Pam, also known as Roughwighting, also known as blogger extraordinaire, also known as my Switcheroo (we switched blogs back in 2013; please read here if inspired), also known as a spiritual buddy, also known as a phone companion at times, also known as a published authoress, just lured me over to her latest blogging post today.
It’s called Missed Perception. Do take the time to read it. It’s the story of one of her latest nervous flying trips up in the sky. It’s the story of how she perhaps misjudged her seat mate. It’s the story of how two strangers can end up crying together, bonding, finding commonalities. It’s the story of how we all–far too often–miss out on meeting a special person because of our missed perceptions.
I was going to type a long commentary response about one of my own flying missed perceptions, but decided to high-tail it back to my own blog and share it with all of you. So that you, too, could think about and share one of your own missed perceptions, if you like.
My story isn’t as amazing as Pam’s. It involves no tears. It happened on a flight in late July, 2015. (Where was I headed? One moment, must check the magical journal referred to in last blog.) Ahhh, yes, I was flying from Houghton to Chicago to Portland, Oregon to visit my precious daughter. The date was July 22nd. I had just quit blogging for an extended spell the previous month.
I boarded the plane and discovered my seat mate was a large silent man. He allowed me to crawl past him to the beloved window seat, but there was no communication. We sat without exchanging a word.
Then I began to feel very irritated. He was one of those large males (excuse me, males!) who felt larger-than-life. He seemed to steal my space. His arms stole the arm rest. He oozed himself into my personal space.
I silently fumed. You know how the mind over-reacts at times. (Darn you! Stay in your seat! Behave! Quit invading my space, you obnoxious fellow! Quit exuding so much confidence! Quit being one of those stupid macho men who think they own the world!!)
We didn’t exchange two words as the plane flew up above the July clouds toward Chicago.
Luckily, something inside finally tamed the Wild Fuming Beast inside me. It said, “Kathy, Kathy, Kathy, Kathy, why don’t you just let go for a moment and reach out from love instead of these negative thoughts? C’mon, you can do it!”
Snarling internally, I breathed deeply twenty times, recognizing the wisdom of this more loving inner thought.
I turned to my seat mate and managed, “Are you going to Chicago, or elsewhere?”
He was headed to the East Coast for a meeting.
We started chatting about this and that.
We chatted about that and this.
Suddenly, I felt this encompassing love. OH, he’s just a guy sitting on an airplane. He’s not obnoxious, not invading my space, not macho. OK, he might be all of those things, especially if you wanted to think of him in that light. But I felt only love.
Then he said, “Hey, where are you headed? How long do you have in Chicago?”
I had quite a wait in Chicago before the Portland plane took off.
“Just wondering–would you like to spend your extra time in the United Airline club? I have access, and would like to invite you. I have other things to do there–but you’re welcome to come in with me and enjoy some free food, drink and wi-fi. What do you think?”
By that time, I am in love with a Universe that is friendly and cooperative and loving. Just by changing one’s missed perceptions…miracles can happen. You can get a free meal in a United Airline Club. The world’s possible coldness and remoteness can collapse for just an instant.
Thanks, Pam, for this memory.
Any of you readers ever experience a missed perception that turned out to be pure gold?
I wish I could think of a missed perception because yours was so good. I do know that I constantly battle prejudgement of people. If I can just delay my (often wrong) first perceptions, I might be rewarded with something/someone special. Even wine, Kathy? I’m smiling here in Breckenridge.
Yes–even wine. Free wine! LOL! I know what you mean, Barb, about delaying our first (often wrong) impressions. Then the magic came come through! Smiling back at you. (You know my brother is in Breckenridge, right?)
Didn’t know your brother is visiting again. Is he staying in Frisco? Town is finally less crowded this week and the ski mountain too. Hope he has fun skiing. We could use lots more snow!
My brother is already home!! I honestly can’t keep track of him. There’s rumors he’s headed out your way next weekend. (Not THIS weekend.) I think he as in Breckenridge, but haven’t talked with him since Christmas…
I fell in love, once, on a flight from Detroit to Atlanta. I had driven all night the night before the midday flight, driving from Hancock to Detroit. Got on the plane for the flight, was seated on the aisle, don’t even know why I chose aisle, I never choose aisle, but anyway, the guy in the window seat and I talked while we were taxing out, then we had to go back to the gate due to weather. So we spent a few hours hanging around the gate waiting to fly again. Many many hours. When we finally got off the ground I fell asleep on his shoulder, having been up more than 24 hours. We ended updating for quite a few years, but long distance dating just didn’t quite work out.
It was romantic.
Oh man, Dawn, this is a GREAT story! How romantic. How utterly romantic! To fall asleep on his shoulder after bonding…big sigh…so sweet. But I can understand why long distance dating didn’t work out. Nonetheless, what a cool experience! Did you ever blog about it?
Assuming everything wrong about someone just by looking at them: this is my superpower.
We just need to learn not to take our initial thoughts so seriously! To realize that they just may be untrue. I’m learning this, too, Barbara.
Can’t think of specific incident, but I try to remind myself not to dislike a person whom I don’t know. I am, by nature, a misanthrope, but at least I’m aware of this, right? XO
Being aware of our tendencies and inclinations is the first most important step. And then we can see the ways we tend to deceive ourselves. At least that’s what I’m trying to do. 🙂
So am I, Kathy 😉
Kathy this is a great story and I love good stories such as yours and Pam’s. I follow her blog and she is very kind hearted- much like you, I think. I don’t have a story that I can think of but, I do try not to prejudge. However, I think it is human nature for folks to judge others on appearance and demeanor. But sometimes the words of someone who thinks they are well intentioned can change things in a heartbeat such as occurred with a wealthy neighbor of mine. Not my words but hers and now I no longer feel kindly toward her or her husband and never look their way when I go out my gate. They are often in their yard and I go out of my way to avoid looking in their direction. Perhaps you might want to write about how words can change attitudes in a New York minute.
