In West Virginia, everyone knows everyone else. Almost any time I left the house I ran into someone I knew. And I never just knew anyone from any one place. My kids went to school with our vet's kids. Sam played hockey with a kid who's dad SOB worked with. We ran into people from hockey at dance class. The grocery store was like a freaking social club. And this made us a little uncomfortable. We lived a life of semi-urban anonymity for over a dozen years, so even after two years of living in Mo-town, we still hadn't gotten used to the small town-ish-ness of things.
We had hoped that moving back to a city we'd get back to a life of not knowing anyone and everyone we happened to encounter. So far, that doesn't seem to be the case. SOB is having a particularly tough time because he is in a similar line of work as his father, who formerly worked at the hospital where SOB is currently working. Even though it was almost 30 years ago, there are still people there who remember his dad, and he gets asked about it several times a week.
I haven't really been that effected by this phenomenon until today. I went to the gym we have here in the apartment complex, and there was an man there just finishing up. He was maybe a few years older than my parents, and was a chatty type. After some pleasantries, we somehow got to talking about our living situation, and he asked where our new house was. Turns out his sister is going to be our neighbor.
AND she is SOB's colleague.
Turns out gym man was neighbors with my grandparents until about three months ago. That my great aunt helped care for his mother when she was ill. That my grandfather might have helped to coach his little league team. The man who bough his house is the man who will buy my grandparents' house when they are no longer with us. The same guy has been buying up all of the houses within their small neighborhood, probably to eventually level them and expand his junk yard.
Maybe SOB has the right idea.