The short story of my life
As I was relaying a short tale from a recent trip to a friend I realized that it was much more than what I initially thought, as snugly nestled within its “edge of your seat” kernels was my entire life story. Since my departure from College I have become somewhat of a jetsetter, and as such I decided to take a long weekend to visit a friend in Napa (where the aforementioned six course meal took place). I travel rather frequently of late and on each trip I hold on to that fantasy of meeting my future husband on this flight. The concept is well developed in theory as most of my business flights are predominantly well employed men and, after a ring check, seemingly single. Of course however, either the ring check fails or I am always seated next to a baby or an aged couple. Which is perfectly fine, I have no prejudices against either group (as that would be ageist and cruel) but clearly said fantasy cannot take place.
Yet each time I enter a plane and begin the quest to find my seat my mind is filled with wonder of who will occupy the seat next to mine. “Oh how glorious it will be” I dream. Our flight will be filled with carefree banter, shared cocktails, and then the exchanging of vows and rings. As I hum Pachelbel’s Canon down the aisle I am inevitably met with disappointment. This time was different. As I struggled with my blatantly over the weight limit carry on I turned to notice a rather charming lad one seat to my left. Between us was the empty middle seat. I was sure that this adorable little seat partner would soon be my husband as we locked eyes and gazed at the only empty seat on the plane that happened to be keeping us apart. I could hardly wait to begin discussing our lives and then the naming of our children when all of the sudden an out of breath, flushed, rotund man gallivants onto the aircraft and stares down our seat. No sooner than I could say “I do” he was he wedged between me and my husband.
At first I was slightly devastated. “Why me?” I cried (thankfully on the inside). But then I offered to switch seats with the oversized man as it is cruel to have a man of such girth packed into the middle seat like a trapped anchovy and it is also cruel for me not to finally fulfill my dreams of an in-flight romance. It was when he declined that I knew that although romance was out of the question we would soon be best friends. As we began chatting it up I learned he was from France, in a land unbeknownst to a geographically ignorant American such as me. He had studied in New York and loved to sun himself on the beaches of Florida, which was quite clear as he was the color of a leather handbag and it became increasingly clear that he was a charming homosexual in a committed relationship to a man named Miguel. We chatted about in-flight cuisines, New York City and Europe (he slightly dominated that portion of the tête-à-tête). At the end of our brief flight to Atlanta he presented me with two free drink vouchers for use on my next leg of the journey, which I eagerly snatched from his plump hand. That is when it hit me. Will my life forever consist of the promise of romance from a distance, only to be taken over by my penchant for homosexual men and free drinks?
I then proceeded to have a slight panic attack that was somewhat Wizard of Oz-esque involving me in a cyclone swirling around with images of bags, cats, hags, and (fittingly) Judy Garland. However, after I utilized my drink coupons and I allowed my blood pressure to decrease to normal levels, my panic attack subsided. I determined the odds are in my favor that I will at least not end up as a cat lady and that I have made some pretty tangible progress. I no longer volunteer at the Humane Society due to overexposure to the fuzzy little beasts. In addition to feeling unnecessary and bored I felt slightly repulsed on a daily basis by the thought of so many cats in such a small proximity. I am actually breaking out into a sweat just thinking about it, or I may just be having a hot flash, but either way it’s not good for the little fur balls. In the name of love if I can beat cats I can beat this! I will just take my life one flight at a time and someday soon I will find my first class fiancé.