You might think that there were no joys to air travel given the crush of people flying with you and the rude selfishness displayed by some of them. But you’d be wrong.
My cranky quotient was already at an all time high as soon as the 4:00 a.m. alarm went off and I had to rush to the airport to catch the only Florida to Bermuda flight that day. Then in the crowded departure lounge I found myself sitting next to a
lady who was holding her IPHONE and listening to
a recording. A very loud recording.
” Do you have earplugs ” ? I asked her. “Oh, I am sorry ” she stammered, immediately turning down the volume. “A lot of people are talking just as loud'” ….she murmured, assuming that observation justified her thoughtless behavior.
She then re- positioned her phone-
practically inside of her ear canal so as not to disturb anyone else for which I was grateful. But, once she went quiet, it became clear that her noise had served as a buffer of sorts against all the other sounds around us. There were kids running and screaming. Folks on cell phones talking to God knows who at 5:00 in morning. And coffee shop workers announcing that “One latte, one bran muffin” was ready for the first fella in line at Starbucks.
My iPhone lady had been right ! She wasn’t making any more noise than everybody else. So I told her so. She turned to me, a little teary, either from exhaustion or appreciation and said, “I have been here since 4:30 this morning.” Ouch, I thought. “They sent one of my bags on one flight and me on another.” Geez, her story just kept getting worse. “I cried,” she said. “ It’s been an awful morning, ” she added. “And then you tell me to turn down my phone.” She just shook her head. Good going malicious one, I said to myself. “I’m so sorry, ” I told her. “No, no” she said sweetly, “thank you for saying something. ”
Then we both started laughing with relief and she explained about the noise, “My son had asked me to listen to this motivational speech and I have been so busy all week that this was the first opportunity I had to try and enjoy it.” She clearly had needed some cheering up and I had almost ruined her chance.
Getting up in the middle of the night and then losing your bag before
you’ve even left the ground is a bad way to start a trip in
“My day is now improving, ” she smiled and handed me her card. Wonder of wonders she sells chocolates. Brownie bits really. “I love brownies,” I told her. She said I should order them. “And if you have any trouble, ” she said, “Please, just call me directly.”
” Wow,” how great was that? Not only did I just avert an air travel tragedy but I also forged a new acquaintance with a woman who just happened to be a food pusher. I love food and only really trust other people who do too. Those who don’t lack a certain sensuality in their approach to life. Her company deserves a mention here so she’s getting one: BROWNIE BRITTLE is the name.
Now conversations with strangers, especially when you are traveling can be risky. According to USA TODAY 73% of respondents in a poll admitted that “talkative fellow passengers inspire dread” in them. Me too sometimes. But in this case a little conversation and compassion went a long way to improving both of our days.