I'm looking for a proverb to describe this situation:

You break up with a girl and months elapse without you dating anyone, not for lack of trying. Suddenly, you meet someone and hit it off. Shortly thereafter, you meet someone else and again find yourself on cloud 9.

Another example I can think of is this: You're waiting for the bus at the bus stop, and a long time goes by without any bus to speak of. Suddenly, two buses show up at the same time.

What's a proverb that would get the irony of such situations across? Initially, I was thinking of "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.", but the latter is not ironic and it is premised on the fact two birds is be better than one (all else being equal), whereas in the situations I described above, the second thing is pretty much redundant.

Let's hear it. Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    Thank you all for the wonderful answers. I like both "it's a feast or famine" and "it never rains, but it pours", as spot-on in relaying the meaning.
    – mahin
    Commented Feb 24, 2015 at 17:54

5 Answers 5


"It's either feast or famine." Or perhaps - "Losing one glove is certainly painful, but nothing compared to the pain of losing one, throwing away the other and then finding the first one again." From "Grooks" by Piet Hein.


There's that old proverb,

"it never rains, but it pours"

1.Unfortunate events occur in quantity. See wiktionary link


You are perhaps talking about "too much of a good thing".

I often complete that with Mae West's , "... can be wonderful".


Personally I think @undefineds' is the best fit:"It's either feast or famine." Otherwise, you may like:

  • Finally the winds favored the ship.
  • From loser to hero.
  • The turtle finished first.

For more please see link.


Similar to what was previously said, but the phrase I'm familiar with is "When it rains, it pours." This is often used to describe a negative situation, but it can also be used as a positive occurrence, albeit with an awareness that its primary use is negative.

Bob - "I was single for 6 months, and now I'm dating two women."

Alice (with a slight smile or a wink) - "When it rains, it pours!"

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