If you have read anything I've written before, you have noticed I have a particular talent for not just embarrassing myself, but SPECTACULARLY HUMILIATING myself. I'm so good at it I've decided to be proud of it. This article is the second in what will be a rather long, amusing series of stories about the wondrous ways in which I beat my own dignity to a metaphorical bloody pulp. Take my hand; this is going to be fun!
(Originally, I intended to simply write one article on the subject, list-style. When I listed them all, I realized there was far too much material there for that small arena. You're welcome!!!)
Here's the thing: I am not exactly what anyone might call "shy." In fact, I'm pretty sure I can already hear my friends guffawing at that sentence, but I digress. So I'm not shy. In fact, I'm very straightforward. And if I am in public and make eye contact with someone, I (almost always) smile, nod, or speak, depending on the circumstances. Especially in small spaces like elevators or airplanes (remember my previous article?? Oooops...) because I think it's super creepy to be THAT close to someone and not speak, at least in passing. I mean, really, on a plane, you are practically plastered against a stranger for several hours-- so mingling arm hairs and evaporated sweat feels a tad less distressing to me if I say, "hi, how are you?"
Last time I was on an airplane (so many of my stories start this way!), I was exhausted. I had been in Lubbock for three days for work. I absolutely LOVE my career, but we all get tired, right? I had an evening flight after three full days of work and it was one hundred and Hell degrees outside, with gusty winds from southwest Hades. It felt like the Devil was playfully blowing against my neck... at about forty miles per hour. I was dressed, as always, in a very stylish, very black, very tailored suit... so I was therefore very WARM.
After two delays and an extremely annoying woman making so much noise drinking her frozen chai that even a dog would look at her like she was gross, we finally boarded. The plane was even smaller than the one I flew there on; I had to duck slightly to walk down the aisle. When I realized that this also meant the seats were even smaller and closer together, I was less than thrilled... and then I found my seat.
The man I was about to be sitting next to was either the best looking man I've seen in years or I was having a mild heat stroke. Either way, I was ok with that. Suddenly the distance between the seats didn't seem like such a punishment. He looked up and smiled, and as I was sitting down, I was thanking God for the power of makeup (and hoping my perfume was still working). He was emailing while we waited for take off, so I pulled out my book and started reading.
While this was going on I was trying to decide whether to do some serious flirting or just read (especially given what happened last time). As that horrifyingly hilarious memory went flitting through my mind, I noticed that something unusual was happening. You know how when you sit next to a stranger, especially with a shared armrest, you both usually sit in almost bizarre positions so that your arms don't touch? We weren't doing that. In fact, our arms were completely pressed against each other and my leg was plastered against his. I don't know who started it, but I didn't end it. I was staring at our legs and heard him say, "good book, huh?'
I'm pretty sure I blushed... because that's what Irish girls do (plus, my face all of a sudden felt like a flame thrower). I laughed and said, "honestly, I forgot," which made him laugh. He looked at the window next to him and raised the shade a fraction, asking me if I needed more light. I was a little moony-eyed, so all I could do at first was shake my head. He laughed and said, "you sure?' and lowered it. I said, "I'm good," and he raised it all the way, saying "it's not good for you to read in the dark, you know." The sunlight that flooded in struck my pale face with such force I was afraid it might blind this gorgeous man (or the pilots. Or a nearby bird).
Being... how I am... I said the first thing that popped into my head. "Don't worry. I can see in the dark. I'm a vampire. See? I sparkle..." And then I giggled whilst thinking, "wow, Kelly. When are you going to stop being so good at being ridiculous?" I did not know how to recover from that, so I looked back at my book and waited. Every time I read a funny part, he laughed, too. And I realized that we were still pressed against each other. Just as I worked up my courage to say something else, we landed. Curses. Another opportunity dashed against the rocky beach of my ridiculosity...
Oh, well. There's always next time!