Your first impression is all you get when you meet people. On my recent flight to Seattle, I had the privileged of encountering a woman who would enter my character files.
An older lady. Dressed to impressed. Her hair was an architectural wonder – nary a curl or hair out of place, lacquered and teased into submission. Her make up was painstakingly applied. Gold balls affixed to her ears, a diamond solitaire hung from a tasteful chain. Her navy twinset, khaki slacks, white mules and compression hose completed her tasteful ensemble. She sat on the aisle seat, her ever-so-clever husband sat across from her. He was country-club casual, with a charming smile. An affable gentleman, seemly relaxed. Perhaps a little too relaxed.
Mrs. X seated, ever so precisely in the coach class airline seat, wasn’t about to let the riff-raff about her impact her trip.
Towards the back of the plane and older woman was having trouble breathing. The airline approved oxygen generator had run through the battery packs far quicker than advertised. The flight crew sprang into action. The Boeing 737 was equipped with charging stations at each row, unfortunately only three rows out of twenty-five seemed to be functioning. Either the oxygen generator gets charged, or the flight is forced to land for a medical emergency.
The flight attendants try each row. For on reason or another the first row is not compatible, they ask the row with Mrs. X in it.
Mrs. X’s character is revealed, she refuses to cooperate. Stating loudly, “I don’t understand why sick people have to travel. Why can’t they just stay home.”
When asked again, she flat out refused to give up her seat. The rest of her row, unassociated with her, were more than willing to work with the flight attendant.
Then they came to my row. When asked, it was a no-brainer.
A) Help a person in medical distress? Of course.
B) If we had to be rerouted, no one would have gotten to our destination – trade seats.
C) Doing a good deed is always the right thing to do.
Mrs. X spent the rest of the flight writing a letter to Continental, explaining how ‘inconvenienced’ she was by the entire incident. Before you ask, I was sitting across the aisle one row behind her and her hand writing was amazingly legible. It became obvious that she was dragging me into her drama by all the not-s0-covert looks she was directing towards my travel companions and myself for descriptions. The amusing part? My mother got a son out of the drama.
Yes, Mrs. X had decided to complain on our behalf. Wasn’t that generous of her?
Characters are born everywhere, some are well known, born and bred. Others, well others flit into our lives, making impressions.
Life is full of characters, where do you get yours?