Monday, November 21, 2011

With Bated Breath I Fly Home

Thanks to my very generous, very kind cousin, I had a flight scheduled to take me home so that I could attend family festivities for the greatest holiday of the year (Thanksgiving, folks). I have not been home for Thanksgiving since 2003, and so I am thrilled to be here. I hope it lives up to all my memories.

On the non-stop flight from Salt Lake to Cincinnati, I was assigned the seat 6B, which any frequent flier knows is a middle seat. Ugh! My luck with middle seats is not great. I usually end up between two very large, very smelly sorts of folks, and....

Honestly, I was just grateful that I had a seat.

I was the first to arrive in my row, so I sat down and waited, anticipating having to get up for the person who had the window seat. After a few minutes, a very cute bearded man with incredible brown/green eyes sat down with a friendly, "How's it goin'?" We watched as other people boarded the plane looking for their seat assignments, always targeting their glance further down the aisle. We were seated second row in economy, and so it was easy to see that each person was looking for a larger number than row six.

After a while, Beard mentioned that he thought that the passengers were likely to be all loaded, and we were not going to have someone sitting at the window.

I'm just not that lucky, and I told him so. I was going to wait a few more minutes, because they hadn't shut the door yet, and so it was very likely that the passenger was late, but most certainly on his way. The passengers were coming fewer and further between. And then they started coming in sucking wind, evidence that they had just run the length of the airport in order to catch their flight.

Every time someone appeared at the end of the first class cabin, my neighbor and I held our breath, hoping that we did indeed get to claim the extra seat.

"You've gotten my hopes up now," I commented.
"I think we're safe," he said.

I waited just a minute more and then moved over and buckled my seat belt. But the door wasn't shut, and there were still a few more passengers that had to find their seats. A Colts fan walked purposefully to our row and then looked around. We were certain we had his spot.

We held out breath again, waiting for him to ask me to move.

He moved on, and we both sighed in relief.

"I wish they would just close the door," I said.
"Any minute now," he confirmed, looking at his phone.

We talked about how he was a golf caddy, but currently it is off-season, so he just travels. He told me he was from Cincinnati, and asked why I did not fly in to Dayton instead of Cincinnati. We talked about the podunk airport he has to fly out of to leave the area of Oregon where he lives.

And then finally, they announced that the door was shut, and we were pushing off the gate.

Success! I broke out my Kindle, and enjoyed my window seat all the way home.

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