Who needs a dating agency?

After a decade of batchelor-hood in my 20's I joined a dating agency and through them met my wife (circa 2000). The agency actually broke their normal rules of matching people locally and paired us up even though we lived 120 miles apart. I was working (and always had - from 1991) in Ipswich, having grown up in a small village in the highlands of scotland. She spent early childhood in Glasgow but was soon moved to Corby (Northhamptonshire) where she grew up and still was (from about 1974 onwards). The dating agency (old style paper-based) matched us up and, to cut a long story short, we got engaged. This of course triggered more interest from the rest of the family. What we actually discovered was that my wife's uncle, still in Glasgow, knew of me, working 600 miles away, and of my family in the Highlands. i.e. he could pin-point who I was in his knowledge of friends and acquaintances. (I on the other hand, didn't even know he, or my wife's family, existed). Here's the chain of connection. Her uncle, "G" always worked for BT as an engineer in Glasgow (70's onward?). I also worked for BT in R&D since 1991. This in itself is not a surprising co-incidence - BT is so large that a fairly sizeable proportion of the working population has worked for them. However, this same fact means that few people within the company know each other. At one point it was 250,000 employees all over the UK - generally employees only know their local colleagues. G's knowledge of who I was came through the knowledge of my family. He was best friends with the McH's in glasgow, who regulalry visited an old crofter, "R", in the village where I grew up and where my parents live - up in Highlands: Roy Bridge. They visited him for their holiday every year once or twice a year. Now, R was/is also a longstanding good friend of my parents (and me) ever since they moved there in '74; so being a small community, the McH family are practically part of it. We all knew each other fairly well and a lot of community activity revolves around the local church. As a result of this, back in Glasgow, G (good friend of the McH's) was aware of Roy Bridge life and the involvement particularly of my family, as my mum was local teacher, church organist etc. I'm sure many a dram was enjoyed in Glasgow talking about holidays had and people met by the McH's when they went on their usual holiday. Consequently G would have known about the existence of my family, who we were very active in the community. It doesn't seem remarkable when you follow that chain, but when you look at it from "the outside in", which was my perspective, it looks like this: A "random" set of people all over the UK join a dating agency. The agency breaks their rules and match two people who would normally live too far apart. These people grew up at opposite ends of the country. I have no prior knowledge of my wife or her family or family history. So then when the family learns of our engagement, my wife's uncle, who lives 600 miles away from me, basically says "I work for the same company and I know who you are". From that angle it is/was most surprising!
Total votes: 793
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:33:25 +0000Coincidence ID:3330