Up in the Air

Rick Mattson Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Jen said in a roundabout way that maybe she’d join me for lunch in one of O’Hare’s many eateries.

Chicago’s O’Hare airport: my new friend. We’ve spent a lot of quality time together this past year.

Now it appeared a third party was inserting herself into our relationship.

Jen had plopped her luggage and computer bag across the aisle from me at the terminal gate, and started talking. Talking rough. Expletives laced her sarcastic tone, especially when referencing a former husband.

Eventually she learned what I do for work. That always changes things.

Tough girl went sincere, cuss words evaporated.

I was beginning to enjoy this. She was, say, five years younger than me. The conversation picked up.

After a few minutes a stunning realization gradually came to my dull consciousness. I fought it off. It couldn’t be true.

Call me slow afoot. Asleep at the wheel, surprised. I simply do not think of myself as a prospect for —

OK, three lessons learned for a married person such as myself:

1. Keep the ring finger exposed and glistening. But don’t count on it as a sure-fire deterrent (it isn’t).

2. Don’t underestimate the human drive for intimacy and security, either in yourself or that person sitting across the aisle.

3. Eat alone. I did.

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