I don't know if it's a new policy or I just haven't flown with this airline before, but the folks at Southwest try really hard to be funny. First there was the TSA guy checking our IDs. He informed the guy ahead of me that the governor of his state had blacklisted him and that he was only allowed to drink milk during his vacation. Then, after checking my ID he said, "My friend, this doesn't look very much like you. But close enough for government work."
Then the actual people on the airplane had jokes and wisecracks seemingly every time they spoke. They probably wouldn't be nearly as funny if I listed them all here, so just go and fly with them yourself if you're that curious. My favorite part was when one of the stewardesses was demonstrating how to use the emergency oxygen masks. "Place the strap around your head, breathe normally - who are we kidding? You aren't going to be breathing normally." I think they were following a script for the most part but they also improvised. For example, the guy next to me fell asleep, so she stuck a napkin to the seat back in front of him with Band-Aids. On it she had written, "You sing in your sleep! :)" When we landed in Salt Lake, she announced, "We'd like to recognize a gentleman who's celebrating his eighty-sixth birthday today, and he's a first-time flyer!" All of the passengers applauded. She continued, "On your way out, make sure to wish the captain a happy birthday."
My parents like New Age music and have a bunch of it lying around the house in an antique format known as compact discs. I have fond memories of listening to it nearly every Sunday morning while getting ready for church, but somehow this tradition faded and the selection decreased until I was only familiar with a few albums. When I went through the collection and rediscovered other albums, though, they were as familiar as if I had listened to them the previous day. There was one particular song I wanted to find, though, because I was curious whether it would still depress me almost to tears like it did when I was little. Maybe it's just because I have issues, but a few of the songs my parents played really messed me up. The other most prominent example would be the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour". I was literally scared that these freaks were coming to take me away.
Kitaro - Symphony of the Forest
She looked at me as if I was the stupidest person in the world (insert your own quip about agreeing with her here) and said, "Because colors are not gendered. That's a societal thing. I like blue better."
I was stunned at how awesome she had instantly revealed herself to be, but, trying not to gush too much and sort of being at a loss for a words, I just said "That's cool" three times. The third time was prefaced with "Nah" and was a response to her apology for being weird. Then, as I violated her privacy by looking at the confidential stuff she had already written down, I noticed another awesome thing. "Hey," I said, "you have the exact same birthday as me!"
"Six twenty-three ninety-three?"
Um, yeah, that's what it says on the paper, right? "Yeah."
"What time were you born?"
"I don't remember," I said. "I was very young."
She looked confused for a second, and then broke into a grin. "Oh, stop it," she said, and promptly turned away to talk to someone else.
Finally I'm in a couple of the English classes that I've been trying to get into for three semesters. They have only twenty spaces each. Both of them are taught by the same professor, and both of them will require writing stuff and then sharing it with everyone else so they can politely and constructively tear it apart. Thus, today we had a discussion about vulnerability. We watched this amusing TED Talk.
Brené Brown - The Power of Vulnerability
For some reason we talked about what it takes to have an intimate relationship with someone. (Here I felt sorry for any Mormons in the class who may have wrongly been taught to use "intimacy" as a synonym for sex.) I didn't pursue writing so I could learn about intimate relationships, but whatever. We talked about the necessity to be yourself, to communicate, and all that jazz. But the elephant in the room was that you can do that all you want but you can't guarantee the other party will reciprocate. They can act like they're being all honest and open when in fact they're lying through their teeth. I am not speaking hypothetically. And that's why I only really trust like three people.
But if to love at all is to be vulnerable, then no one is more vulnerable than God. Have you ever thought of that?