Hairdressers and Coincidences

What are coincidences?  Are they truly random events that have a personal meaning to us so that we connect two events and think “Oh wow! What a coincidence”? Or as my mathematician friends will undoubtedly say, is there a statistical probability that two seemingly random events will overlap at a specific time? I don’t even know if that syntax is correct. But the math people will know what I mean.  Other people will say it is fate or the hand of God.


All I know is that I had a doozy on Saturday.

true story bitmojiHairdressers, bartenders and therapists have a lot in common.  I wonder what would happen if a person’s hairdresser, bartender and therapist got together to swap stories.  Had they all heard the same story? Because, face it, with all three of the above, we say way more than we would if we were talking to anyone else in our lives.

On Saturday morning, I went to the hairdressers.  I absolutely hate to be touched, unless I’m in control of the touching, so I always cut my own hair. Somewhat successfully, if you squint while looking at me. the struggle bitmoji I don’t even remember when I last went to a hairdresser or salon.  Oh, maybe when I was recovering from shoulder surgery and couldn’t do my hair myself.


Without an appointment, I went to a Super Cut in a strip mall in my town.  I knew they would be fast and it wouldn’t be too expensive.  It wasn’t the money that bothered me, but if I had an expensive stylist, they would probably touch my hair longer.

I was right; the wait wasn’t long.  A woman, who was about my age, walked up to greet me as her client was leaving.  The other hairdressers were all attending to other people.  She seemed very nice and was chatting away to me while putting the towel and plastic cape around my neck and shoulders.  She mentioned that she was supposed to be in Alaska for a niece’s wedding but was unable to go, so she was working as usual.  If you live in New York, you can probably count the number of people you know who have ever been to Alaska on one hand.  And the people I know who have been, have gone on cruises.

baby meI told her that I was born in Alaska.  She said that she was born in Alaska.  WHAT???

I said I was born in Anchorage.  She said that she was born in Anchorage.officers barracks elmendorf afb 1954

I said that I was born at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

She said that she was born at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

We were getting glances from the other clients.  We did not share the same birthday, but other than that, this is the mother of all coincidences.  The confluence of events that caused me to procrastinate about getting my hair done until the last minute before a TV taping, of all things.  That I dodged into this salon instead of the more “upscale” one that I thought I was going to have to endure. The fact that this woman did not go to her niece’s wedding in Alaska and felt the need to share that information. That of the four women working there that day, this particular woman was done with her previous client just as I was the next person waiting.

All of these events led to a meeting and a conversation between two women whose fathers were stationed at Elmendorf AFB, just outside of Anchorage, Alaska, in the early to mid-1950s and were born at the same hospital.  And this meeting took place in a hair salon in Putnam County, NY in 2016.  I told her the short version of my life story and she told me hers.  Random? Fate? Hand of God?

Hairdressers and coincidences.  A great combination.

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About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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34 Responses to Hairdressers and Coincidences

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wow, it really is a small world. What a wonderful coincidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had many deja vus throughout my life. A certain conversation I have, a place I’m visiting, or an event occuring that I’m 95 per cent sure has taken place in the past. Some say there are so coincidences (namely John Edwards), but I think otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      I’ve read that deja vu is because one side of your brain processes an event a nanosecond before the other side. I don’t know if this is true or not, but seems plausible. Thank you for reading and commenting on this blog!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. A hairdresser, a bartender and a therapist walk onto an Air Force base in Alaska. You finish it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bea dM says:

    Love this! I’ve had lots of crazy ones in the most unusual circumstances. I actually developed a “feel” for when something bizarre like this was going to happen, but that was when I was doing lots and lots of Buddhist chanting. Yup. I’ll just leave it at that, ’cause I’m a very rational person…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Almost Iowa says:

    In many ways, this is all very natural. Notice how the process worked? The hairdresser mentioned a fact and you drew a connection, both of you then worked to draw more connections. It is not the connections that are important but rather that we work to connect ourselves to others. It says something about us – something wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Paul says:

    Wow! Hand fo God, definitely. I bet you go back to this hair salon again in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love these serendipitous moments. I feel that it is the Universe/ God attempting to teach us something, and I should pay close attention. PS Thanks for the follow!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Elle Knowles says:

    Reblogged this on Finding Myself Through Writing and commented:
    You run across all kinds of people on WordPress and is it a coincidence or fate, or the hand of God? Barbara wonders this as I do. I’m just glad we found each other, sharing the same last name, though probably not related, and sharing some Alaska roots. How many times do these coincidences crop up in your life? Thanks for finding me Barbara! ~Elle


  9. Pingback: Alaska Tugs At My Soul | saneteachers

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