I still marvel at two food-related bizarre coincidences that happened a few years ago. In the spirit of the season I thought I’d share the joy that can come from talking to strangers:
Story 1: A Mother and Daughter Bakery-Based Reunion
A couple of days ago the lure of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco finally won me over. I stopped in for a croissant the moment they opened, knowing the butter would still be meltingly warm from the oven. The woman helping me asked if I wanted jam. The apricot did not particularly appeal, but after I commented that I wish I could have brought some great jam I had at home, she said by all means go get it.
The flaky abundant croissant fulfilled my food fantasies and I enjoyed every calorie, particularly with this Tayberry jam my sister had brought from Oregon. Immediately after my satisfying breakfast, I emailed my sister to tell her how I’d enjoyed pairing the jam with the croissant.
Yesterday she stopped by the maker of this jam at the farmer’s market in Oregon. While standing there she told her friend how I’d eaten this berry jam with a Tartine croissant. The jam maker’s reply: “My daughter makes the croissants at Tartine.”
Just writing that gives me chills. Here almost 400 miles apart, I had rushed home to get this jam made by the mother of the person who made the croissant I ate it with. If you didn’t believe in some kind of universe before this, maybe you do.
Or perhaps you’ll be convinced by this freakish incident: 5 years after croissant-gate, our families happened to be celebrating Christmas Eve at the same time at the same nearly empty restaurant in Los Angeles. It was truly a Christmas miracle and there was only one thing to do: connect.
While the following story has yet to produce such an epic “ending,” it only serves to reinforce the universal truth that we are all connected.
Story 2: The Sticky Bun Susie Sought Out Comes to Susie
One day I visited my favorite coffee house in San Leandro, CA called Zocolo. All morning I’d thought about the pecan sticky bun I’d had there, made by an artisan bakery. They were out. Crestfallen, I ate a bagel instead.
The next morning I found myself at Peet’s Coffee in San Francisco. After reading each section of the newspaper I handed them to the three young women sitting next to me.
One of them said: “You’re so kind to offer these. What can I give you in return? How about advice? Do you like pastries?”
Our information exchange about the most succulent baked goods flew. She told me about a nearby French bakery known for the most buttery pastries ever. There’s this great cafe in San Leandro, I explained, with the most heavenly pecan sticky buns. It turned out her husband worked nearby and she made a note to send him to the cafe to get her a sample.
“My sister works for a bakery” she said, pointing to the girl next to me. I asked what it was called. “Raison d’Etre” she replied.
This was the bakery that makes the very sticky buns I’d craved the day before.
“I have one in the car I can give you” her sister said. And we walked down the street. She opened a cooler, unwrapped a foil ball, and before me presented the genuine article: the pecan sticky bun of my quest.
As I dove in, we shook our heads in amazement at this bizarre coincidence.
On Being a Connector and Synchronicity
I just read a quote by Wayne Dyer that connectors often experience synchronicity / coincidences and are used to it. While I’m known as a connector I never get used to things as highly improbably as those I described above. Is this The Secret’s proverbial Law of Attraction at work (attracting delicious pastries to me)?
I’d love to hear your wildest synchronicity stories!