There is a certain amount of etiquette most people have in airports and on airplanes, but as is the case with most things, there are some folks at the extreme ends of the etiquette spectrum.
I can’t even tell you the number of times I have been through airport security in the last year, but I can tell you about my favorite time.
In Albany, NY the gentleman behind me began pushing my bins when I did not yet have everything in them. So, I turned to him and said “hi”. I don’t think he picked up on the fact that I was becoming quite irritated by his impatient nature.
There are also a number of people (appears to be an East Coast thing) who have no issues with cutting in front of you in line if they deem you to not be moving quickly enough, or if they think you are not paying attention.
Then there is the whole process of getting onto and off of planes. Everyone knows we board by zones and by whatever grace, airline credit card, or pre-purchased special boarding pass you may carry with you. We also know the plane pretty much isn’t leaving until everyone in the waiting area is onboard. So, why the rush to the front every time boarding begins? Oh, because you don’t want to have to check your bag and if you are not on the plane first you may have to…
Getting off of airplanes is just as entertaining. Most people think we de-plane by row, but some people do not adhere to this social norm. I find myself wondering “what sort of manners did these adults once have on the playground when they were children”?
Your layers go as deep as you allow them to
Today I remembered a flight from Indianapolis, IN to Washington, DC I shared with a software salesman/tennis coach.
At first he began chatting about needing to watch out for sassy airline stewards and stewardesses. This was after he was forced to check his bag at the gate. He went on for awhile about how much he travels for work and the sheer number of incidences he has had with the supposedly-friendly sky waiters. I asked him if he was an easy target? He didn’t think so. I relayed that I also traveled for work and have yet to have a tiff with anyone while in the air.
He went on to chat about his job selling software and how he used to work for EMC2 (imagine that 2 is in superscript), but it got to be too large of a company. He couldn’t stand that his ideas were no longer heard. So, he found a smaller company to work for. He asked if I had ever quit a job. I laughed and told him “yes, many times”. He shyly proceeded to tell me in secret that he was in Indy for a job interview with an even smaller company.
At some point, he offhandedly mentioned two things:
1. He was ex-military.
2. He had just returned from Spain, where he spent two weeks coaching a seven-year-old boy in tennis.
He joyfully showed me a video on his iPad of the boy. I asked him if he had any children. He said he was too old. I asked him how old he was. He said, “43”. I told him that my husband is 40 and we are just now considering expanding our family. I also told him about a 55-year-old man I once met who was a restauranteur who didn’t get married or start his family until almost 50.
I asked why he didn’t coach tennis full-time and we then circled back to the military and his old injuries which keep him in daily pain…he suggested a pill called Anatabloc available at your local GMC vitamin store for arthritis, which I promptly purchased for my husband’s increasing joint pain.
He mentioned he was honorably discharged after most of his platoon died overseas and the designated psychologist was concerned that he may want to return to Iraq with revenge in mind. He seemed very upset with the psychologists final decision and cursed the profession in general.
As the plane was beginning its’ decent, he talked a little bit about school. Just before we were able to remove our seat belts he asked what my degree was in. I said “psychology” and he laughed and the conversation ended shortly thereafter. I think he just had the wrong psychologist…
Last night, a colleague said to me at dinner “I’m not really close to anyone”. I asked about her family and her boyfriend. I asked what close means to her? She couldn’t come up with an answer, but I expect she will continue to think about it for awhile.
People tell me things. Then apologize for what they think is “saying too much”. I love it and tell them they are not alone. I cannot imagine how my life would be different if strangers, colleagues, friends, and family did not consider me a safe place to share a few layers of their proverbial onion with me.
As Brian Doyle said, “stories are food, stories are holy, we could not live without them.” My hope for myself and others - that we share our stories!
After a brief in-flight medical emergency, Gordon (age 69) is alright post passing out. He was sitting right behind me and as soon as I realized what was happening I used my tools to “ground the plane”, then sent him love and healing. He immediately regained consciousness and looked right at me.
Took the remainder of the flight to get his color in his face back (it’s almost as though something had a hold of him and wouldn’t let go, so I asked my healing master to clear Gordon of anything that didn’t belong). He walked off the plane looking like a million bucks!
The most amazing part was how calm everyone remained and the genuine concern we passengers shared in Gordon’s recovery. Plus one humanity!
Ask and ye shall receive
By some sheer cosmic wonder I made my connecting flight from Minneapolis to Boston. In truth, the gate was already closed and the ramp pulled away, when I speed-walked up to podium (never you mind that I felt it was more important to post a YouTube video on FaceBook for a mentor and friend seeking vibrant women to join her Ancient Women’s Circle while changing concourses), but as I negotiated a flight home for the following morning it was discovered that the hard-copy manifest was missing on the plane and the door would need to be re-opened anyhow. They let me on after telling me how lucky I am and that they accept large cash tips.
I almost cried with joy as the ramp moved closer to the door while wondering if the Universe was thanking me for prioritizing helping out a friend.
People stared in dismay as I searched for seat 16C, which of course had already been claimed in the previous boarding kerfuffle I didn’t mind missing. So, I headed all the way to the back of the plane ignoring the scowling faces and whispers saying “they opened the door to let this woman on?”
I found one empty seat between two older gentlemen and excitedly texted my husband, Craig, that I would be home after all just as the flight attended skirted past and growled at me to turn off my cell phone.
My seat belt was under one gentlemen’s buttock so I politely asked if I could retrieve it and he obliged. The captain announced the flight was still on time because we would not require de-icing and I settled into my seat with my book while the engines rocked us backwards.
There was a slight delay in beginning to taxi and both gentlemen on either side of me checked their watches. I continued reading calmly through take off. The gentlemen to my left grabbed the SkyMall magazine then put it back anxiously. Next the gentlemen on my right put his tray table down, then the gentlemen on my right followed (but was more anxious afterward and decided to put it back up).
I began to wonder if he was naturally so fidgety or if I was making him antsy. This, of course, distracted me from my book and caused me to begin writing.
My book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, was given to me by Craig for Christmas. I am at the precipice of beginning a twelve week intensive contract with myself to write three pages every morning and go on a weekly date with myself, which makes me cry-ey to both think and write about, and yet this whole experience of miraculously making my flight, my nervous in-flight compadre, and reading this amazing gift of a book has inspired me to write!
I think I am on to something (although I have no idea where my bag is or if it even made it on the plane).
Join the Unify MedMob next Friday, December 21st at 3pm EST!
-Under the theme : Inquire within , Universal mouvement of MEMOB :)
- Agadir , Morocco
World Healing Meditation Day
At 10am on April 28th please consider taking some time to meditate in honor of World Healing Meditation Day.
Find peace within yourself
For those of you who prefer a guided meditation, my good friend JT Thompson has pre-recorded my first ever guided meditation (~15 minutes).
(Source: grasone.com / Andrea Steele)