This is a continuation of the previous posts
I hope you’ll read them first.
The Inevitable Flaw
Determined I wouldn’t make another painful mistake, I focused on my career and being a single mom. And I didn’t have a date for years. And still more years.
But “alone” is not such a bad place to be, and life goes on.
One day, I was flying home after a business trip, sick as a dog with a horrible cold, exacerbated by my first-ever case of laryngitis. I felt terrible and looked worse, washed out except for my brilliantly red nose. I took my seat next to the window, pleased that no one was seated in the two seats between me and the aisle. Just before the door closed, a man sat in the aisle seat, and I thought, “of course.” Well, at least the center seat was empty. Right away this guy started talking to me. Hoping he might give up, I croaked out one word answers, turned toward the window and buried my red nose in my book. Finally, he focused on his magazine and left me to my misery.
Until the meal was served. Yes, that’s how long ago this was. Some of you may be too young to remember airline meals ;-), but you didn’t miss much. They weren’t all that memorable.
As soon as they flight attendant – a new name for her; she’d only recently stopped referring to herself as a stewardess — set the dinner trays down, he began talking to me again. Since I was hungry and didn’t want to be rude, I resigned myself some idle dinner tray table chatter.
Much to my surprise, I had a wonderful dinner. He was very entertaining, and I never even noticed how bad the meal was or when the tray was removed, let alone how lousy I felt. In fact, I was having such a great time that I decided I wouldn’t mind continuing the conversation off the airplane. And that’s when I mentally pulled out My List of Fatal Flaws.
I reviewed the conversation and realized that, in a very short time, he had told me a lot about himself.
His trip had been to visit his brother, who was two years younger and had recently had a heart attack. Shocking, wasn’t it, given his age (which turned out to be my age)? Check.
He was heading home to his new apartment just south of Boston. Check. He lives alone, just like a grown-up. And while the South Shore was about an hour-and-a-half drive from my town, but it certainly wasn’t 2500 miles away.
His divorce had recently become final. Check. Not married and probably not gay.
He wasn’t sorry to see the marriage end, but he would miss his step-children. He’d realized they were probably why he’d married her in the first place. But he certainly wasn’t looking to have children of his own now. Check.
Things were looking good. That just left “short.” As we talked, I mentally measured the calf and foot that I could see. They didn’t look really long. And then I had an idea. I would excuse myself to visit the restroom at the rear of the plane! Since I was seated in the window seat, he’d have to get up to let me pass. So I did. And he did. And he was about an inch shorter than I.
Gah. There it was, the inevitable flaw.
– to be continued –
Tune in tomorrow. Same time, same channel.