My friends think I’m a magnet for crazy, I think that I’m just a magnet for people. I’m a pretty easy going individual, and I’d like to think that I’m a fairly nice person. I mean, my co-workers once said that I should have birds chirping on my shoulders like a freakin’ Disney princess. Which has nothing to do with the fact that could probably sing most of those catchy Disney songs, including a certain song that most parents wish their children would just let go….So it really isn’t unusual for me to give people the benefit of the doubt in most situations. But even this princess has limits. As I’ve said before, we all have crazy stories. We have all observed or experienced something that made you think to yourself “did that REALLY just happen?” 
It shouldn’t have be a surprise to anyone if I meet a new friend everywhere I go. I like people and if you are tuning in a second time you know that I have no shame in talking to strange people. Traveling with my sister and her boyfriend this past year reminded me of it. We would meet random people on the street, I’d say good morning. I was raised a mid-west farm girl after all. Open the door for people, smile at them, that kind of thing. Heck, while in the Toronto airport waiting in line for coffee, an airline employee behind me was joyfully whistling the old Looney Tunes or Merry Melodies theme. He said that he did it so that stressed and frazzled travelers he came across would have a momentary reprieve. Also because of the loonie. You know, Canadian money. So I bought that fabulous loony Canadian a coffee.
Anyone who has ever had a flight land or take off in Chicago O’Hare knows that on time flights are, well, not rare exactly. But lets just say that I was mentally prepared for the possibility that something would delay us. Being one of the nation’s busiest airports, it is understandable. Our connecting flight home was scheduled to leave Chicago on time. That is until a mechanical failure. Then a torrential rainstorm. Then a second mechanical failure, and then the loooooong wait to taxi onto the tarmac.
Through all of this, I was prepared. I had armed myself with a water bottle and mixed fruit, and a magazine. I had charged up my portable charger (if you don’t have one get one. Seriously, it is worth it), so I knew that I could check up on the weather and busy myself with an addictive game consisting of matching up candies. The airline employee, I’ll call him Tim, was trying his best to keep passengers happy and comfortable. Joking lightly and offering to retrieve water for a silver haired beauty in a wheelchair before answer questions about luggage checks and such. Most other passengers had settled into places to wait out the 45-minute delay. A few people grumbled about the delay, including one woman near by, who was loudly speaking to her friend Betty over the phone. “I don’t know how long this is going to be, but don’t come to the airport to get me just yet. I’ll call you when I land.”
My sister and her boyfriend were clearly tired, and they usually prefer to chill so we sat in a few passably comfortable chairs quietly. Or as least as quietly as one can with overhead announcements about boarding calls, luggage security and turning off your phones when you board. It made for some great people watching, all those people coming and going back and forth. I also realized that luggage manufacturers really should come up with a color scheme other than black. Really, would it kill them to through in some yellow or orange or something? Or maybe pin wheels or something. As long as it’s not Bedazzled.
After some time Tim came on the PA system telling us that it would be another 30-40 minutes before we could board, which of course brought the ripple of a heavy sigh through the terminal waiting area. Mere seconds after Tim’s’ announcement I could once again hear a loud one-sided conversation with Betty. “They’ve delayed us again…Betty, I’ll call you when I land.” I took this opportunity to get a nibble and when I got back, Betty’s friend was still going on about the delays and how she was so upset about her schedule was now all out of whack. I caught my sister’s eyes and we shared a smirk. We just about broke out in a fit of laughter when I heard her say loudly “well now my phone is almost dead. Betty I’ll call you when I land.” She then frantically started looking for a charging spot. Of course, as you may have guessed by now they were all taken up and her heavy sighing could be heard by those around us. Ever the friend to those in need, this Disney princess and her portable charger came to the rescue. Well, sort of. I approached her with an offer to use my charger, which was answered with a suspicious wrinkle of her brow. She informed me that she didn’t trust them and she would just find a wall plug. Okay, fine by me. Can’t say I didn’t try.
She must have found a wall plug because soon Tim announced that we could now board the plane and she was telling Betty all about it. Clearly her phone had regained power. The rustle of tickets and cloth could be heard as everyone got in the line to check their tickets. The whole time she was on the phone. I heard Tim calmly tell her that she would have to turn off the phone and she replied “Betty, he says I have to turn off the phone.”
We settled into our seats, my sister and her boyfriend across the aisle, and me in a window seat. My new traveling companion next to me was a business man with whom I fell into the typical plane conversation. The “where are you from, what do you do” kind of back and forth. Just as we had introduced ourselves, Brad or Bob or something like that, guess who was seated directly behind us. Yup, Betty’s friend. Betty’s friend on the phone. Betty’s friend who was still talking as the pilot greeted the passengers. Betty’s friend who talked through the safety demonstration. Betty’s friend whose day was clearly ruined and who would call Betty as soon as she landed. Betty’s friend was starting to irritate this princess.
My seat mate leaned over and whispered “I guess she’ll be calling Betty when she lands” with an amused expression on his face. I could help but giggle a little. The plane had taxied out onto the tarmac with snail speed as the flight attendant, who was clearly as tired of Betty’s friend as we were, came over and firmly told her to power down the phone. 
“Betty, they want me to turn off my phone now….Don’t worry, I’ll call you when I land.” Brad-Bob, who was drinking from a water bottle just about snorted out the liquid. I leaned over and bet him a stick of gum that she wouldn’t hang up before we took off. He countered that bet with a Butterfinger that she would. 
The plane stopped monumentally before approaching the final runway waiting our turn to take off. Meanwhile behind me, still talking on the phone, Betty’s friend started suggesting dinner places. In a hushed tone, Brad-Bob suggested calling in the order. Finally the pilot maneuvered the plane into position. Now we learn that Betty’s friend didn’t like that last place they went, she wanted someplace different. Brad-Bob thoughtfully suggested they scratch the call in order and make reservations instead. Then we could feel the engines fire up just behind us. I smirked sideways, feeling confident about that Butterfinger and enjoying our private commentary. Looking at my sister across the aisle I could see her quizzically looking back over her shoulder at the woman who was…you guessed it. Telling Betty the she will…say it with me everyone…call her when she lands.  
As our plane lurched forward, speeding up, Brad-Bob turned around and told Betty’s friend that she was going to cause us to crash if she didn’t end the call. Betty’s friend answered that we didn’t have to be so rude about it and just as we could feel the wheels leave the ground, Betty hung up on her friend. As my new friend handed me that buttery chocolaty goodness, Betty’s friend complained about her friend hanging up her as “we clearly had time”.
The flight was a short one, only about 45 minutes and Brad-Bob asked about good late-night places to eat in the area. I suggested Betty’s place which got a belly laugh. We did talk about other things beside Betty’s friend, for a while at least. The city lights of our destination begin to peek out at us from under the light clouds as we began our descent. Brad-Bob asked me if we though Betty’s friend would be calling soon. Brad-Bob should have kept quiet. Brad-Bob jinxed us.
The wheels of the plane had not yet been lowered when we heard that familiar sound behind us. “Betty?”

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