So remember that whole ‘coincidence’ post from a couple of months ago? The one where weird names kept coming up in clumps after an absence of thirty-some years? Or an author I learn about for the first time then presents himself in an e-mail from a totally unrelated third party? And I recognize that an actress I see on tv must be the daughter of Meryl Streep, because of the uncanny resemblance, and almost simultaneously the girl is being quoted in a magazine article I was reading during the commercials… Yeah—those coincidences.
Get ready. It’s happened again. And again.
A few weeks ago, my husband, the Center of the Universe (CoTU) and I were watching an episode of American Pickers. If you’re not familiar with it, let me say that two guys from Iowa (Mike and Frank) drive around in a big van, looking for the ultimate yard sale. Actually, most of the time they find people who’ve been collecting stuff for years, and have buildings just chock full of old collectibles. Mike and Frank buy the stuff to sell in their shop, or to customers they’ve developed over the years. Back at the shop, Danielle finds them leads, and manages to hold the fort while the guys are on the road.
CoTU and I get a big charge out of seeing what they find, and watching them arrive at a deal with the sellers. CoTU didn’t want to watch it at first, probably because we are both such pack rats, and this hits a little close to home. Hey, at least we’re not on Hoarders. I had to persuade him that since the show is on The History Channel, it must be vaguely educational. Anyhoo…
On this particular day, Mike and Frank were on the road, and Danielle was actually taking a little vacation to New York. The guys had convinced her to take something with her that they bought on an earlier ‘pick’. It’s a papier-mâché model of a cat from the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park. Ultimately, Dani (like we’re BFFs now) meets with the widow of the sculptor (he was Jose de Cleeft, she is Lorrie Goulet) and arranges to have the cat displayed in a New York museum, where there’s a current show of Goulet’s work. This was all so very cool. Dani meets artist, artist sees cat, cat vacations on display. Nice.
But back to my story. So I may be a little old Midwesterner, but I’ve been to New York numerous times, and have also been to Central Park many times. I have never, let me repeat that for emphasis (why else would I repeat it?), NEVER seen or heard of the Alice in Wonderland sculpture. Don’t know why. I’m sure that if my relatives really did love me they would have taken me to see it when I visited them in New York. But alas, I was quite surprised to learn of its existence.
The very next day (cue the Twilight Zone theme music) I was reading a book that I had heard about on (what else) NPR. Fresh Air, to be exact. It’s called “What Happened to Sophie Wilder”, by Christopher Beha. On page 118, Sophie and her husband are walking in Central Park, and stop at the Alice in Wonderland sculpture. They have a major heart-to-heart there. “Hmm,” I thought. “That’s funny, coming just a day after I first heard about the sculpture.”
Fast forward less than a week. Done with “Sophie Wilder”, on to “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. (Amazing, by the way.) Yep. Page nineteen! I’ve barely cracked the spine of the book, and Nick is growling about Amy expecting him to remember that it’s a favorite of hers since childhood.
This is all pretty ‘woo-woo’ if you ask me. Three slaps in the face with the same reference within a single week. I’m not sure I believe in coincidence, but I do believe in Alice. At least now I do. I keep dreaming of tea parties and going down the rabbit hole. Or maybe that was the political conventions…