Number One Son is a nuclear engineer. He's decided to spend a couple years working at the local Navy base in the field of nuclear engineering before pursuing grad school. Right now he is facing a lot of training at the base before he begins the actual task of engineering--nuclearly.
He came home today and told me that one of his training instructors knows Hubby and me. Instructor went to high school with my brother, was acquainted with me, and met Hubby through me.
This description could fit any number of friends my brother and I had in school.
"I think his name might be Rick or something like that?" Number One helpfully added.
Still not enough information for me to narrow it down much. But then he tacked on this detail: "Oh yeah," Number One remembered, "he mentioned that until a couple years ago, our families used to exchange Christmas cards."
Ohhhhhh. That guy.
None other than my high school sweetheart, Eric.
I dated Eric off and on (mostly on) starting when I was still in junior high (okay, we weren't "dating" at that time so much as we were going steady) until I met my sweet hubby after I finished high school. That's practically a marriage in teenager terms.
Eric's family moved back to Connecticut a week after he graduated and from there Eric joined the Navy. During his time in boot camp, I met and got engaged to Hubby. But, lonely for his roots, Eric had kept up contact with my parents and brother a bit, even after I married someone who wasn't him.
Twenty years later, Eric retired from the Navy and, with his wife and son, moved back to western Washington where he took a job at the Navy base. I had no idea what that job was until today during the conversation with Number One Son.
What a coincidence that after all the years of traveling around the world--and with all the choices of jobs he could have had--he ended up standing in the same room with my grown son as an instructor.
Hubby, having been present during this whole conversation, made some snide remark about Eric. I think that's the required reaction for a husband when the subject of his wife's ex comes up--no matter how far in the past it lies.
After Hubby poked some gentle fun at me, I said that Eric was a nice guy and generally a good person. Number One agreed that he seems like he's nice guy.
And I didn't mention it to Number One, but I silently thanked Eric for having been tactful and gentlemanly in the way he said he knew Number One's parents and went to school with Number One's uncle. He could so easily have stated things differently to Number One. Like,
"Yeah, I know your dad. And I never thought he was good enough for your mom."
"When I was already feeling the most vulnerable, your mother broke my heart."
"Your mom is Kristin? Yeah, I tapped that."