This post is part of SoCS:http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-2514/
It’s Saturday, the day for my what I think is becoming my favorite-ist writing prompt, the SoCS. Yes, I know “favorite-ist” is not a word, but it’s true. I love SoCS because I feel this freedom with it. Yes, I know that is the point of “Stream-of-Consciousness.” I just appreciate that Linda puts this out for us. Today she has left the topic open, only asking that it end with a question. I love this!
I do a lot of people-watching while I am at work (and anywhere, really…people are sort of fascinating most of the time…) This week I watched a lot of people, but I have remarked on three women in particular. The first two I encountered on the same day, on two different flights, from two different perspectives. The third one I encountered today, in a park.
Fifty shades of…Grandma??? Is that you??? – The first remarkable woman is one whom I encountered twice. I was flying to work. Sometimes the company needs to move crews from one place to another in order to get us “in place” for the flights we are supposed to fly. On these occasions, we ride in the back with the passengers. So that’s what I was doing when I noticed this woman in the terminal. She looked like the quintessential Grandmother. She wore a red maxi-dress, was a little on the plump side, with nicely coiffed grey hair. She looked a little distracted in the gate area, and was carrying a flowery tote-bag. I saw her again in the airplane, sitting a couple of rows ahead of me. She was engrossed in a book that she was reading on her tablet computer. I think she may have forgotten her reading glasses, because she had increased the size of the type so that it was clearly readable to me and maybe even a couple more rows behind me. I’m kind of a nosy person, and I can’t resist books, so I admit to reading a bit over her shoulder. “…brushing the Arizona dust from her bare…” Oh my! I realized what sort of book this was and started giggling uncontrollably because of the disparity between her appearance and her reading material! I guess I made a quick judgement about what she would read based on her appearance! To my mind, she would have been reading an Agatha Christie mystery or perhaps a copy of “Chicken Soup for the Grandmother’s Soul!” My co-worker, sitting next to me, thought I was crazy! Great image, isn’t it? The airline pilot sitting in the back of a plane with the passengers, in uniform and giggling like a 10-year old girl for no apparent reason? In any case, it made my morning a bit more cheerful, because due to weather and other issues, we were already late before we even really started our day.
Awesome mom! – The second remarkable woman was on my plane a little later that day, when I was actually flying the plane, and not riding in the back. She was travelling on stand-by, with two little kids, one just a baby, and the other about 4 years old I’d guess. I don’t have kids, but I would not think it is a trivial thing to travel alone with two small children, especially on stand-by. To add to her potential stress, the planes were all running late due to weather, and of course there are a lot of full and overbooked flights in the summer, a bane to stand-by passengers. But this extremely classy lady walked up to the podium to inquire about her chances of a seat. She greeted the gate agent warmly (yes, that is extremely rare) and asked her how her day was going (even more rare.) She told the agent that she realized that it was probably unlikely that there would be seats, but wanted to tell her that her youngest didn’t need his own seat because he was a “lap-child.” Just then this “lap-child” started to cry and fuss, wanting to get out of his stroller. But this awesome mom did not get uptight or stressed, did not yell or speak harshly to either child, but instead, she turned around and said something to him, softly, and asked his brother to give him a toy. The older child complied, the younger one stopped crying, and that was it! But not only that. She and her kids got seats on our plane, and as they were getting on, she had the older child give a cookie to each of us flight crew members and tell us “thanks for the ride.” Seriously? Gratitude? On a day when despite our best efforts, we were getting her to her destination about an hour and a half late? What planet is this woman from?? I hope that whatever planet it is, they are trying to invade this one.
Forty really is “fantastique!” – The third remarkable woman approached my husband and me in the park today. She walked up to us and handed us a wrapped gift, saying, “Hello! Today is my fortieth birthday and to celebrate, I am giving away forty presents!.” We must have looked skeptical, because she reiterated that she wasn’t selling anything or trying to get us to sign a petition, she was just celebrating by giving. How incredible is that? She urged us to open the gift, so we did. It had a nice tag on it which read “Today is my birthday…and I’m celebrating by giving to others. Have a great day!!” It’s a nice framed quotation by Maryanne Radmacher, which says “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'” How astonishing.
I am inspired by these three women. I hope that I too can do something or be something outside of what people might expect of me. I hope that I can remember to be gracious in stressful situations and see those around me rather than be self-focused and entitled. I hope that I can walk with a spirit of giving and share my own joy with others. Thanks to Linda G Hill for this prompt – she herself is yet another remarkable woman!
So, chers lecteurs, I must end with a question. What remarkable people have you seen this week? Have they inspired you to be more…unexpected? gracious? giving? Some other quality?