Thursday, 15 September 2011


Bonjour mes belles,

Today something interesting happened to me.
As you know from the little description box, I am a communications student in Winnipeg. I was at school and I was becoming slightly frustrated because there is a public speaking engagement taking place in Minneapolis on October 14th (Fran herself, of course) and I desperately want to go, yet it appears that may not happen. I started off by posting status updates on facebook in attempt to garner interest and see if anyone wanted to accompany me. Once that proved unsuccessful, I began to talk about it more with my classmates. To my surprise, yet simultaneous expectation (if that makes sense), no one seemed overly interested in going with me. I grew increasingly desperate and called on a few friends who have dragged me along to such events as Kylie Minogue concerts in Montreal but again, no luck. This made me really sad because it kind of provoked the feeling of unfamiliarity and even isolation I experience at the realization that no one seems to like the things I like (this happens rather frequently when you become interested in bette midler and sewing lessons at the age of fourteen). Needless to say, it’s kind of an ongoing thing.
I left school thinking a lot about where I am, geographically, and if things will change in new york. I literally said to myself in my head “isn’t there anyone in Winnipeg who I can have discussions with, particularly, discussions about topics that I am legitimately interested in?”
I got on the bus and called my friend who we will call Beatrice. Beatrice is in her sixties and is another grandmotherly figure in my life. At the end of the conversation she asked me what the speakers name is again; the one I want to see.

“Fran Lebowitz.”

“How do you spell that darling?”

“, you know, Fran. And Lebowitz. L-E-B-O-W-I-T-Z.”
She agreed to look her up and we hung up the phone.
In the next minute or so, an older man sitting in front of me on the bus looked up.

“You like Fran Lebowitz?”

“Fran Lebowitz, are you a fan?”

I was in utter shock at his perfect pronunciation of her name-- he clearly was aware of who this was and all of the sudden, someone was speaking my language.
the book he gave me

“Yes! I love her, she is absolutely brilliant!”

“I agree. I read her first collection of essays, Metropolitan Life, a few years back.”

“I just ordered them in the mail, I can’t wait until they get to my house this week!”

“Nice to see someone young like you interested in a thinker like Fran. If you like her you should look into Sarah Vowell. I read a lot of her stuff too.”

“Do you read every day?”

“Every single day. If you don’t already have one you should get a library card. They have everything at the library and it’s a cheap way to continuously inform your mind.”

After this we continued to discuss various authors and books and he ended up giving me the book he had in his hands.

“I just finished it actually, provides a great sense of escapism. It’s yours.”

As he got off at an earlier stop and we went our separate ways, I experienced an overwhelming sense that I was supposed to meet this person. I had thanked him for talking to me, for bringing it up, and he said he enjoyed our conversation too. He joked that he works construction and trying to discuss literature and such figures as Fran is not really a success among the other guys. As I walked home I realized that my faith that there are people who care about the things I care about and who are willing to engage in informed and intellectually challenging discussion was restored.

What do you believe? I would love to hear any stories that come to mind or just general thoughts on coincidence as opposed to the notion of 'meant to be.' 


  1. Hey Kristy! This is the random girl you met at the Clinique counter some time back, and who randomly also has mutual friends with you on FB.

    Anyway, this is a very awesome occurrence, and I absolutely LOVE when these sorts of things happen to me. (I randomly met a professional musician by accident in Vienna this summer who is from Gimli, and has now lived in Europe for 30 years!) Out of curiousity, was the man you met on the bus very short, with gray hair and a mustache, and possibly wearing a fedora?

  2. I absolutely remember you. At the time I was interested in learning more about music so maybe our meeting was also supposed to happen, who the heck knows.

    Very cool that you met this musician so far away and they ended up being from somewhere so very close to winnipeg! Have you kept in touch?

    The man did not have a mustache but he had very blue eyes and grey hair and he was incredibly well spoken.

  3. I believe in that! Hey, and if you'd still like to learn more about music, let me know! :)

    Yes, we have! I'm (hopefully) moving to Vienna next fall, and this lady (as well as some other great people I met there this summer) are all people I update periodically and have already offered to help me find a place/work when the time comes. I was floored by strangers' kindness!

    Okay, maybe he doesn't have a mustache now, but I have a peculiar feeling that this is my music history professor, because the way you describe his speech is completely the way he talks, and he is one of the most brilliant and well-read people I know. (And his giving you a book randomly is something he would do, too.) I'll have to ask him! And I'll also look into this woman you're so passionate about - I love that you are so interested and moved by her words - I have to check it out!

  4. Great post, Kristy. Your run-in with the gentleman on the bus reminded me of an anecdote!

    I interviewed the incredibly smart, incredibly talented Josh Dolgin (aka Socalled) the other day, and he has a fondness for collaborating with a variety of people from all walks of life (see: a 95-year-old pianist or a young Iraqi rapper).

    I asked him, "Where do you find these people?"

    His response? "People are everywhere — you just have to talk to them."

    That man took a chance by talking to you; he could have just as easily remained silent. Perhaps it's never so random.

  5. Hey lovely. I read your blog post at 3 a.m. after a frightening dream. As I was reading it, my boyfriend came home from work and asked me what I was reading. Both of us are big fans of Fran... so we decided that we are probably going to go. Need a ride?


  7. Hello ladies,
    I have returned to answer comments in a more calm state of mind... as you imagine I was quite excited by Amy's post.
    I am so happy to hear that there are people that are going to help you in creating the life you want for yourself. How exciting that you are moving to Vienna. Much like the man spoke up to me, I am happy you left a comment because I would love to keep up with how things are going with you and the interesting characters you meet along the way.
    Maybe it was your prof, that would be very cool. He mentioned that he works constuction, however. Ask him anyway I am definitely curious to know.
    I am so glad you are going to take the time to research FL. I think you will find that her observations provoke thought and if nothing else, are absolutely hilarious. Let me know what you watch and read, I can also reccommend some great links.
    Thank you so much for reading.
    I am familiar with Socalled as I reviewed The Socalled Movie last year for the Uniter. You are lucky that you got to interview him, the quote you mentioned is very representative of the interesting perspectives he assumes on life and the funny things about it. The diverse collaboraters, to me, are very symbolic of his music as it too works to unite a wide array of genres, all incredibly different. The thing I remember most about him was his analysis on being in the world. Through voiceover at the end of the film he says something to the extent of
    "when you look at the world, the creativity, and the people in it... it's like, how could you not want to be a part of that?"
    Simple yet incredibly profound and for most, very true.
    Your comment about the man taking a chance made me think about the concept of 'meant to be' in an entirely different way. After contemplating the way you spoke about it, I am beginning to think that we all do have something to offer one another and I can see the importance of letting it be known, if that makes sense.
    Thanks for reading everyone!

  8. Lots of great discussion here. Love it!

    You might increase the font on your posts, so old folks - like me! - can better read your words o' wisdom.

  9. Thank you so much for the advice and for taking the time to read Kenton. I am still getting used to this crazy blog thing so any help is very much appreciated. I will definitely increase the size of the font!