While this happened almost a month ago, I am just getting around to telling it because I didn’t have this blog. More importantly, I am getting tired of telling this story over and over again, so I decided I’m just going to write it down.. So here is the infamous hot-plane-chick story.
So I was on the way back from a medical physics conference which was held in Chattanooga this year. Chattanooga has a very small airport, so they route everyone through Atlanta, which I believe is one of the country’s biggest airports. Anyways, this was at the beginning of May, which if you don’t recall was when a lot of tornados were moving through the country. The weather wasn’t that great for the entire week and that day was no different.
It was starting to rain a little bit. So I got to the airport on time for my flight, but it turns out they had delayed everything by about an hour. They asked me if “I wouldn’t mind switching my flight to the next flight in order to help other people make their connecting flights?” So, I said “sure no problem.” I mean the lady seemed nice enough and it wouldn’t make a difference in terms of catching my connecting flight to Gainesville – it just meant I had a shorter layover time in Atlanta.
So in order to make my flight, I ended up missing Dan’s presentation during the conference. Basically, I could’ve attended if I had known that either 1) my original flight was delayed or 2) I would be going on a different flight all together. So I was a little upset about that because Dan is an award-winning speaker.. seriously!
I walk down to the terminal and settle in at my departure gate, I mean, I had a ton of time before the flight was now scheduled to leave. However, as soon as I sat down, one of the other conference attendees noticed that I was there. He was a resident at another hospital and we had a good time at the hotel bar the night before, and sensing an opportunity to kill time, he decided to strike up a conversation. So we started talking and before we know it, a few of the faculty who were inconspicuously yet awkwardly standing around (medical physicists are not very renowned for their social skills) decided to join us in a conversation about the field in general. This was a great networking time, so I didn’t object too much.. at first.
Out of the corner of my eye I see this beautiful girl aimlessly walking around my gate, talking on her cell phone, sitting around and looking generally restless. This girl has the most absolutely stunning smile and, in general, the way she carried herself was nothing like I’d ever seen. I feel like she just had this aura which I was captivated by. With every little laugh she made while on the phone, I knew I would not forgive myself if I did not talk to her.
The approach was not a problem. For the girls reading this, I pride myself on my ability to strike up an engaging conversation with basically anyone. This is a skill which I have honed for years. My friends that I have winged (is the past tense of winged = “wang”?) for at one time or another, know exactly what I am talking about. I mean, I’m basically terrible at everything else except the approach. But I thrive on the approach. I would compare myself to Maverick from Top Gun in the infamous volleyball scene. Ok, I’m getting slightly off-topic.
One paragraph ago, I just claimed that the approach was not a problem. However, I soon realized that I was basically entrapped by the faculty who had arrived for their (delayed) flights. So I would not have the opportunity to even try. This was extremely frustrating for me. So I thought to myself, “Oh well, I can improvise.” So between giving my opinion on the merits of proton radiotherapy and chuckling at nerdy jokes, I managed to catch her wandering eyes and gave her a little smile.
She turned bright red. It was hilarious. And cute, I guess. So I’m so busy congratulating myself I briefly forget that I’m still a prisoner of the ongoing dialogue between the medical physicists. I thought about excusing myself for a few minutes, which would’ve been fine if I’d been in the company of residents or if this girl was even vaguely in the direction of the vending machine or drinking fountain. But, no, she decided to sit close to the gate. Anyways, I just cursed my luck and I tried my best to put it out of my mind. But like I said, this girl was extraordinary and when I caught her looking at me, she had these amazingly penetrating blue eyes (seriously?!) which I wanted to see more of.
So I get on the plane with the physicists, half-heartedly laughing at their continued banter. The entire time, I was thinking of how far out of hand my thoughts had gotten. For example, see “Blue eyes I wanted to see more of.” WTF. Anyways, I glance down to see where in this stupid (negative attitude kicking in) plane I was sitting: 7A. Great! A window seat means I can sleep. I have never gotten through a full plane flight without sleeping. I look up and who should be there but HPC? She’s got this slight smirk on her face as she looks over at the empty seat next to her. As I approach her rows, counting down, I realize I am going to sit next to her! It must’ve been divine intervention right?
Wrong. My quick assessment had been incorrect. I had miscounted by one row. She was in 6B, I was in 7A. So I was literally just about as close I could’ve been to her without actually being next to her. So, I resume my cursing tirade to myself about my luck and again tried my best to put it out of my mind.
I settle in, and get ready to enjoy my routine sleep during the flight. As I’m nodding off to Taylor Swift’s cooing, the older lady sitting next to me decided she had different plans. She wants to tell me all about herself and her grandchildren. It’s a classic plane situation, I’m sure everyone has had this happen. I politely try to avoid conversation and keep my responses very terse (much like this story). After about 10 minutes of Grandma talking at me – not with me – I pull out my headphones and give up on this notion of sleeping.
I find out Grandma is from Michigan and suddenly our conversation turns slightly interesting past small-talk. I began to talk with her. A few minutes later, I noticed that in typical Chris fashion, my voice became slightly louder when I become interested (“locked in” in Wang-man speak) in what Grandma had to say. But then I thought, “Hey maybe my loud voice can get the attention of HPC?”
So, only a few minutes later, I realize that HPC had reclined her chair back and was in the conversation. Like a full-on participant in a conversation. Remember how I had spent the past hours in a feeble attempt to get HPC to talk to me? It turns out that she was so smooth in her approach that she impressively managed to squeeze her words through the small gap in the seats and my loud dialogue. I attribute this to my good listening skills and being “locked in.”
