The thought of meeting our future spouse when we were deep in our awkward teen years actually makes us nauseous. 13-year-old us, with a mouthful of braces and unfortunate-looking crimped bangs would definitely have sent any future soul mates running. So this story about a married couple discovering they almost had a run-in 16 years before they met is both adorable and alarming.
If you want to know what fate looks like, it looks like a scrawny 13-year-old with big glasses walking in front of a camera and ruining precious family memories, aka Ryan Spencer of Scotch Plains, New Jersey.
Ryan and his wife Jourdan were watching old family movies when they came across a shocking sight. In a 1988 home video taken at a water park, Jourdan's parents were waiting for her to come down a water slide when suddenly a little boy walks into frame.
"I was kind of joking around and said, ‘Wow, that looks like me,'" Ryan, now 40, said in an interview with ABC News. "And sure enough, that was me."
That means the couple just barely missed each other a full 16 years before they met on a blind date. Now Jourdan and Ryan have been married since 2007 and have three children.
"We did a complete double-take," Jourdan Spencer told NJ.com. "We paused, we rewound, we paused, we rewound, over and over again. We told everyone we knew—and then the tape went missing. We had no proof this whole time."
The couple thought they had lost the video when Hurricane Sandy ripped through New Jersey in 2012. But after discovering the footage while watching home movies they had transferred to DVDs, they realized they had the proof all along.
"The world is not as big as it seems," she said. "I do believe that everything happens for a reason and that people come into our lives when they're meant to and leave when they're meant to, and obviously were were supposed to meet again. Our paths crossed more than once."
The couple, who grew up about 45 minutes from each other, recently took their kids to that same water park and explained why that location was special to their family.
"[Our daughter] Sophie just keeps saying, 'How did Daddy know you were there?'" Jourdan said.
Hey, sometimes fate just likes to show off.