From Jim Gilliam's blog archivesFountainhead
July 23, 2002 9:57 PM
On the plane ride back from Alaska, I sat next to someone who I never interacted with, but still learned a great deal from. He was probably 29 years old.
When the flight attendants were doing their seat belt and oxygen mask routine, they decided to spice it up a bit with a little humor. People were chuckling here and there. At the end, she got serious, and asked everyone to say hello to their neighbor. Her theory was that if we as a society at least knew each other's names we'd be more civil to each other. It was a nice touch, and most of the people seemed to respond to it.
Except for the guy sitting next to me. I actually turned to introduce myself, but he was reading, and ignored me. Okay, whatever. It's not like I'm the most social person in the world anyway. He read the entire trip.
A little later, they were handing out drinks. He asked for a bloody mary mix. When she handed him one, he asked for another since "this one is so small." Note that he didn't ask for any alcohol for his bloody mary, just the mix.
Then she came back with the food. Naturally, I had a vegetarian meal and she brought me my veggie burger. I asked if they had any mustard. She tried to find some, even going to the back of the plane, but there wasn't any.
A few minutes later I noticed that the guy sitting next to me had a packet of unopened dijonnaise. Now, granted, this is not exactly mustard, but it's pretty close. He never offered it to me.
At this point, I had a pretty low opinion of this fellow. Self absorbed, a bit obnoxious, etc.
Towards the end of the trip, I happened to catch a glimpse of the book as he put it away. What was he reading?
This was one of those moments for me. See, I love this book. Or loved, rather. I realized right then just how much I had changed in the last year. That book just isn't who I am anymore.
More from the archive in Me.