I like to talk to people on planes. In the past few years I have talked to single moms about their rebellious pre-teens, reviewed a wedding album with a jealous sister, and listened to a old man recite an impressive list of facts about roller coasters. Last Sunday though, I was just not in the mood. It had been a long weekend and all I wanted to do was take a nap. I was thrilled that I would be in a plane where there was really nothing that I could do BUT sleep. I could take a nice long nap without feeling guilty.
As I walked through Lynchburg security, I was greeted by one of the most obnoxious men I have met in real life. He was just one of those people who just assumes that everyone around them wants to hear about their jobs, about their daughter’s report cards, and about the bad case of acne that they had when they were 13. Normally, I would have been delighted to hear his life story, but Sunday I was only able to force polite head nods in his general direction and count the minutes until I would be able to sit in the plane and escape his chatter. I should have known that I wouldn’t be that lucky.
When I got on the plane, I saw that I was assigned to sit next to Sir Chatterbox and was temped to turn around and start walking to Boston. After deciding that if I was too tired to hold a conversation with a stranger that I was also too tired to walk 500 miles, I sat down and prepared myself for the longest 50 minute plane ride known to mankind. I listen to him ramble about his cable bill, about his boss, about visit to the dentist the previous Wednesday. When the plane finally landed, I politely wished him safe travels to his final destination and darted out off the plane like I was an IBS patient in search for a bathroom. I needed to escape before sir chatter had the chance ask me if I wanted to continue our conversation over coffee.
I go straight to the terminal, playing and winning my sidewalk race. I throw my body into one of the sticky plastic chairs infront of my gate and sigh loudly with great relief and confidence that I escaped my predator, sir chatterbox. I imagine that my feelings closely resembled those of jerry the mouse every time he escaped Tom the cat. I send the next hour watching season four of Dexter, which is a blog for a later time. The USAIRWAYS woman comes on the intercom.
Flight Delayed again.
Finally, after what felt like eternity, I boarded my final plane of the evening to Boston . Nap time? I wish. As I find my seat, I realize that I had never asked Sir Chatterbox where he was traveling. I know now that he too was traveling to Boston…. in the seat directly across the aisle from me. He was so glad that we could continue our conversation right where we left off.
Tom the chatty cat:1
Jerry the sleep/cranky mouse:0