as little david asked after the dentist, i found myself thinking, "is this real life?" on a plane a few weeks ago. i went for a short visit with some friends in the dallas area and decided to treat myself to a flight instead of a solo road trip.
on my flight, i had an early number in the southwest check-in system, so i was hoping for an aisle seat up front with my left arm free to write since i knew i'd be reading and working. the second row had two little precious children with those hideous tags that say "i'm flying alone." there was a little boy who looked like jabbar from "parenthood" and a little girl who looked like abigail breslin's younger sister. a visual:
as i approached the little girl, who i later found out was five, i said, "is anyone sitting here?" she said, "no," so i followed up with, "well, i'm nice. are you?" she assured me she was indeed nice, so i sat down.
hoped thought that would be the end of our conversation, but it turns out we became instant BFF's and needed to talk for the majority of the flight. so much for reading / writing / working on that flight :) we chit chatted about our drink choices (hers was dr. pepper but only on special occasions, so i suggested to her that flying through the air was indeed a special occasion), coloring (we both agree that flowers are the best thing to draw and/or color), build a bear workshop, and other normal topics. however, there was one moment where i thought to myself, "is this real life?"
this little diva has apparently been on "millions" of flights, so she was quite exasperated with the flight attendants speech and demonstration about safety. she knoooooows all the rules! she asked me if i had ever been on a flight where the "mask thing happens," and i said no. she never had either. she then quietly said, "i sure hope it doesn't happen today" and went back to her coloring. this is the moment that i thought, "i'm going to die today," which was followed quickly by, "or, i'm going to save these kids' lives today."
i honestly felt like i was being "truman show"-ed. do you ever have that feeling? that certainly, all this is just too convenient, and everything must be some not-so-cosmic set-up from producers in a sound box in the faux clouds? it just all seemed too convenient: i decide to "treat myself" to a flight, two precious children are there, we have a meet cute of hallmark movie proportions, we TALK ABOUT A POTENTIAL PLANE CRASH, she goes back to coloring. i could see the 60-minute drama episode unfold; we were going to crash, but i was going to sacrifice myself for those little cutie patooties.
fortunately, i was crazily overreacting. the plane landed just fine at love field. little baby doll ran into her dad's arm, hopped up on that special occasion dr. pepper i endorsed. she waved to me shyly, i said goodbye, and i didn't even see them at baggage claim.
i'm so glad i was wrong.
we even ate deliciously fancy ice-cream sandwiches in park. thank goodness my flight was normal, not the set-up of a lifetime original movie.