Even though Ricky Gervais confessed last week to James Lipton on INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO that "serendipity" is his least favourite word and that Brits toss it around willy-nilly, I think it applies in this case. Debby saw the Pringles of Scotland video I posted here on my blog and had a good laugh. Then she ....well, just go read her account here.
See? Serendipity, "the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way." I also learned that the word originated in 1754 with Horace Walpole in his fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.” Huh. Cool beans.
Of course, when I hear the word serendipity I think back to the first meeting I attended at my local Camera Club. After the meeting, I joined the group at our local pub (where the "real" meeting takes place, I was told.) I was trying to remember names and really only knew one person. I don't do well in cocktail party type situations, but it was a friendly group so as we stood around in small clusters and chatted, I started to relax. The club consists mainly of men; some are retired and pursue photography as a hobby while others are young and artsy and doing it as a profession.
Patrick definitely fit into the artsy category, with a scraggly beard and relaxed fashion sense. As our small group discussed the difficulty of getting just the right shot at the right time, Patrick would occasionally lean into the circle and emphatically growl, "Serendipity! That's what it takes. It's just serendipity, people!" It's pretty much all he contributed, over and over, which was still more than I could add to the conversation. At one point our little group dispersed, which left me with my new friend Patrick. He turned to me, leaned in close, and pointed to my pendant.
"Thas is really nice. What is that? Ish that an aquamarine?"
"No, it's a-"
"Is it a sapphire?"
"No, it's a-"
"Is it an amethyst?"
I waited for the next question, but he just stood and stared.
"It's a blue topaz," I said.
More silence, as Patrick scratched his beard and stared at the pendant and absorbed this bit of information. Then his face turned dark. "Blue topaz? Blue topaz?! I HATE blue topaz!"
Okay doke. I excused myself and hurried off to find my friend. I asked about this Patrick guy and it turns out he isn't even in the Camera Club, he was just some random guy getting tanked up at his neighbourhood bar and he simply joined in our conversation.
And he has an aversion to blue topaz.
And a fondness for the word serendipity.