Eventhough I was born in FL, since I grew up in Prince George’s County, MD, I’ve always claimed MD as my home. In 2007, after being away for college, grad school and then for work my then job transferred me back to the area. Until then, I had never realized that the DC area was so small.
It’s as if everytime I go out I run into the same people. Don’t know what it is but whether it’s to a restaurant, lounge, various happy hours, fundraisers, professional meetings, I run into the same circles of people all of the time. We may not know each other by name but we know each other by face and 9 times out of 10 we know some of the same people. As soon as we chat, we find out we both know the same person. Then it’s inevitable someone says “It’s a small world.”
In college, although we had 13,000 students it felt like a small town where everybody knew everybody. The same is true in DC. It’s seems almost impossible to meet someone new, unless they’ve just moved to the area.
My most recent small world experience happened about 2 weeks ago when I met this guy at a happy hour. We’d talked a few times and even though he was also from MD our conversations never turned up that we knew any of the same people. Last week he ended up meeting me at an event and two out of three of my girlfriends who were there knew him. Who knew we were connected? Glad he didn’t date either of them because that would have been awkward.
There’s a very small circle of “young black/urban professionals” who live in this area. I’ve come to realize that if someone’s in the 25-35 age range, went to an HBCU, or is from some where in the DMV, chances are we know the same people. They say there are 6 degrees of separation but in my world there are much less, I’m thinking more like 2 degrees. I’m getting used to the fact that everybody knows everybody, but I don’t know how I feel about it.