"With the certitude of a true believer, Vellya Paapen had assured the twins that there was no such thing in the world as a black cat. He said that there were only black, cat-shaped holes in the universe."
-- Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Well That Was Fast! - Finding Amy Spear

El mundo es un pañuelo.

I have always preferred the Spanish version for the saying, “It’s a small world.”   It’s so much more poetic.  And this week, I can truly say that el mundo es un pañuelo.  The world is indeed a handkerchief.

Three days ago, I wrote on my blog about things that are lost and things that are found.  I posted a story about a student ID card from 1985 that I found under my dorm room bed in 1996, and still have in my possession today.  And I pleaded with my readers to find the girl named Amy Spear who lived in my Jester dorm room ten years before I did and help me reunite her with her lost ID.  I even promised homemade cookies to the person who found her for me.

I thought it would make a good story.  I thought it might stir up some fun discussions and speculations.  I expected some half-hearted Googling and a few good leads.  At best, I considered that someone might find this woman and contact her, only to be disappointed that she never wrote back.

What I did not expect was to get a Facebook friend request from Amy Spear less than twenty-four hours after posting the story.

My husband often tells me that he should write my blog because he has a different take on the stories I tell.  (I say go ahead, but he’s yet to make good on his threat.)  I can sit here and serenely describe how, at that moment, I felt an undeniable connection with the universe, and how I could not wait to learn the details behind that little notification on my computer screen.  But if Mark were writing this, he would tell you how he heard squealing coming from my office.  “AAA!  Oh my God!  Mark!  Mark!  AMY SPEAR JUST SENT ME A FRIEND REQUEST!  I feel like hiding under my desk.  I feel like she can see me through my computer.  Am I crazy?”

Of course, Mark lies, which is why you should never believe anything he writes about me.

It is true though, that I am now Facebook friends with Amy Spear, who slept in the same little Jester dorm room that I did, ten years before me.  How did it happen?  It was pretty simple, really.  My friend Bruce read my blog, did some Googling, and saw a connection between a woman he thought might be Amy Spear and his friend Missy.  Bruce contacted Missy.  She did not know Amy Spear, but she passed on the information to her friend Julie, who has the reputation of knowing “everybody in Texas”.  And it must be true, because Julie knew Amy Spear, who lives in Houston, just two and a half hours away from me.

It turns out that after eighteen years of carrying around her ID, Amy Spear and I were only four degrees of separation apart.  And this coming Saturday, I’ll be driving to a coffee shop near Houston to meet her and give her back a memento from her college days.

El mundo es un pañuelo.

I can’t wait to talk to Amy, find out what her UT experience was like, hear about her life today, see her reaction when I hand over this little piece of plastic she lost so long ago.  But I’ll have to think about that later.  Right now, I’ve got to finish baking these cookies for Bruce.  I swear, that guy will do anything for food.

[Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion to this story!]


  1. In all honesty, Carie, you had done enough of the legwork that I just had to connect the dots. It was pie, or in this case, cookie, from there. I wanted to help you more than I want the cookies, but I'll definitely take the cookies too!


    1. A promise is a promise, Mr. Chang! But you have to share the cookies with your wife. Even if she didn't help at all.