Seems like it doesn't matter how many people are ahead of me, if I have several books on hold at the library they all become available at the same time. So I've been reading a lot more than usual lately and something has happened in a couple of books that made me step back and wonder if this was something that actually happened to real people.
The basic idea of this "event" is that the main character is so distraught/hurt/grief-stricken/angry/whatever that she goes wandering around the city (guided by her subconscious, of course) and ends up at some random place (usually a good distance from where she started) that is exactly where she needs to be. And then she says or thinks something along the lines of, "How did I wind up here? Oh, yeah. It must be because [insert some story-related reason]." Or worse, she just happens to be wherever she needs to be to witness something important, but that's another issue entirely.
Now, I'm not saying I've never been driving somewhere and unintentionally taken the wrong road out of habit because I wasn't paying attention--like starting to drive to work because I do it every day--but I don't think I've ever gone anywhere unintentionally because my subconscious knew that was where I needed be. Maybe it's just that I'm a very deliberate person (and a control freak) and I tend to think three or four steps ahead so a situation like this would never happen to me? Maybe I'm not that different from anyone else and this kind of situation wouldn't happen in real life?
What do you all think? Has something like this actually happened to anyone? Or do you think this is just another overused literary device to get a character from point A to point B? Do things like this yank you out of the story?