Oh, Yvonne, I am sorry that happened with your neighbor. That can hurt so much, when our kindness disappears because of negative or challenging words. You have had me thinking so much this morning and part of me wants to write a blog about what your comment made me think about. We shall see. But I appreciate that you made me think this morning. xoxoxo
Yes, Kathy, do write about this. I’m listenng to the local news and the weather guy just said it is snowing in Port Arthur and Beaumont. Those towns about 190 or maybe less- not sure, south of me near the Gulf. I don’t mind one bit that it is not snowing here. It is too messy when it melts. But is very cold- for us anyway. My phone reads 25 degrees and it was somewhere around 15 or 18 degrees last night. I don’t keep up with accuracy- I just know it is too cold.
Hope it gets warmer for you, Yvonne! I’m off to different topics now. We’ll see what stories the Universe insists upon next.
What fun to find my feet on your blog!! Best way to wake up in the morning. (it’s 6 a.m. here in NE). Fortunately, my feet are covered in thick red socks, which this time of year, is almost 24/7. 🙂 I love your post, and thank you for validating what so many of us do. We stew and we steam about the audacity of a person to be taking up space next to us and to NOT EVEN NOTICE us but instead, to just take up space. You describe it so well (of course). But this large man sure validated his own existence by showing you his SELF, by shrinking a bit to include you in his world. Can’t be obnoxious, if he’s willing to do that. Love love your story, and the comments by your honest and open blog friends here. Sigh. This is why I love the blogosphere so much, my friend. xoxo
Ha ha–wondered what you would think about those red sock feet of yours on another person’s blog! I am glad you liked what you inspired with your beautiful post. You are right–“my” guy was not obnoxious at all, once he showed the largess of his heart. Thanks for starting the steam engine of creativity flowing! I am now inspired by Yvonne’s comment to write ANOTHER blog right now, but don’t want to eclipse this post too early or it might get mad at its authoress. Then again, if you don’t grab these new blogs by the heels, they may disappear and find another authoress. We shall see… and thanks again!
I actually HAVE heard of authors who didn’t pay attention to a story in their head, so it headed off to another author. Just sayin’.
BTW, I’m wearing my heavy red socks right now. 🙂
I’ve heard this, too, dear Pam! So sometimes we just have to jump! If we’re not quick enough…there goes our story onto someone who will pay attention…
Haha. Yes, I’m learning something about someone in the media that I perceived differently and now see in a much better light. I won’t say who, because it’s too controversial. However, my seatmate experience on a plane was quite different than yours and Pam’s. Nowhere near as congenial. I don’t know if changing my perspective would’ve helped with this one, but I’ll never know now. You may recall this little “gem” I wrote a few years ago. ;-)https://loreezlane.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/the-plight-of-the-flight/
Ahhh, the Universe still gave you the gift–just not from the crotchety old man! Hey, lucky you, champagne! Enjoyed reading this once again. 🙂
WOW! Now THAT’S a cool missed perception!
It WAS fun, Laurie. You just gotta turn these minds around every once in a while. 🙂
My experience was a little opposite yours. My flight happened in the first year after I got divorced. I was getting my life in order, was moving to campus and going back to college in the fall, my daughters were adjusting to the new arrangement, and I felt stronger than I ever had. My girls were spending the remainder of the summer with their Dad, and I had opportunity to fly to California, to visit a new friend. It was the first time I’d ever been on a plane larger than the little eight-seaters that fly to the island. I was travelling alone. I have always been shy. On that day, the world was my oyster. No preconceived notions; no fear. I was on the biggest adventure of my life! I didn’t know a soul, but engaged my seat-mate in conversation (as I remember it, he was enchanted!) right away, without a bit of fear or trepidation. He had a brand new baby, and spent the trip giddily showing me through an entire briefcase full of baby pictures, while buying me cocktails. Luckily, my friend was waiting at the airport to pick me up, as I was pretty tipsy by the time I landed!
Thank you for coming back here and sharing your story, Cindy. I like how this blogosphere works sometimes–Pam inspires me to tell a story, and then you come back here to tell your story. How wonderful that you had such a great experience with your seat mate! And cocktails, too! Smiling from head to toe that life often does provide unexpected gifts, if we’re open.
Oh, I love your story, Kathy! Whilst reading your story I wondered – did he see you as a larger-than-life small woman, intent on stealing his space, and the arm rest? Did he feel that you oozed yourself into his personal space? – And when you spoke to him, was he too overwhelmed with love for the Universe? He probably was. Well, I’d like to think he was. 🙂
Joanne, I never once thought that HE might be feeling that way! What an interesting perspective to turn-things-around. Instead, I was feeling that I was so small and tiny and invisible, not even worthy to be noticed. But YES, that is lovely also to think that he was overwhelmed with love for the Universe. Since I can’t imagine what he might be feeling, my mind never went there in the story. Thanks for adding new depth to the plot!
That’s the wonder of communication, Kathy – we open ourselves up to different peoples’ perceptions which in turn broadens our outlook. 🙂
YES! The wonder of it! *big grin all the way across the world to your doorstep*