Another week has come to a close... but not without a memorable story or two. Holiday travelers made their way back home, with checked bags chock-full of opened gifts & Christmas magic. The real miracle this week was the number of bags that weighed 49.5 pounds, thus avoiding a surcharge by a mere half-pound. Hallelujah, Lawd. The biggest lessons the passengers taught me this week is just how small our world really is, & that there is such a thing as a stupid question. But let's begin with the warm fuzzies of familiar faces.
I had the pleasure of checking in not one, not two, but three people who I knew. The first being Mr. Jones, who was my youngest sister's best-friend-in-middle-school's father. Weird! I thought he looked familiar, but I have made a fool of myself far too many times mistaking people's identities to bother bringing it up. So I advised him that he could check in at any kiosk, & he looked at me inquisitively as he said my name. "...Megan?" HA! I wasn't wrong, I did know this person! We hugged & caught up on life during his three-minute check-in, & I got updated on his daughter's life as well. What a teeny-tiny world we live in, guys. About an hour later, another passenger looked at me funny & said that I looked familiar. The man didn't immediately register in my mind, so when I asked if he ever dined at The Blue Star, his eyes widened. "That's how I know you!" I caught up with him & his wife, recalling the night they had dinner at my second home. The third passenger run-in was also a guest from The Blue Star who recognized me from the evening that I served them dinner, which I think is so cool.
Human connection is such a beautiful thing, isn't it? Sometimes we are so busy with our faces in our phones that we don't notice the people who are living & breathing all around us. The world is as vast as it is small, so I encourage each of you to pass people on the street & smile at them. To make eye contact with your waiters & waitresses. To compliment a stranger. I had a passenger last week overhear me talking about my photography & blog. She began following my adventure the instant I told her my Instagram handle, & we are already planning to hike together when she returns to the Denver area. How rad is that!? People are awesome, guys. Put your phones down & make a real relationship happen face to face, using a real connection... not a WiFi connection.
Onward to my favorite story of the week. I want to begin by saying how amazed I am that there are still thousands of people in America who have never flown on an airplane. I've been flying for as long as I have been driving, but I met two adults on two separate occasions this week who have never flown. They were anxious & nervous, so we took the time to explain where they needed to go, how they would get through security, how to find their assigned gate, & so on. The first passenger who had never flown smelled immediately like marijuana when he approached the kiosk. That overpowering, almost knee-buckling-smell. When I learned that he had never flown before, that made perfect sense -- I assumed he had smoked in the parking lot to calm his nerves & now, here he was, preparing to board an aircraft. I gave him his boarding pass, along with directions to TSA, & told him how to find his gate. He leaned in closer, his voice got quiet, & he said, "Can I ask you a question?" The expression on his face immediately told me that this question was going to be a memorable one. I nodded & leaned in closer to him. "So, I have some pot in my bag... can I fly with that?" What I wanted to say was, "Sir, the only high-flying you'll be doing is at 37,000 feet. You know, when you're actually flying." But instead, I held my composure & told him that he needed to dispose of the substance, the sooner the better, & pointed to the trashcan behind him. Oh, Colorado. You slay me.
Tune in next week, when the weekly blog series of Terminal Tales official begins. Also coming this week is a year in review for 2016, as well as the story behind my first non-rev flight. Happy Monday, everyone!
Megan Elizabeth is a storyteller based in Kalispell, Montana. Take a peek at her blog & portfolio, drop her a line, & follow her story on Facebook & Instagram.