Scenes from an Airplane

Last night I made an airplane friend! A legit, now-I-know-your-name-and-will-address-you-as-such-in-the-neighborhood airplane friend. Granted he is 52, and probably not BFF material, but he’s someone I didn’t know yesterday and I do today. So that’s something.

What’s funny is that we sat next to each other for a three-hour flight, which was really closer to four considering we sat on the plane for 45 minutes after landing while the flight crew searched down the gate agent to open the airplane door, and we didn’t speak a word the whole time. I was too busy watching the man and woman in the row ahead of us get acquainted, them exchanging life stories and me eavesdropping to see if they would just trade phone numbers already.

It was only after we deplaned, and my husband and I noticed how offensively long the cab line was, that we started talking to our plane neighbor. He too was horrified by the cab line. When he saw our faces, and how quickly we made a u-turn, he asked if we were thinking of taking the train.

We were.

Where do you live? he asked.

Lincoln Park. Near DePaul.

He mentioned his cross streets and, wouldn’t you know it, we are next door neighbors! One block apart! So the three of us took the train together, chatting about work and the neighborhood and NATO. His name was David, we learned, and we offered him a ride home from the train station.

And now we are neighbor pals. Count on delayed flights and backed up cab lines to bring people together.

So at least one relationship took off in those friendly skies. I’ll confess to you that I got all Harriet-the-Spy on the couple in front of me to see if love was blooming, and sadly they parted ways as soon as she got to the airport restroom. Such a bummer.

It seems everyone has gotten to know a neighbor in the most unlikely of places. What about you?

7 Comments

Filed under The Search

7 responses to “Scenes from an Airplane

  1. I met my husband standing in line at the airport on Christmas Eve and my best friend met her husband on a plane. So airports hold a special place in my heart. :-)

  2. I go to a large church in the city, about 20 min. away, and some of my best friends go to churches in the area, so circles of friends are routinely intersecting.
    My BFF just became my neighbor again after living two blocks away from me 10 years ago. After moving several times, she is again only two blocks away from me. Early morning walks and afternoon coffee breaks! Just like old times.

  3. I have met so many strange but wonderful people just by chance on the train here in Scotland.

    = The son of the Earl of Thurso, so nobility
    = The son of the man who invented the plastic formica
    = An actress with a small role in The Day After Tomorrow
    = A woman whose great-grandfather had water poured over his head by Marie Cure, the Nobel Prize winner, in Paris
    = An American girl whose name was Brie, yes like the cheese, and had a pet llama.

    That’s what I love about strangers, everyone has a tale to tell if you’re willing to excavate their consciousness a little :D

  4. I also like making airplane friends. On my last trip the young man beside me was studying to be a nutritionist. He gave me some great tips on loosing weight and healthy eating. He also had an interesting story and was returning home because he missed his girlfriend. Airplane friends can be very interesting, even if you never hear from them again. A couple of years ago I sat next to two women on a 1 hour trip. One had a similar experience to mine as she was also married to a man with a Non English speaking background. It was interesting to share experiences and also to hear how the experience helps you develop, grow and gives you an awareness of people from other cultures.

  5. quetzalcotl

    Well that’s interesting. I remember a professor from my Feature Writing class saying that the airplane is the least likely public transport that will help you find romance (or in this case, friendship) due to the relatively short travel time and how each passenger is hooked to his or her private entertainment, but I guess there will be a few cases when new relationships are found while on the plane or in the airport.

  6. kayelam

    A native of Alabama, I returned to the state after several years away. A long time ago while on a vacation in New Zealand, I heard another southern accent. When I approached the lady to chat, I discovered we not only lived in the same city, our property lines met. We were back-door neighbors. After we recovered from our shock, we found our husbands to introduce them and have witnesses to our meeting.

    I’d love to say we became great friends, during the ten years I lived there before moving out of town, but I probably saw her less than a dozen times. It did, however, prove it’s a small world after all.

  7. I got to know my neighbour who lives across the street from me at my aunt’s funeral!

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