“Your seat will be assigned at the gate,” advised the United Airlines baggage attendant. When I responded, “That doesn’t sound good,” there was silence of voice and expression that didn’t provide any reason for optimism. As I took my last step approaching the gate desk, the woman holding the microphone requested I appear. We exchanged my license for a seat 5E boarding pass. For those of you playing at home, “E” is between “D” and “F.” Ugh…
Scanning the cabin on entry I shuddered to see an enormous young woman in the window seat, but proceeded to take my seat in the ¾ of 5E that she wasn’t occupying. She was very squirmy next to me and I felt bad knowing how self conscious she was feeling. This young lady was big and very tall. I positioned myself in the fetal position for the flight. When the cabin doors closed I noticed air in seat 3C on the aisle, so I went for it.
I dropped my backpack on the seat and then said to myself, “Self, yes, that’s a very attractive woman in the window seat, so don’t be a schmuck.” She looked at me and I actually said hi. What the hell was wrong with me? I fumbled with my iPod and earphones for a while, but it was too early to put them on, so I opened up “Creating Rainmakers: The Manager’s Guide to Training Professionals to Attract New Clients.” The book kept my attention for the requisite 5 pages when I turned and glanced at the book the blonde, professional looking woman was viewing from behind her reading glasses.
It looked like a chemistry or biology book with molecular diagrams and other bubble-like illustrations. “What is it that you’re reading?” A couple hours later after discussing her Mom’s amazing recovery from leukemia with stem-cell therapy and my tales of the genetic mysteries behind the miracle called Kyle, we hit the O’Hare runway. As we taxied toward the gate I took some George Costanza advice and did “the opposite” of what I’ve been doing for the past decade or so. “Would you like to continue this conversation another time?” “Yes” rebounded with a smile.
I have no idea what, if anything, will come of this, but as I walked toward the baggage area, I didn’t need the moving sidewalk to propel me. “The opposite” had put some air under me, which does contrast the usual air of a regretful sigh.