Are You From Albuquerque?



As you know from last week’s blog I drove across the country with my oldest daughter to help with her move to Nashville.  With each travel destination comes a return trip and I opted for a quick, direct flight to Denver.

The last few flights I have taken I have been accompanied by another member of my family which keeps the outside crazy to a minimum.  You know how important that can be if you have read any of my “travel blogs.” That being said, I have met some really wonderful people while traveling.

This weekend I boarded the plane rather early as I have become savvy to Southwest’s Early Bird Check-in.  Yes, I am willing to pay an extra $15 to have the seat I want.  Saturday night was no exception as I just wanted to get on the plane and perhaps drown my sorrows with a little plastic cup of Southwest’s finest red wine.  Within a few minutes of my being seated there was a passenger who just couldn’t get her bags stowed the way she wanted and she needed something out of them causing a rather long, annoyed line of people behind her.  As I looked up to see what was happening, a man made eye-contact and asked if he could perhaps just sit with me.  I did a quick scan to determine if I was going to tell him my hubby and infant were behind him in line or let him have the window seat.  I decided that he looked normal enough (for the record, I very rarely get this right).

So, Mr. Normal sits down and says, “thanks, maybe we will get lucky and nobody will want to sit in the middle seat.”  So far so good.  I mean he is reading my mind and let’s face it, who doesn’t want a man to read your mind?  So I say, well if anyone tries to sit here I’ll just tell them my husband and infant are sitting here.  Mr. Normal looks slightly horrified that he has just made the biggest mistake of his evening and then he gets the joke and laughs with me.  I reach for my headphones because even though this man seems harmless you can never be too sure.  Just as I am ready to put them in my ears he says, “so, do you live in Nashville or Albuquerque?  Hmmm, those are some interesting choices he has given me since I am pretty sure we are heading to Denver.  I tilted my head and said, “well, neither.  I live in Colorado Springs and this plane is headed to Denver…I think.  He then back tracked and realized he had a plane change in Denver.  Phew!  We engaged in some small talk about his trip to Albuquerque and the fact that he was an OB/GYN, had 4 kids and I shared that I had just left my second daughter in Nashville, etc…There was a brief discussion about how long we had each lived in our home cities, what we did there, our families, but he definitely left anything about a wife out and he wasn’t wearing a ring.  I immediately started hearing alarm bells going off in my head. It was time to disengage with Mr…I mean, Dr. Normal.

I put my headphones in and he did the same.  The flight attendant came around to ask about beverages and I said that I would like a red wine.  Remember, I had just left TWO GIRLS in another state to live.  My heart was hurting. Mr. Funny Flight Attendant told me the bar was up front and laughed at this own joke.  About 20 minutes later the seatbelt sign had been turned off so I strolled to the front to use the restroom and Mr. Funny Flight Attendant happened to be up there preparing drinks.  I told him I came to get my red wine from the bar.  He laughed, but when I came out of the restroom he handed me my little plastic cup of red wine, with a lid and a heart straw.  Yes, I felt ridiculous carrying it back to my seat while everyone was still waiting for their drinks, but I got over it quickly.  Ten minutes later, Mr Funny came around with the drinks and brought me another drink.  He told me to do with it what I wanted.  I offered it to Dr. Normal because a) I didn’t want to be rude and b) I didn’t want to look like a lush!  He declined so there I was with two little plastic cups of red wine.  It turns out I was going to need both of those cups of wine!

Most of the flight, although turbulent, went off without a hitch.  Dr. Normal watched a movie on his laptop and left me to my wine and headphones.  Then about 30 minutes out things got a little dicey.  The turbulence increased and the flight attendants were forced to take their seats for the duration of the flight.  The captain asked for all devices to be turned off early as well.  Dr. Normal felt like this would be a good time to tell me a little more about his kids, his life and his marriage.  Apparently, after being married for 22 years he had just told his wife he wanted to move out, he had gotten an apartment and contacted an attorney.  Outside of his wife and attorney I was the only other person he had told.  What?  Was I on that show, “What would you do” with John Quinones?  Was I being punked? Why do complete strangers want to tell me their life stories? I am beginning to think I have a tattoo that is only visible under the dim lights of an airplane that suggests that I would like to hear whatever is on their heart.  While this man is not a client and I will likely never see him again, I won’t share more than what I have already told you. I will say that aside from the fact that he was willing to pour his heart out to a complete stranger, he was pretty normal.  He was kind and respectful especially in regards to his wife.  I can’t begin to understand the in and outs of their relationship in the 30 minutes we spoke, but I can tell you I have a good feeling about it. Don’t roll your eyes, t’s a gift; sometimes I just know these things.  Kind of like when people just know they can talk to me.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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