Monday, May 17, 2010

How to force people to be your friend during air travel

I went to Chicago last week to meet my older sister and my Dad.  Dad had a meeting there and Mom was going to Germany (to track the path of John Wesley) so Dad invited us.  I had asked the doctor when I saw him last for a few Zanax to take (not at the same time) for the flight because I hate to fly.  I used to love it as a kid, but as adult I have never liked it.  I don't think we are going to crash I just hate the feeling I get when I why.  So I had taken my Zanax before so I would be good and relaxed, hoped on the plane (Southwest, love them, really).  I actually was so relaxed that I almost missed my flight, they changed the gate number and I didn't realize it.  I got in the plane and seating section A had no meaning.  I lucked up and found a seat on the front row between two business people.  One was definitely more businessy than the other.  The guy on my left had longer hair and kept tearing out pages of a fishing magazine and putting them in his front pocket.  Neither one of these men said a word to me when I sat down.  They hogged both the armrest, but that is what I got for being too relaxed.  So the flight attendant came to get my drink order and brought me a diet coke.  As soon as she gave it to me, the fasten seat belt light came on.  The plane started experiencing turbulence and one time we dropped and my diet coke flew up in the air.  I did get diet coke on my seat companions, and to my relief they laughed.  After a couple more bumps I was brave and asked my still mute friends if I could hold their wrist.  I told them I was scared.  They both said sure.  The guy on my right then started talking to me and I think he took it upon himself to help distract me.  The guy on my left was my time guy,  I kept asking "How much longer?"  Each time he would patiently answer me with a smile but no chit chat.  The guy on my right was a nice guy from Mountain Brook, wife and two kids, and he was actually going to the same conference Dad was.  For some reason I blurted out, "We should share a cab!"   We were staying in the same place.  Isn't that crazy?  It was the Zanax talking.  I mean I had just watched  " Taken"  and the shared cab is the kiss of death.  I think that was in my subconscious or something.  Needless to say I was so thankful for my new friends!  The flight attendants never got up again the whole flight, too bumpy.  When we arrived, I realized my cab friend had not checked any luggage and I had.  I had to say "I am sorry, I have to go to baggage claim."  He said no problem.  About this time my sis texted me and said they were waiting for me in baggage claim.  My friend was saved.  I tried to introduce him to my Dad but had no clue his name.  Thank goodness he realized it and introduced himself.    He bade me farewell.

I tried to move on from bad flight with shopping at H&M.  I had never been there and I loved it.  It was like Forever 21 but better.  That night we went to a delicious steak house and I had the best steak I had ever had.  We had ridden to the restaurant in a mini bus, after dinner my Dad was ready to leave.  He had to wait on the bus, he convinced the whole group to go outside and wait for the bus.  About 30 people stood under the awning while it rained, but soon enough the disco bus arrived.  It was just like the ones they use for prom now.

The next day we went to the Museum of Modern Art, because it was very rainy.  After getting a dose of culture we went to Nordstrom Rack.  Loved it!  That night we decided to go see Date Night, funny movie.  Then we went to a Greek restaurant where I had a strange Greek dish that was pretty good.  We then went to Navy Pier looking for ice cream but the whole darn place was closed.  We ended up getting a dessert at a fancy grocery store.

We all decided to change our flights to leave Friday night.  We were having fun but all of us were getting a little anxious to get back to our lives.  So wonderful time and now I was off to the airport to fly home.  The shuttle took 1:15 minutes to get to the airport, the driver said it normally takes 10-15 minutes.  He was driving so crazy that I had to take Bonine and only look straight ahead.  He was so angry too.  I really thought we might have an accident and I was sure my driver would have some major road rage.

I am waiting for my plane and I take a Zanax, I am starting to get nervous.  I am thinking I will have a smooth flight since it was clear skies.  Just then I saw my friend, Scott Dillard, from church.  I work with his wife and she had mentioned he was going to Chicago but I had forgotten.  Scott who knows I am somewhat crazy must have thought I was sure enough crazy that night.  I told Scott he would be my buddy, I was so happy.  We settled into our seats and started discussing life.  The flight attendant came to ask our orders (2nd row) and all of a sudden ding, ding, ding.  They never got up the rest of the trip.  Very bumpy.  Scott was trying his best to distract me and all the while I had his arm in a death grip.  In one moment of panic I blurted out to my silent other side soon to be friend, "Where are we, what are we going over?"  He said, "What?"  I repeated my frantic question.  He said I don't know but I will look on the map.  He did and then the three of us talked the rest of the way.  I think he took pity on poor Scott and thought he needed help keeping this crazy flier distracted.  He was such an interesting guy.  He gave me his card, because of some Mississippi State stuff and I think it might have disintegrated in my clenched hand before I got home, because I can't find it.   We survived.

He and I headed to baggage claim, Scott had carried on.  We claimed our bags and I waved to his wife and child through the window.  She was probably was thinking "Who is that strange woman standing next to my husband waving at me?"  He had told me so much about them that I felt like I knew them.    I never use skycaps but when one offered I said, "Sure"  He had an I Love Jesus lanyard around his neck and I love him too so why not, I was just happy to be alive.  So we get in the parking lot and I am not parked where I thought I was.  Then Miss Olivia started calling on the walky saying someone needed help with a wheel chair.  So I encourage my 4th new friend to go help Miss Olivia and I surely could find my car alone.  He ran away calling "Miss Olivia, I am coming."  One reason I love Birmingham.

I was left to locate my car.  I kept pushing the panic button and then I heard it.  It was below we somewhere.  I tried the closest elevator and it was broken and I lugged/rolled my 50 pound suitcase to the other elevator.  Yeah my car!!  I was so happy to be on solid ground in my good old Quest, I  could hardly stand it.

1 comment:

  1. Susan Welch LangMay 19, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    My dear, sweet Meg. I found your blog and have loved reading every word. I truly miss you, my friend. You have always made me smile!!