Way back in the 90's I was working at a law firm. One of my coworkers, a lovely woman named Denise, became my friend.
A year or so after I left the firm, she set me up on a blind date. She'd met the guy through an on line dating service; he wasn't a good match for her but she thought he'd be perfect for me.
So Phil and I began to chat on the phone and on line. He was divorced, with one son who was living with him. He was into Broadway theater, one of my passions. We seemed compatible.
On our first date he took me to an Italian restaurant in my neighborhood. (The last time I'd been there Jen was in diapers -- and embarassed her mom and dad by throwing a bowl of spaghetti at the man at the next table.)
So we're enjoying our pasta and Phil starts talking about Gilbert & Sullivan. How he's involved in a community theater company that performs Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.
And I'm getting this incredible feeling of deja vu, because Drew and his parents and sister love Gilbert & Sullivan, and were involved in a G&S group.
And Phil says to me "Most people have seen, or at least know of, the big three -- Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado. But most people can't name any of their other works."
I responded "You mean, like Iolanthe?" Drew had taken me to see Iolanthe.
I expected Phil to be impressed. But what he said next . . .
"Your last name is [name]? Are you Drew [name]'s ex wife?"
Small world, isn't it?
Even funnier, Phil and Drew shared a second "connection". Phil's ex wife Christa had been very close friends with Drew in high school.
We dated for awhile, nothing too serious. Broke it off, nothing too dramatic.
About 3 years ago Drew got involved in a G&S production and the friendship was renewed.
Phil remarried and moved to Pennsylvania.
I'm Facebook friends with Denise, never got around to "friending" Phil. The other day Denise responded to Phil's post and it showed up in my newsfeed. Phil was scared because he had to have heart surgery -- he referred to it as "tricky" surgery.
I showed the post to Drew.
So we weren't totally shocked when this morning Drew's sister called to tell us the sad news. Phil's condition had worsened. He died this morning.
He was 56 years old. Just a few years older than I am.
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