This is one of those weird stories that has to be true because you couldn’t make it up. When my wife went to her high school reunion, I had a really good time, because as a spouse of a graduate, I didn’t know anybody and wasn’t expected to. When my high school reunion came up, she was keen for us to go because she wanted to be in that privileged non-combatant role at my reunion.
I wasn’t keen to go — I never liked these people when I went to high school with them and my wife was in an advanced stage of pregnancy with a baby that would wind up weighing 12 pounds, so I was reluctant — but she was insistent and so we went.
There was a couple who had been wanting to talk to me for 20 years.
When I was in high school, I didn’t drive. Our high school music teacher had scored free tickets for a concert, and when I picked mine up she told me that there was a girl who was willing to give me a ride to the concert. Being a practical young man, I wrote the girl’s name and phone number where I needed it. On the ticket.
As it happened, something came up (as it does with teenagers) and I couldn’t make the concert. I gave the ticket back to the teacher, and she gave it to somebody else. A young man. Who found the girl’s phone number on the ticket and called her. What the hell, they were both going to the concert anyway…
Yep. They got married soon after they graduated and they had been waiting 20 years to tell me. The weird thing about this story is not that we can have a profound influence on others’ lives. We all have a teacher, a relative, a friend who made our life different just by knowing them. The weird thing is that we can have a profound influence on other people’s lives without even knowing it, by doing something as innocuous as writing down a phone number.