Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Surfeit of Susans

Have you ever noticed how one or two names seem to clump in your life? Well, for me, it's Susans. While I didn't pick up on this for quite a while, lately it's become increasingly obvious. Granted, Susan is not a rare name, yet I attract Susans at a rate that far exceeds my associations with, say, Marys or Carols or Nancys. While I doubt I'll be able to discern the cosmic portent of this pattern—any better than I can interpret chicken entrails—it's certainly a curiosity.

The most obvious place this has manifested is among my history with lovers. Though no other name shows up on my life list twice, I've gotten together (what a nice euphemism) three times with Susans. While the first of that trio was back in the '70s (Susan Dean), the most recent two were back to back—Susan Lloyd (2000-2004) & Susan Patrice (2004), marking the point where my Susan-density was finally sufficient to pierce the veil of my obliviousness. (Though I wasn't consciously selecting amorously for Susans, it did offer the serendipitous benefit of making it less likely to call out the wrong name in the heat of the moment.)

While I've married a Ma'ikwe (the only one of those I know), Susans continue to abound in my life.
For example, my wife's last name is Ludwig. Back in 2004-2007 I conducted an eight-part facilitation training in the Rocky Mountain States. Amazingly, there was another Ludwig in the class. Her first name was Susan. (Now you might think, given the theme of this blog, that this suggests that I married the wrong Ludwig. Don't go there.)

Over at nearby Dancing Rabbit there is long-term member Susan Brown. For a time, she did proofreading for Communities magazine, for which I serve as Publisher and author a regular column. For a number of years, Susan Wright also lived at DR. She
handled FIC accounting and worked with me in the Fellowship's Missouri Office circa 2002-06.

Back in 2004, one of Sandhill's all-time favorite interns was Susie Phelps (and you can probably guess what name appears on her birth certificate). In 2007 we had a new member named Betsy who joined in the spring… and then left in the fall with her lover, (you guessed it) Sue. Sue liked Sandhill well enough, yet felt called to live nearer her mother in Holden, Missouri. while the couple moved down there and bought a house, they remain in Sandhill's outer orbit of friends.

Last fall, I agreed to work with a Prescott College student as a Mentor (in university argot, this is an official variety of adjunct faculty, who works with students one on one, often at a distance) for student-designed courses on "Group Dynamics: Facilitation, Conflict Resolution and Decision Making Processes" & "Intentional Communities: History, Philosophy, & Organizational Structures." Right up my alley. That student's name is Frank. How did I know this was the right thing to do? I had a sign. You see, her last name is Frank; her first name is Susan.

1 comment:

becca said...

I don't suppose you want to count peoples' middle names....

Becca Susan