The longer our relationship goes on, the more Becca and I see how the universe likes to throw us together. All kind of craziness has happened to confirm we are two peas in a pod, or possibly twins separated by birth…and age…and country…but clearly it’s a good thing we found one another online.
To illustrate the coincidences Becca and I frequently experience, here’s the tale of how we first met in person years ago. Enjoy!
In 2007, team Ackerman decided to take the family to Orlando for a week in Disney World. As fate would have it, Becca lives 2 hours from Orlando and so agreed to pop up for a visit. We decided to spend the day in Magic Kingdom.
I was pretty excited to meet her. Long before Becca and I started writing together, we were just two simple kidlit critique partners who seemed to “get” each other. This was a new thing for me, meeting online people in the real world. She sent me a picture and looked fairly normal–no extra head growing out of her armpit or anything. She told me she’d wear a red shirt and I said I’d wear a teal one. We’d meet near the castle at 10 am. Easy peasy, right?
Of course, as my family packed ourselves into the minivan for the drive to Disney, I started thinking about how huge Cinderella’s castle was. Statistics said that at that time of year, 30K worth of visitors hit the gates every day and I’d looked at Becca’s picture for all of 9 seconds a good month earlier. Would I remember what she looked like?
Then, to add to the fun, I realized I’d forgotten her cell number at the hotel. Cue panic.
As we deliberated on which way to reach Magic Kingdom (you can take 1 of 3 double-decker ferries, or take the rail tube system) I envisioned a day ahead of us waiting in different parts of the castle, missing each other completely. So, I grabbed a flyer from an info booth and started to write Becca’s name in BIG, BLOCKY LETTERS so I could hold it up if I needed to, like those limo drivers do at the airport. Yes, I would look stupid, but maybe it would help. Maybe.
We chose a ferry as our mode of travel, along with about 300 other people. My family and I were herded to the front (did I mention I had my inlaws along?) and I was all smiles, trying to not hyperventilate over this disaster about to unfold: crying kids at having to wait at a castle instead of exploring MK. Disapproving inlaws at my poor planning skills. Becca, frustrated, coming all this way and thinking I was a no show.
I glanced to the right. Perched at the end of a bench was a familiar-looking woman. She had a red shirt, hair, and no extra appendage growing out of her armpit.
Think about the odds. 30K of park visitors, 4 different choices for getting to Magic Kingdom…and Becca and I ended up 6 feet from one another, on the same freaking ferry. If that isn’t Fate, I don’t know what is.