Hi friends. Wanna hear a great story? It involves a boy, a girl, and a missed connection. It’s days like this where I wish I was a “big name blogger” because wouldn’t it be nice if this post went viral and somewhere out there this story lead to us being reunited?
As I was leaving Denver on Sunday I wasn’t feeling well. Earlier in the morning I had the brilliant…absolutely brilliant idea to down half of a 32 oz bottle of tart cherry juice. I knew I couldn’t take an open glass container on the plane, and I didn’t want to waste large amounts of juice, so I thought I would man up and down it. The rest of the morning I felt a little uneasy, but assumed my stomach would settle after breakfast and as I walked around. Down the elevator I went and gathered my oatmeal and eggs from the buffet. I then went and attended my Pound class, where the motion caused some internal waves of my tummy ocean and I thought I was in the clear. By lunch I was starting to feel better and decided more food would help.
Two of my roomies and I stopped off at a place called Ted’s Montana Grill.
OK sooo we weren’t in Montana, but we didn’t want to eat at Applebee’s or a bagel shop. While there I enjoyed a wonderful plate of bison meatloaf and homemade chips. Also some great french fries. I was promised the oil was a mix of canola and olive, but as I ate I didn’t think this was true. Almost immediately things felt off and I stopped eating. Not long after we found ourselves at the airport and I was pulling suitcases to the counter. My stomach started talking to me (seriously this was maybe 15-20 minutes after we ate) and almost had an Al Roker situation. I think the Grill may have lied about their oils. It happens, but it doesn’t annoy me any less. Honestly, if I had gone to the bathroom and learned a worse fate I would have been more upset.
Walking through security and riding the “plane train” to my boarding area, things were NOT getting better. Along with feeling like my stomach had declared war, I was also getting dizzy. Somehow the altitude difference had finally caught up with me. At long last I made way onto the very crowded plane and settled in for the 3 hours of “fun”. AirTran (didn’t realize my SouthWest flight would be conducted by them) assigns seats and I was located in the middle. As I was sitting there, trying not to die or worse, fart, a man started down the aisle and of course made his way into my row and between me and the window. The flight was completely packed, he was very cute and I was very sick.
The above is an image from a previous flight, but doesn’t it bring some needed color to the post? He started trying to talk to me and trying not to seem like a bitch I explained how ill I was feeling and might fall asleep. He laughed and said that was fine, but I should be warned he has a bony shoulder. I was a little surprised by this forward statement by a stranger, but also comforted.
I sat under the air vents, in as few layers as possible. Those who know me know how weird that is, since I hate air being blown on me (I do, I get so angry at fans) and I am always always cold! I made a joke about this and the man next to me said sweetly that I was just like him and maybe I should move south. It was then I noticed the accent. I wanted to keep talking, but the plane was spinning so I shut my eyes again.
What felt like forever later I opened my eyes, but it was only 10 minutes. My seatmate (who I learned was named Ken) sweetly said to me how worried he had been and asked if there was anything I needed. Sure, to stop being sick!
He told me about how he was/is a paramedic. He was laid off in the spring and is now working at a doctor’s office. We went over other things about life and we had more and more and more in common. One of the best things he taught me was putting ice on my neck to ease the puking feeling.
TMI info on a person you’ve never met? He has 6 and 9 year old daughters, he is recently divorced and lives outside of Birmingham, AL. He enjoys hiking and kayaking and camping. He is finishing his bachelor’s degree and doesn’t follow politics. He enjoys NetFlix and we watch the same shows. He’s a tall, thin, redhead (ginger), and did I mention the accent?!?! He originally went to college on a scholarship and would run 10 miles a day. He likes to travel and was simply the sweetest man ever. Amazingly two hours of the flight flew by with us talking and sharing and laughing.
About 15 minutes before we landed I began to feel terrible. I laid my head down on the drink table and Ken tried to keep the ice, air and puke bag near me. If I looked up he would say a few comforting words. He offered me ice for my neck and I declined. I don’t know why I declined. Nothing would have made me happier than to have this man holding ice against my neck, but I didn’t want to feel or look like a weirdo and I already felt sick. I didn’t need my heart beating a million miles per minute with flirtatious nervousness on top of it all.
Sadly, despite my best efforts, I couldn’t win this fight. Finally I gave in, opened the bag and said goodbye to my meals. I managed not to get it anywhere though or make horrible noises. Still, I threw up on a plane. EPIC FAIL.
I really wanted to fight through the embarrassment, but I couldn’t. I was defeated. I couldn’t get off the plane quickly enough. We made small talk about shoes and the long drive he had from Atlanta. I wanted to believe he might still be interested in talking to me. I couldn’t shake the feeling though that there’s no way a guy is going to be thinking of a girl who just threw up next to him as a romantic interest.
Part of me kept saying to talk to him more. To ask for his contact info. I hurried out of the seats and up the aisle. He quickly caught up and shared a few more words. Then I was overwhelming ashamed again and bolted out of the plane. Maybe I was wrong though, so I asked for directions to the next terminal before reaching the main commotion of the airport. I asked, not because I needed directions, but hoping it would give Ken time to find me again and ask for my info. Because wouldn’t that make the greatest story?
It didn’t happen though. We didn’t exchange info and we have little to no chance of seeing each other again.
Sad right? Although really, where would it have gone? What would I have done? Online chats and emails? Sure, most people do anyway. Visits during the year? Of course, he was telling me about the local races they have his way. Moving away someday? Maybe. Why not? I always said I wanted to move south. Who knows…and it doesn’t matter now anyway. I’ll spend the next few days or weeks imagining the crazy future I might have had if only I had the balls to say “here call me or text me”. Soon enough life will go back to what it was before, and Ken will forget about the sick girl on the airplane who may have only thrown up because of how nervous and giddy he made her feel.
UPDATE: Thanks to the wonderful friends I have in social media and specifically the free time of one lady in my Half Fanatics group, someone found Ken. Now to see what this means…
UPDATE TWO: Read the next installment of my story…