I haven’t flown in five years, so I was actually pretty excited to get on a plane last Saturday. Most of all, I really love airports. I like the smells, the book stores, the hustle and bustle, and the array of people. I could sit and ‘people watch’ all day at an airport.
It’s funny though, how much my feelings toward ‘interesting looking’ people have changed in light of our nation’s security issues. For example, there was a man in a black trench coat sitting behind me at the gate in Charlotte. He was on his cell phone speaking Russian and sounding quiet, yet angry. Hmmm. That made me a little nervous. Then there was the man in Atlanta, dressed in a three piece suit, with sunglasses on (it was 7:30pm and dark outside, not to mention–HE was inside!) and a weird tatoo down the side of his neck. Creepy.
The whole experience was certainly heightened thanks to my traveling buddy, Donald; my brother. He is quite a people person. Donald could spark up a conversation with a brick wall. He also has an amazing ability to make people smile…or at least respond…when it LOOKS like you’re talking to a brick wall. Here’s an example:
We were going through security in Charlotte on Saturday and there was a good-looking black guy checking ID’s and tickets. He had a name badge on and it was clear to me what his name was, but Donald wanted to get this guy talking. He was NOT interested. Donald was overly friendly, asking how the guy’s day was going, whether or not he liked his job, and finally, “Hey man, how do you pronounce your name?” The response he got was, “Have a nice day sir.” It was clear this guy was not interested in Donald’s friendship. 🙂
So, Donald pretended not to hear that and asked again, “How do you pronounce your name?” The guy sat up straight, looked him right in the eye and said, “Java.” Yep, just as I suspected. Java. Exactly how it’s spelled. I’m just SO thankful it didn’t hit Donald’s funny bone and warrant a response like, “Wow, your mom must have really liked coffee!”
Once we boarded our flight in Charlotte, the flight attendant approached the only man lucky enough to be an the exit row and asked if he had any questions regarding his responsibilities. The man seemed nervous to have all of our lives in his hands (assuming he won’t actually have to DO anything). He said, “Um, I haven’t flown in a long time ma’am. Where is the inflatable life raft located? (I’m assuming he had visions of the Hudson River landing dancing through his head). The flight attendant smiled and said, “Sir, if we go down between Charlotte and Atlanta, a life raft won’t help us.” Donald and I laughed hysterically from four or five rows back.
Once in Atlanta, we had about an hour before our flight would leave for Little Rock. I was tired and it was stifling hot in the airport. I plopped down next to the window and the coolness coming off the glass was quite appealing. Hoping no one was paying attention to me, I slowly slid down and back and smooshed my face against the glass. Ahhh, it felt good. Nice and cool. I’m sure there was a giant foggy spot surrounding my hot face and head, but I didn’t care.
On the way home yesterday, I was fortunate enough to be on the same flight as my parents from Little Rock to Atlanta. We were very excited to be together and to be on our way home. We were about 20 minutes from the Atlanta airport when the captain came over the speaker with this: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we just received news that air traffic control in Atlanta is down and we will need to circle Rome, Georgia for a while. We have concerns about low fuel levels, so we may need to divert to a closer airport to refuel. We’re hoping to arrive in Atlanta within an hour.”
Well, that would cause all of us to miss our connecting flights. Ugh!
Somehow, about 15 minutes later, the captain came back on the speaker as if he never even said the thing before and informed us that we would be landing in Atlanta in ten minutes. We all made our flights.
It was so good to be home. I felt like a kid coming home from summer camp as I waited out front at the little Augusta airport for Josh to pick me up. Icing on the cake; my Christmas present finally arrived while I was gone and Josh had it with him with a big smile on. 🙂 It’s beautiful. Here is what it looks like, except it has MY kids’ names on it:
Happy Wednesday everyone!