In my ongoing efforts to prove that one can be footloose, fancy-free, and an airline flyer (I admit this is a weird message to want to carry into the world), I am routinely the last passenger to get on a plane.
I don’t care where I sit, and I don’t like to be contained before it’s time. This brings me to the final boarding call.
On today’s flight, as I began my stroll down the middle aisle in search of an empty seat on Southwest, the flight attendant made a cute announcement about all of us late boarders.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we at Southwest are proud to tell you that we have interviewed extensively the passengers you see now boarding the plane, and we have determined they are the kindest, smartest, most low maintenance passengers and companions to sit next to. If you have an empty seat in your row, you can scoot on over and make room for them in your row with full confidence in the judgment of our interviews to bring to you the best passengers Southwest has to offer.”
I played right into her hand, smiling and nodding, mouthing the words, “It’s true.” After all, I am not an efficient traveler, so I try to make up for it with charm and cute.
I spotted a middle seat in the middle of the plane, between a grandma by the window and a gentlemen sitting next to the aisle. Just as I asked if anyone was sitting between them, the flight attendant added one more thought:
“And you never know, ladies and gentlemen, if this next person on the plane could be your Southwest Love Connection. You just never know.”
Now I was in a very precarious position. I’ve just asked this man if I can sit beside him, and the flight attendant has just proposed the idea that maybe this could change the course of our romantic lives. Suddenly, my question about an empty seat became something more like an eHarmony profile.
The gentleman on the end of the row played right into her hand. He stood, charmingly gestured an invitation into his row, and then he said to me and the people around us,
“Absolutely, ma’am. Because you just never know.”
I guess you never really do.