Friday, November 13, 2009

flying home

"Its just hairspray!" I glanced over at a lady yelling at a security guard. "I spent $20 on that!"

"Oh brother" I thought, "Give the poor man a break and just surrender now."

I had given up my container of face lotion to security on my previous flight because they "had to go by container weight and not by how much was left."
I hurried on the way to my flight although i still had 30 minutes to spare, questioning if I had time for a bathroom break. I had thought that I would not be able to make my flight, and as a result my pulse was still elevated. While sitting in the waiting chair I avoided eye contact with the other passengers. You know that, "I know you're sitting right there...but lets pretend like you don't exist...and if our eyes happen to meet...I will look quickly away" awkwardness.

Zone 2 is called to board..."ah finally." I jump up quickly and run on with my carry on. As I walk on, I notice the plane is small. Very small. Two seats per side. Which means I will inevitably have to sit by someone. meh.

As I walk down the aisle to 22a, who is it but aerosol woman herself attempting to shove her over sized carry on into the insufficient overhead carrier. "It doesn't fit! It fit in all the other planes!" She explains loudly as she tries unsuccessfully to shove it in again. "Oh dear...please don't sit by me." I thought.

After the flight attendant put her carry on with the baggage, she came and sat in 22b. "Fabulous." I thought sarcastically. "Maybe if I just settle into my book she won't say anything."

As the plane began taxing down the runway the woman struck up a conversation about her hairspray- how she had gotten off early from work and how it had cost $20 (big surprise). "I know how you feel, I had that happen to me on the way here actually." I said. From that point on we talked the whole flight. She was a single mom who had worked as a navy recruiter for 20 years. When I asked how she had gotten into the navy, she told me that she had been a cosmetologist (hence the overpriced hairspray), gotten into a horrible car accident, and decided to change her life around. She entered boot camp two weeks later. She had lived all around the world via the navy and talked of how much she loved it. "They become your family" she said emphatically. I listened as she talked of her daughters and noted the sense of pride that lit up her face when she talked of them, similar to all mothers. We talked about her four shit-zus, about her older friends and their "Hot Flash Films" company. I couldn't help laughing... hilarious. We talked about my major, about fashion (she was on her way to see a friend's show who was raising money for abuse victims), and even a little religion.

By the end of the flight I truly appreciated her friendly smile and conversation. It had been an awkward situation, and she had made it enjoyable. "Bye hun!" she waved as we parted. I went out a little changed. If it had been up to my initiative, I would have sat in the plane and read "The Design Index" the entire flight, staring listlessly out the window, content in my little bubble. I thought about the confines of my bubble and how it can keep me from new experiences.It made me feel a little happy ray that this woman had cared enough to start a conversation. I'm almost positive I will never see her again, but for that brief time I think we shared a little bit of what we were all about...and I think that is what helps us notice the intricacy and vibrant hues of the human race

1 comment:

  1. Ah I love this post. That is so neat. Those kinds of experiences really do make us think. I had a similar one on a train once a few years ago with a girl a few years older than me. I have to say I still react the same way and want to keep to myself but when those things do happen I always end up enjoying them and wishing I could be brave enough to just talk to people I dont know all the time :)