Six degrees of separation. It has always fascinated me.
And if I understand this theory correctly, when we meet someone new we’re only six friends — or fewer acquaintances — away from someone we already know. In other words, it’s a small world after all.
I like to test this “human web” theory when we travel on vacation.
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Within minutes of meeting a new acquaintance, they find themselves under scrutiny. But with my interrogation — one that often occurs in Mexico — there’s no bare light bulb in a dimly lit room. Instead, the beads of perspiration develop under the hot sun.
I like to ask “just one more thing” at poolside.
On one occasion my husband, Bill, and I were basking in the shade of a pool umbrella when a middle-age sunbather joined us.
Within minutes, he stripped down to his swim shorts and then we probed about his past. He confessed to being from our hometown and that through “a friend of a friend” we were connected.
Ah ha! Three degrees of separation.
Another time, we stumbled over a couple at our resort who was trying to make a getaway to dinner in their rental car. A quick hello, and the fact that we tenaciously held onto their passenger door, had us dining with them in town. Needless to say, we always get our man — or woman — and before the evening was over, we had uncovered their connection with Bill’s former boss in California.
Bingo! Two degrees of separation.
This past week in Cabo San Lucas, a young Mexican woman on staff at a marina restaurant made the mistake of approaching our table. Yes, she’d once lived in California, Laura admitted. And yes, she and her husband now lived with their child near the warm Sea of Cortez.
Intrigued, I dug deeper for our link. The mystery was solved when I learned she’d had an encounter with someone I knew personally.
“I wanted my little girl’s name to be biblical,” Laura acknowledged, "so we named her Elizabeth. I’m a Christian,” she went on to confess, “and I have a relationship with Jesus.”
Yahoo! One degree of separation.
Turns out He is my best friend, too.