I'm just sayin'

Change Of Plans – Change A Life

on November 14, 2012

Most of my family, real and extended, do not live near me. Hence, I get to see the inside of airports regularly. I know the security drill pretty well. When it comes to getting airline reservations I think I’m the champ at getting great deals. Probably because I am also a planner, hey, I’m a Virgo! I am not one who waits to the last minute and takes whatever route or numerous layovers just to get wherever it is I’m heading. And I do not like to have hours to spend in an airport for layovers. Well, wait, there are some airports that are not that bad to get stuck in. Minneapolis, Minnesota ( MSP ) is huge. It has so many stores and restaurants it’s a like a mall. Which is kind of funny because Minneapolis is home to  the Great Mall of America! The GMA even includes a small roller coaster and other amusement park type rides for young kids. The airport doesn’t offer that, but if you have to be stuck in an airport that’s not a bad one to be stuck in.

Getting stuck in an airport is one thing, but being stuck on a plane on the runway would be traveling hell in my book. Luckily, I have never been stuck on a plane, on the runway. If that ever happened to me I am afraid I would have to fake a medical emergency. Something requiring an ambulance. Say, a heart attack. I have had the plane taxi out to the runway and have to wait our turn to take off. But not hours. I have been stuck on planes with stinky people, with crying babies, with loud groups of women who started their ‘girls-weekend’ in the limo. I have had the talker sit next to me. I have had unaccompanied minors sit next to me which is what happened recently when I flew on a short trip. Unaccompanied minor AND a talker. The kid was a talker and only ten-years old. I actually wanted to fake being deaf when he wanted to show me his Pokemon card collection or something in that category.  So I took the lead and asked where he’d been. He told me he’d been at his dad’s place. He went on to tell me how his dad took time off from work and they went camping. Just the two of them. He showed me a rock he found on their hike. He liked the rock because it was really smooth and shaped like a heart. He held it out for me to see. The kid said he was going to keep the rock forever. I told him he could carry it in his pocket and think about his dad and their camping trip whenever he wanted. He shared with me his parents don’t live together any more. He told me his parents had never been married. But it’s still like a divorce, he added. He got quiet after that. So I got out my magazine and before I could open it he tells me his dad packed him a bunch of snacks. He took out a bag from his back pack and started rifling through all the goodies he brought, laying them on the ‘snack tray’.  He named all his choices; fruit roll-ups, (strawberry’s his favorite) Skittles ( his most favorite candy in the world ) some trail mix ( he feigned gagging here) he showed me a small can of Pringles ( he raised his eyebrows at me). This kid was set for a three day trek. Our flight was an hour and twenty minutes. He narrated his struggle to make a choice from the array of snack items he’d laid out on the tray in front of him. Eenie, meenie miney mo… It was not going to be one of those flights where I just enjoyed my magazine and chilled. After choosing the Skittles and offering me some from the pile in his hand, ( Uh, No thank you) said kid showed me his video game thingee. I’m not sure what it was, he lost me at , “all you have to do…”  I watched him blow something up and out-run something on his video screen. I asked how high of points did he have. He looked at me kind of funny. Oh, it’s not like pinball where you compete for points – I think in the new video games a person wins by competing on a higher level. I think. I didn’t really get it and really didn’t care if I did get it; hopefully there wasn’t a quiz later!  The little guy seemed entrenched in his game so I pulled out the magazine again and got comfortable, opened it up and then the kid wanted to show me how to make the hero-figure jump a car or something like that. “Oh wow,” I said. I smiled looked him in the eye. He held my gaze for a second or two and said, “My mom says I talk a lot.”  Now came the hard part; “Really? Are you kidding me? “Nope,” he said. And I had a flash back to my grade school days when EVERY report card I received had at least one comment about how much I talked in class. As a matter of fact, the only French I can speak came from my sixth grade teacher who would take a deep breath and say to me , again, Fermez votre bouch, s’il vous plait. Shut your mouth, please. So I told the kid he didn’t talk too much and I closed the magazine and we talked the rest of the way. And I use the term “we” lightly. But maybe, just maybe, one day he’ll take the time to listen to some old lady on the plane who some say talks too much.


7 responses to “Change Of Plans – Change A Life

  1. realteal says:

    Great story, V.V. You’re right, it may be your turn to talk someday on a plane stuck on the runway or an airport not as entertaining as MSP! Great writing too; it was like we were there.

  2. VirgoVoice says:

    Payin’ it forward. I’m just sayin’.

  3. smitty j says:

    Like having Kaylin or Trevor sitting next to you, huh? Trevor, of course, wouldn’t talk to strangers. I used to get those notes, in school, also…pinned to my clothes.

  4. Noele says:

    A ten year old on a plane by himself???

  5. Pamela Van Gelder says:

    Yes 10 year olds on planes, times have changed. I will never forget the time my granddaughter flew from Vegas to San Diego and was only 5, this was 20 years ago, the airline took very good care of her and it was only a 50 minute flight. I even got a picture of her coming off the plane with the stewardess and as she ran to jump in my arms the stewardess was so touched by the scene she started crying. My granddaughter sat up with the stewardess and was told not to talk to anyone but them. She did this trip about once a month for about 9 months then they finally moved back out here. I remember monthly getting a note home from school too I think some of them were when I was talking to VirgoVoice.

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