Plane and Simple. . .

One time years ago, on a flight to California, I was mistaken for Chris Evert the tennis star. I am a positively horrible tennis player, but I happened to be traveling with a racket. The racket was pretty crappy and I had managed to warp the hell out of it over time. For some reason the half-torn, monogramed plastic cover that my racket wore didn't manage to dissuade my star-searching fellow traveler. She began our conversation by telling me she knew who I was but would keep quiet about it for the promise of an autograph. It took me a while to talk her down, but fortunately her interest in me miraculously disappeared as mysteriously as it had arrived.

The person that sits next to you on an airplane is predetermined and I've learned can pretty much determine the ease or difficulty of your flight. I must say I’ve gotten lucky. I like to talk, but fortunately I get the message if my seatmate isn't interested. Over the years I have had some really interesting conversations with strangers on the plane, but I also know how to respect someone’s need for privacy or for that matter silence. When the occasion allows and conversation does ensue it’s usually basic, general information. Where you're traveling to and why, what you do for a living, where is your home? Etc.

Most of the time I travel, it is with my husband. He greatly appreciates, as do I, any opportunity we have to go places and enjoy the company of family and friends. However, he is not much fun on travel day. Getting to and from the destination ignites a nervous and jerky side of him. If we are seated together which oftentimes we are not, there is little conversation. Unless of course he is troubled by a delay or misuse of the overhead storage.

The monstrous items some folks attempt to cram into the overhead storage is usually the subject of any conversation we have. I think its safe to say that somehow my spouse successfully puts out a "don't talk to me" vibe to strangers. Either they pick up on it, are slightly afraid of him, or just don't want conversation themselves. Last time we traveled together our televisions on both flights were "out of order". Fortunately, a good book takes the place of a busted TV and can ultimately be more rewarding. Who knew that if you complain about your lack of signal you can and will get a free drink. Cheers to that!

My luggage has only been lost twice in my years of traveling. I’m not bragging about it. Certainly if I do, number three will happen soon. Both times the airlines were really wonderful about it and my bag was recovered rapidly. One time I convinced myself that my stuff was long gone and I proceeded to imagine what I might want to buy to replace my lost garments. This daydream came to a screeching halt when my tired belongings were returned.

A friend recently spotted a Fishbellie on an airplane flight. A wise passenger boarded with her bellie in search of additional comfort in flight. I imagine that if you put a smile on and asked the steward/stewardess to fire up your bellie when needed, he/she might gladly do that for you. The draft from the plane or maybe even the cold shoulder from the passenger next to you could be warmed in no time.

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