I never do this. I never leave campus on Thursdays during the hour gap between my class and my office hours. I always pick up a cup of soup at an on-campus cafe, head directly to my office, and check my email until office hours begin. But last Thursday when I walked out of class, I had a thought I couldn't shake:
With each step I took, I grew more convinced that I needed to go. Yes, I would break out of my Thursday rut! Yes, I would leave campus! Yes, I would eat waffle fries! Yes, I would get back to my office in time for my first appointment!
What I didn't see coming in the face of all those yeses, however, was one no. When I was driving back to campus with the aroma of fried chicken filling my car, and the car in front of me stopped, did I notice?
That's the no.
Or, at least, the "kind of." In other words, I noticed enough to avoid a crash, but not enough to avoid some light bumper-to-bumper contact.
We both pulled over into the nearest parking lot. She got out of her car first, and in the midst of apologies and are you okay's?, she checked her back bumper, looked from me to it, and said, "I really don't see anything. What are we supposed to do exactly? Exchange information?"
I regarded her entirely intact, scratch-free bumper with relief and nodded. "Sure, let me give you my contact information. I'm headed back to campus now."
And that's what sparked the conversation: the mention of campus. She was headed there, too, where she helped her husband, who worked as a rabbi with a Jewish group on campus. I shared that my husband has worked in campus ministry for years, too. So there we stood, passing out contact information, the wives of a Jewish rabbi and a Christian minister.
It was almost the start of a joke, but then it got even better when she unknowingly uttered the punch line as we parted ways, "I hope we run into each other again!"
"Wait!" she laughed and corrected herself, "Given the circumstances, those are the wrong words! I meant, I hope we see each other again!"
And as they'd say at Chick-fil-A, I simply responded, "It would be my pleasure."