I’m home now. I acutally have been for over a week, but that is beside the point of this story. Let me tell you about my return trip. Uh, huh. Before I even left my grandmother’s house I was given strict instructions, several times, not to talk to strangers, men or women. Sigh. As a side note, I’ve found it mildly amusing that family members that have in the past given the impression that they thought my parents were overprotective, overbearing, etc., are the ones that treat me as a child, or something. Before I get carried away on that whole subject, let me return to my travels…
I had one layover, so on the first segment of my flight I sat next to a very nice college girl and we chatted the entire flight, we even exchanged contact information, and the thought did occur to me, ‘my grandmother would never approve.’ But then if she is leading by example, she strikes up conversations with strangers all the time. I even got a little Dutch shoe key chain from one of her chats with an older man in the grocery store. She got a pair of little wooden shoes. I’m just saying.
After my first flight I trooped across the airport, with a carry-on bag over one shoulder, and a large purse/briefcase/bag over the other shoulder. Don’t worry, they were coordinated to my outfit. Between the two I had: a notebook computer, a portable printer, two books, assorted other paper work, a few pieces of clothes, shoes, etc. To sum it up, they were heavy. After I got to my destination, I was sitting debating what I should get to eat when two men walked up to the waiting area where I was sitting. At first I thought they were together since they had come up at the same time, but apparently not. Or they weren’t speaking. One never knows… One of them was younger, the other probably in his fifties, tall with curly grey hair. Just hold that thought.
Since there was a bit of time before my next flight I was deciding on getting something to eat, and since it was near tea time, after some procrastination, debating if I was or wasn’t boycotting Starbucks at that particular moment, I decided, no, I wasn’t and went over and got myself a cup of tea and some Walkers Shortbread. The whole point of getting tea and cookies was that it was around “foursies” (four o’clock tea) and I was going to call my grandmother while I was having it, to see if she’d had her tea. A connection sort of thing you know, just in case she was missing me. :)
I returned with my tea, not spilling any, a miracle itself, helped by the plastic lid, but still…..and as I was unloading my bags which had made the journey with me, and sitting down, the older man stood up into a half crouch and taking a few steps towards me asked if I was on my way back to college to play basketball. No, I told him, I didn’t do basketball. He then commented that I was tall, which I’m sure I acknowledged, because there really is not use denying it, and I am tall, even when I’m not wearing four inch heels. He then said something about tall being a good thing and sat back down.
I called my grandmother, had a very interesting conversation, told her that drinking tea out a paper cup was simply ghastly, the shortbread wasn’t as good as hers, etc. End of story. Right? Wrong.
Not by half.
I went on about my business, and that eventually led to my drafting an e-mail to my grandmother’s Bible study group. It seemed the perfect time, since traveling can be interesting and I wasn’t exactly sure what to say in the first e-mail. So I’m typing away, which was probably unique in itself, since I will often be very expressive and talk to myself when I’m writing. It helps me think. I may look like I’m crazy, but I assure you that is a completely misplaced opinion.
But that’s not the point, the point is, I was typing away, minding my own business, overhearing the older man’s conversation on the telephone, but not entirely tuned into it, when suddenly, I did tune into his conversation. The man was telling the person on the other end of the phone that he was about to send them pictures of a really tall girl, that had to be over six feet and should model their jewelry. A few seconds into this, I realized just exactly who he was talking about, gulp, me.
I was concentrating very hard on my typing, hoping my face was turning to no shade of red that would admit I had even heard what I had heard. Oh, my word.
My mind was turning rather quickly, he finished his conversation and then he –started-taking-pictures-of-me! Wait! Apparently the angle wasn’t right, or he wasn’t close enough, because he moved several chairs down, to almost across from me and was taking more pictures! At his point I did look up at him, gave him a look of surprise, and then returned to my work, completely ignoring him. At some point in there, my peripheral caught that the younger guy had popped his head up and was taking in the situation. What he was thinking I haven’t a clue, but I can jolly well hope that if I had in any way appealed to him, he would have stepped up to the plate.
I gave the older guy what I intended as a look of surprise, however, people don’t always read my looks right, and he may have taken it as one of displeasure. At any rate, while he may have been watching me after that at times, he completely ignored me.
I have that effect on people, one time a guy gave me a Valentine and then he didn’t speak to me for a month afterwards. And I had tried to be so gracious, too.
Not sure exactly what I was dealing with, I came and went from the waiting area quite a bit, and didn’t sit in the same row anyway. I also called home and gave them a heads up that I might have company, because I just wasn’t sure how this was going to play out. I was also prepared to send a text message, just in case I couldn’t talk, telling them to send my TALL brothers to meet me at the airport. And that made me smile, because I’ve seen them in security mode.
I didn’t have any further encounters with the guy and I sat next to a very friendly lady on the airplane that was telling me all about her farm and the different young people she had employed over the years. Now here is the bad part about that, she asked me where I was from, and that guy was at that point sitting right behind us (he afterwards moved to the front of the plane), not a great security situation. But, back to the lady, when the flight was almost over, I discovered that the homeschoolers she was raving about were family friends – and relatives, if you count sister’s husband’s sister’s husband’s siblings!
Anyway, I thought it was a strange, rather interesting travel anecdote, though I decided to give my sisters a heads up, just in case that guy was really creepy. My parents didn’t think it was so interesting, they didn’t like it at all, and I ended up giving a report of the whole situation to a law enforcement officer.
It was an interesting trip home. Not perhaps as interesting as sleeping on the floor in the middle of a travel trailer, but you know what they say, home is where your heart is – and I’m home.