I thought I should get the “talk to people on the airplane” goal out of the way in the first half of the trip so I would have the option of being totally anti-social on the way home. I wasn’t feeling particularly chatty for the first flight though, since it involved waking up at 3:30 after a whopping three hours of sleep.
By the time the second flight came around, I was ready to go. I had ingested some caffeine, I had finished a book on the first flight (wow, a third of the way through that goal), and I had a little extra adrenaline running through my system thanks to a tight connection in the Chicago airport. I decided to warm up with some conversation in line.
Then I realized that people like quiet airplane neighbors for a reason. People are kind of weird, which is part of the charm of getting to know new people. You never know what to expect. But the problem with the airport chattiness is that then you’re stuck wherever you are with that person indefinitely. And once you’ve started talking, how do you politely stop?
Fortunately, the line chat was limited to ten minutes or so. By the time I made it onto my second flight, I had learned my lesson. I shoved my nose into my book and kept it there for the duration of the flight.
I guess I willfully failed at that goal. I did, however, find out that my neighbor on the third flight is elk hunting this week and that yesterday was the first day of elk hunting season. I know that he hunts with the same guide every year, and he thinks it isn’t optional to be there for the first day of the season. He hates flying, and he likes looking out the window as much as I do. Maybe that’s enough chatting to qualify as success? You can be the judge.
I finished a second book by noon, so I’m in good position to complete that goal. Much more importantly, I realized that I’ve never once been in Colorado at this time of year. I lived here one summer after high school, and then I stuck to visiting at Christmas and the occasional Easter or Thanksgiving (one Thanksgiving… not an entirely positive travel story… I shake my fist at New Mexico’s road signs).
I never knew how beautiful it is here in the second week of September. The garden is blooming all around the house, the grass is green, and there are vegetables out the wazoo in the new-this-year vegetable plot (complete with 10-foot fence to keep the deer away). I joke sometimes that my parents don’t like neighbors, but I’m starting to think they might be on to something.