Thus began the most engaging conversation I have ever had with anyone. Needless to say, it was the best plane flight I have ever had. I find out all these things about her. She completely aced the S-test (my S words are smart, sexy, sweet, silly, and sassy): a cute nurse from Chattanooga who was traveling to Germany. She even added another S I didn’t even know I like: “southern.” She had this slightly southern accent and I could tell she had been raised in the South with proper manners and because she was a nurse, I knew she had to have patience.
Before I knew it, the plane was going into its landing pattern, so as the flight attendant requested the passengers to “put trays up and seats in full locked position” I told her that I had had a great time talking and would like to buy her a drink. I wanted to talk to her more. So the plane landed and we disembarked. I got to the gate, and checked for my connecting flight.
Well, remember how I changed flights in order to be accommodating to another unlucky passenger? And how I thought a short layover would be good? Well, I found out that my Gainesville flight was literally just beginning the boarding process as we left from the previous flight. I went and asked the attendant how long it would be before the flight was about to leave. The guy said “Well you should probably be getting on the plane now.” So I responded with “Look, I just met this amazing girl, let me at least score her number.” He says “Oh, I got you. Well, realistically you’ve got about 20 minutes before we close the door.” I start my mental clock.
20 minutes left: So I tell HPC that we have to do this fast. But we (at least I am) are determined to at least try to get to know each other a little better. So we walk down what I feel like is the only stretch of Atlanta which doesn’t have a bar nearby.
15-20 minutes left: Again, I begin cursing my luck. But we keep going and we eventually decide on an Applebee’s which was still pretty far away. So then we resume talking. I’m literally ordering drinks at the same time I’m giving this lady named Shquonda my credit card. Shquonda was extremely rude and not particularly motivated to bring drinks to us as quickly as I would’ve liked. I order a huge beer and she gets the typical Southern girl’s order of spiked iced-tea. So we talk and I tell her how much I enjoyed talking with her and chug my beer. No doubt she was impressed with my beer drinking skillz which are so good that they require a “z.”
10-15 minutes left: Anyways, while we are drinking as fast as we can, I realize I’m probably never going to see this girl ever again. So, thinking as fast as I can (aka 100 times faster than Shquonda), I remember that she’s going to Germany. In other words, I need to use Facebook. So I grab her phone and put myself into her phone.
5 minutes left: Not. I don’t know what possessed me to trust my timing. It’s actually 5 minutes over. So, I give her a quick hug and walk casually towards the gate. She turns the other direction and walks towards the international terminal. I glance back, trying to catch another glance of her sway (another S word!), but also to see when she’s out of sight. Then I bolt towards the gate which is on the other side of the freaking concourse. So as I’m speed-walking towards, they start calling my name on the intercom. You know, like the “This is the last call” type of name. I reach the gate with not a moment to spare, the lady looks me up and down, then asks me “Are you Chris? We been waiting for you.” I don’t know where the original guy went. I feel like he wouldn’t have been closing the gate on me, because it’s like Bro Code right?
I get on the plane and the flight attendant is giving me the death-stare because I basically made the entire flight late. The rest of the passengers looked kind of annoyed. Everyone hated me, but I was still beaming from meeting this amazing girl. I think everyone knows the feeling. So then like 2 minutes later, this old wheezing couple gets on the plane. So no more death-stare for me. In fact, I have convinced myself my tardiness was a charitable contribution because if I’d been there on time, they would’ve closed the doors earlier and that poor old immobile couple wouldn’t have hobbled onto the flight.
Since I did not have Grandma next to me again for this leg of the flight, I was able to pop in my headphones and just listen to T-Swift in peace. I passed out before we had even finishing taxiing out of the runway. We get back and I get a ride home from my friend. I am gushing like a little girl the entire time about how I met this gorgeous girl on the flight back. I unpacked my luggage, scrambling through my bags looking for my iPod and my heavily-anticipated Facebook Friend Request.
Awesome! It’s right there. So I click “accept request” and wooosh I am swept away to my Facebook homepage.
But there’s a problem. She’s not in my list of Facebook friends! So I click on the “accept request” button again and start cursing my luck again. So I quickly decide I’ll just look her up in the Facebook Search. Well, it turns out HPC’s privacy settings are so excruciatingly stringent that she doesn’t show up in search results. I was so discouraged and feeling pissed at this point.
Anyways, I tell my friend about this problem I am having and give her my Facebook password so she can click on the “accept” button. Same thing. No HPC. I was debating about trying to stalk her on the University of Tennessee’s online student directory. But I figured it’d be creepy if/when I did get her contact information. So HPC wasn’t in my future. Btw, I’m guessing that between me and my friend we probably clicked that taunting “accept request” button 12098124 times.
The next day, I try to look her up again, while still trying to figure out a non-serial-killer way to find her. But now (I think God just felt bad for me for messing with me) she showed up in my Facebook friends list. Hooray! Now I just had to figure out what to say to her. I sent something really nice and generic at the beginning of May.
No response, and so I saw her pop up on my newsfeed occasionally for the next couple of weeks. By this time, many of friends had heard the story which apparently is “SO cute” to girls and “a waste of 10 minutes” to guys. Regardless of gender, everyone kept telling that if it’s supposed to work out, then it will.
And that is the hot-plane-chick story. That’s not the last I’d hear from her, but THAT is a completely separate story. For a separate day. Probably tomorrow. But I’m exhausted from typing.
The story of Hot Plane Chick part 2
The story of Hot Plane Chick part 3
The story of Hot Plane Chick part 4
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