I was having trouble trying to find the right present for my brother Gary's 35th birthday. We were having a dual celebration that night of both his and my birthdays because my birthday had occurred while I had been away in Holland for the 3 past months. I was grateful that Gary had cared for my house while I was away so I wanted to spend the time to find a gift that 'felt right'.

While browsing in Walden Books I was drawn to the cooking section and a vegetarian cookbook caught my eye. Gary was vegetarian and had occasionally remarked that he was looking for interesting vegetarian recipes, so the book 'felt right'. As I was leaving the mall I stopped at the Hallmark shop for a card and I found one I liked - it's cover had a drawing of a group of young boys playing cards around a small table. I don't recall the words inside, but it also 'felt right', so I bought it.

I arrived at Mom's house just before dinner, and when I walked in I noticed Gary had already arrived. He was standing in the kitchen talking to Mom and he was wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt. I was amused by this because I was also wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt. Neither of us commented on this because it seemed like such a trivial coincidence.

After dinner, Gary and I prepared to exchange birthday gifts, but first we opened our cards. Gary opened my card first, and he almost seemed too amused by it, but he merely thanked me for it. When I opened Gary's card I discovered the reason for his amusement - the cover of his card to me showed a drawing of several young boys sitting around a table playing cards! It wasn't exactly the same card I got for him, but the similarity in the themes was enough for all of us to chuckle about.

It was then time to exchange presents, and this time I went first. As I prepared to open Gary's present to me I could tell from it's feel that it was a book. I remember thinking, given the first two coincidences, how funny it was that Gary had also chosen to give me a book, but I was stunned when I tore off the wrapping paper and discovered that Gary had bought me exactly the same vegetarian cookbook that I had bought for him! I must have looked really surprised because both Mom and Gary were looking at me with a puzzled look. I didn't even try to explain - I just told Gary that he had to open my present immediately. I could tell by the look on his face that he suspected another coincidence, especially when he felt the package - clearly it was a book. But when he removed the wrapping paper he looked as stunned as I must have looked when I opened his present.