The Kindness of Friends and Strangers

I’m still recovering from the fun day I had yesterday, courtesy of a computer problem at American Airlines. The day was long, but it could have been so much worse had people been jerks about it. In the terminal, all the TVs were on CNN, who was reporting on the Boston Marathon Bombing, so maybe that put things into perspective for the rest of us, I don’t know.

I was grateful that I was traveling with my co-worker, Jay, because he has a very soothing presence, and he calmed me down (and shushed me when I was drunk-yelling (happy yelling, mind you)). Honestly, I couldn’t have picked a better travel buddy. We met some new people who were also just hanging out in the airport bars trying to find a way to their destination. One guy was on his way to Peru. He had been traveling since the previous day–a 10 hour bus ride from Frankfurt to Paris, then a flight from Paris to the US, and then he was stuck trying to get to Lima. Can I tell you how refreshing he was? He was all smiles, very talkative, and just in a very good place. We met another woman on her way to Vegas, and she was proactive about finding us different flights and keeping us informed on things as they unfolded. She met some people, and they bought us drinks at the airport. Total strangers. It was great.

And then, there was the help of Cortney, a girl I went to high school with. We’re Facebook friends, and after reading a post about my plight at the airport, she messaged me and told me she was there, too. Eventually, she told me about a Vegas flight in terminal D (which we had already been to earlier in the day) after the ones in A and C were cancelled. She was at a nearby gate, so we went back to D and got booked on the flight. It was delayed, too, by the time we got there because there was no crew, but it was okay… and then I sought out Cortney at the Irish Pub, who I hadn’t seen in 20 years. She hasn’t aged a day, I swear, and we chatted for about 10 minutes. It was pretty neat to catch up with her.

I was stuck in a middle seat on the flight, and the guy on my left, Robert, started the flight bitching about his bags not being on the flight. I put my noise-cancelling headphones on and started listening to Les Mis… and halfway through the flight, he offered to share some snacks with me. How awesome was that!? It was great, because I was hungover by the time I got on the plane at 9:45pm (flight was originally at 2:05), so having something in my system was good.

So… all in all, it was a recipe for disaster, but humanity put on a good show yesterday… and I kind of needed to see something like that happen. It’s nice to be reminded that other nice people are out there.

2 thoughts on “The Kindness of Friends and Strangers

  1. I’m glad you made it back, I would never drink while flying. First off, it would make me violent–especially to seat-back kickers and those who can’t control their small children.

    The second reason is that alcohol doesn’t mix well with the stomach full of pills it takes even to get me to the airport. (HOORAY TEAM ATIVAN!!! *drool-snore*) 😉

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