Monday, January 13, 2014

Chicago to Philly

Today, while on a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia, I was sitting next to a man who accidentally spilled his coffee on me.  When he apologized he introduced himself as Eliot, with one L.  I had already surmised his name was Eliot because his Venti Starbuck's cup said Elliot.  But the order taker, what do they call those guys because they are not the Barista, had spelled it with two L's.  I don't know why he thought it necessary to tell me that his name was challenged in the L department, but such was the beginning of a 1.75 hour conversation.

When he told me his name was Eliot, I immediately said "Put Eliot's toilet up!"  I wrongly assumed I would be met with a confused look of someone who only wanted peace and quiet on an airplane.  Instead, I was answered with "I did, did I?"  He then said, "So you are a palindrome freak like me?"

I explained to him that not four days ago, my daughter and I were talking about the very palindrome involving his name.  She said it to one of her classmates at school in the cafeteria line.  They were a little foggy on the subject.  I also explained that when I was in third grade in Heavener, Oklahoma I was writing my name on my paper and I figured out that my name was very nearly a palindrome.  If my last name had an e on the end, if my name were Emily Lime, it would be palindromic.  He asked if I knew the palindrome "Emily's sassy Lime"?  I said that of course I did. 

I felt pretty badly for the guy sitting in the row with us who I found out too late upon landing was flying out to Philly to take the national board exam for which I prepare medical students.  I really could have been offering him some very good last minute advice on the plane (or just really stressing him out).  Instead I was saying things like "A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!" 

We were seriously geeking out over words.  I have a tendency to get really excited about small, sort of niche markets of subject matter.  The periodic table, sailing, palindromes,  and avogadro's number.  Suddenly I started to see myself from the luggage compartment looking down.  I was this girl traveling alone getting way too excited about words.  And then he said it.  "Lager, sir is regal."  We should go out for drinks while you are in Philly.  Nope.  No way.  Even though that was a nice touch with the palindrome and all... "No, it is opposition!"  "No  Sir!  Away! A papaya war is on!"

I have a habit of getting into these conversations with people who have these niche interests.  You can read about Avogadro's number guy here.  I just have a way of sucking people in and I don't realize that I am doing this connecting thing and then I realize too late that I have maybe over shared or been over friendly.  In words, alas drown I.  Perhaps, I would be better served by this one.  I'm a fool; aloof am I.

So, we exited the plane and I said good luck to the medical student and I said goodbye to Eliot with one L.  He did not follow me to baggage claim.  He did not follow me to rental car pick up. 

I was thinking as I drove to my hotel that I must try not to be so friendly.  Ah, but that leads me to a story that happened last week.  A not so friendly story from last week...

For another time...


  1. I love this and all your posts. I will be reading them here as I am probably unplugging from Facebook

    I love you. Have a good trip.

  2. What a great story! Thanks for sharing! :)