the bus home, but not enough money to get a hotel for the night. Sleeping on the streets of Montreal was not all that appealing. After standing at the bank machine trying to essentially will blood from a stone (you know, get money from an account with zero dollars in it), I turn around, and behind me in line for the machine is a guy I went to high school with. Actually this was a guy who helped out coaching my basketball team. So after all the “hey, what are you doing heres?” we find out that this guy and his friend have a hotel room for the night, and of course we can crash there. Boom. Serendipity. Also, they have more booze in the hotel room. Double serendipity.
So we crashed there and took the bus home the next day. Spontaneity and serendipity all in one day!