15 August 2012

Too Close in the Pouring Rain

current state of mind: peaceful

And there are no strings attached,
You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give.
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have.
I give you thanks for receiving, it's my privilege,
~ “You Owe Me Nothing in Return” by Alanis Morissette

Yesterday, I flew to the beautiful desert oasis of Phoenix, AZ. Sky Harbor welcomed me with a very turbulent descent, courtesy of the mountains. The girl behind me was “cray-cray”. She was snapping pictures non-stop with her SRL and singing her thoughts in a very high pitched tone. “Look at the mountains. They are so pretty. I am taking pictures of the mountains. We are landing soon.” All I could do was wonder why in the world I had obeyed the rules and turned off my electronic devices. The plane’s sporadic movement was making me nauseated and Miss Photographer’s singing was creeping me out. I had been sound asleep until the descent so I suppose I should have felt lucky that the first 2+ hours of the flight took place while I was dreaming.

It was a Southwest flight. The plane was sold at 85% capacity, which meant that there would be plenty of open middle seats. My strategy upon boarding the plane had been to make sure the middle seat in my row remained empty. I was the 10th person on the plane. I selected a window seat, directly above the wing, two rows ahead of the emergency exits. As I watched other people board the plane, I made sure to avoid eye contact and scowl if anyone slowed down by my row. Eventually, a 20 something Asian kid stopped and asked if the aisle seat was taken. He was on his mobile phone and standing there waiting for a response. I said the seat was empty and he claimed it. I realized at that point that I needed to include him in my strategy if we wanted to keep that middle seat as a buffer between us.

I turned to him while he was still chatting on his phone and said, “Listen to me. If we want this seat to remain empty, we have to work together. The key is, we lean in just a little and look very unfriendly. In addition, throw your sweatshirt on the seat to make it look occupied. Plus, if anyone slows down, glare at them.” He looked at me incredulously, and then asked, “Does that really work?” I nodded and he complied. Sure enough, all three people who stopped and looked at our row kept walking after seeing the two of us hovering over that middle seat with evil looks in our eyes. Once the doors were closed on the plane, the kid looked at me and thanked me for teaching him a remarkable method of comfortable flying on Southwest. I laughed and drifted off to sleep with the help of Dramamine, a double-vodka with tomato juice, and an intense disdain for remaining awake on airplanes.

Ms. Arizona picked me up from the airport and it was as if we were teenage girls due to how fast we started talking and giggling. Being here with her and her daughters is such a blessing. I was surprised that my first night in Phoenix consisted of a huge thunderstorm, Chick-fil-A, and a bunch of animated British kids on some children’s show. Well, now I am off to play Clue: Master Detective with my Arizona family.

PERSONAL NOTE: Life is good! Hope your drive back to school was a good one.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: What’s it like not being the most brilliant person in the room?

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.