Wednesday, August 10

Seeing a thunderstorm at eye level and other in-flight entertainment

Last night I was flying back from another week in San Diego. I settled into my seat and finished the last few articles of this month's Runner's World. Partway through the boarding process, I looked up to see a tall man hunched over in the small plane, wearing a t-shirt that read: "I love my wife."


T-shirt man was followed by four identically blonde children, ranging in age from 4 to 11, and a very blonde woman. (This must be his wife.) The children were lined up like ducklings between the two parents.

I wondered to myself: Who wears a shirt that says "I love my wife."? Is it supposed to be ironic? If not, I am pretty sure the four kids are proof that you love your wife, buddy. Posting it on your t-shirt seems like overkill.

The family settled (or rather, the parents settled, the kids bounced like Mexican jumping beans) in seats next to and around me. I finished reading, folded up my Runner's World, and switched to Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias (awesome book - review to follow!), but flying past a thunderstorm at eye-level caught my attention. Nighttime summer flights provide some of the best "fireworks" as in-flight entertainment.

I put my book down, and was staring out the window watching lightning arc from one cloud to another, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned, expecting to see hubby (who was sitting a few rows back) but instead found t-shirt man.

He asked: Excuse me, but do you mind if I borrow your magazine? Or are you going to read it later in the flight?

I was done anyway, and said: Oh, of course. I finished most of it already anyway. There are some great articles this month.
I handed the magazine over.

T-shirt man said: Yeah, my daughter has been asking when I'm going to "get back into the Olympics." But by "Olympics" she means running - too young to know the difference. Do you run?

What I thought in my head, and what I said out loud are two different things.
In head: Hello, Captain Obvious! First you wear "I love my wife" on a t-shirt. Then you ask someone wearing $100 Mizunos and carting around a copy of Runner's World if she runs. Really, dude? Really? Then the "other voice" in my head kicked me for being snarky, and reminded me that maybe he was just being nice. Really, he seemed to be an OK guy...
Out loud, and with a kind smile: Yes. All the time.

I turned back to my lightning-watching, wondering if our conversation or inspiration from Runner's World would be the little nudge that t-shirt man needed to lace up a pair of running shoes.

I hope so.

Photo courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum


  1. I think the shirt is in answer to this question: "Dude! Why on earth would you agree to get on a plane with 4 kids?"

  2. Oh! I hadn't thought of that angle... That would explain a lot. ;)


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