Yesterday I jumped on a plane BY MYSELF like a TOTAL GROWN UP to head to Palm Springs for Camp Mighty. Can we have a moment for that sentence?
Flight #1 to Dallas was just like every other of the dozens of flights to Dallas I’ve taken. Ascend then descend. Over before it starts. I had *just* enough time to leave the plane, grab a sandwich and head to my gate to await boarding for flight #2.
So, there I was. Grabbed a sad looking hummus wrap and water from Starbucks then headed to the gate area to scarf it down in a certain level of shame that comes when you’re eating a Starbucks food product, which is about 2 steps above pushing 8 quarters into a vending machine for a cheese sandwich. I glance to my left and right to see if anyone is judging my hummus wrap, then slowly unsheath it from its crinkly packaging. I take a bite and realize there’s no hummus in this delightful ‘meal’ from the nation’s leading legal drug dealer. Oh well. I don’t have time to dispute the sadness in my mouth and at least the dang thing has pesto and gobs of arugula.
I tuck into another bite and look across the aisle where I’m sitting in the airport lounge. Not two feet from me, engrossed in a book on a tablet, is Jenny Lawson.
I texted the three closest friends who know who she is and said, “Holy shit. I just sat down to wait for my plane & Jenny Lawson is sitting across from me. #panic”
In return I got:
“Say hi!!! OMG”
“Go. Talk. To. Her.”
“Stfu!! Tell her you’re our friends! You have a shared love of dr pants ;)”
“And… She has a severe panic disorder, so she is way more panicky than you.”
Those last two are from a woman for whom I’d had a similar reaction 3 years ago.
“OMG. K.C. Clifford just called me ON THE PHONE to ask my advice…” It was sort of a full circle moment for me.
I snarfed down the rest of my lettuce sandwich while sneaking glances of The Bloggess and digging up some courage to say hi. Or anything. Our flight would board any minute and I would miss this chance to say hello to a woman who I greatly admire.
Finally, I looked up long enough to catch her eye. Probably like a creeper. And said, “Hi!” while I’m sure she thought, “Shit. This nice lady seems to know me and fuck all if I know her name.” My opening line was i m p o s s i b l y awkward. I know I said something about Camp Mighty. And something about having mutual friends. And that my friend played in her bathroom earlier this year. All the while she’s probably having that moment in her head of “Oh shit, where’s my pepper spray?”
The painful awkwardness was rescued by an overhead announcement that our flight was delayed. We chatted for a few minutes and in the middle of convo I got this text from a Team member with whom I was planning to share cab at the Palm Springs airport:
“Hi, ladies! I am stuck in Texas right now. Something about the de-icer on the plane. Maintenance will tell us if we can go anyway. ?!?!?! I’m trying not to think about that. Anyway, I will let you know but I might be late getting to PS. You might have to carry on to the hotel w/ out me. See you there. Eventually.
On the bright side, Jenny Lawson is also on my flight. Maybe I can taxi with her. LOL!”
We quickly realized that Anne Marie was literally sitting behind me. And once where there were two strangers chatting in an airport lounge, there were now three. And three is a party.
Good thing. Because, in the end, our flight was delayed for over three hours, including a false start in which half of the flight boarded before realizing that the repair to the plane uncovered another issue that put the plane out of commission. The three of us Mighty campers hung out and chatted for a few hours. We lamented many times at the frustration that the flight was delayed in 1/2 hour increments so we never knew if we had time for a beer.
Or maybe that was just me. I forget.
All I know for sure (besides how nice Jenny and Anne Marie are) is that when American Airlines derails your afternoon, there’s free wine and warm nuts on your plane.