And by that I mean a mythical beast: a grown man reading New Moon in public.

Let me preface this story by saying that I may have had a break with reality or two yesterday. I was thirsty, tired from too much Guitar Hero the night before (I rock Linkin Park, BTW–99%!), my flight was delayed making me worry about making my connection, and our plane was taken out of service meaning we had to run to our new gate. That being said, I thought I saw Robert Pattinson at O’Hare, from a distance, until I reminded myself that my friends at Letters to Rob had informed me that Rob was in London for his holidays. Then when I  boarded my plane a man who looked remarkably like Peter Facinelli was sitting in First Class. No lie.

So anyway, I was flying from Chicago O’Hare to Las Vegas yesterday, 28Dec08, on AA1599, on my way home to Phoenix. I had just sat down when Mr. 24A showed up. I was on the aisle. Being the nice girl I am, I let him get to his seat quickly, then sat back down to rummage through my backpack and get situated. As I reached for my copy of New Moon, anxious to get on with my fourth read-through, I noticed the back of a familiar book. It was a Twilight book. I waited to see which one, and then I saw the flower. We were reading the same book. I laughed and he looked at me as I pulled out my book and said, “Yeah, me too.” He nodded at me, and dove into his book. The man did not utter a word to me then, nor through the rest of the 4 hour flight. I believe the only times he looked up from his book were when the beverage service took his order, and when he suddenly gasped/sighed and leaned his head back, eyes closed. He was only distracted for a moment in both cases. He chugged his OJ, I assume so he could get back to his book.

I was so uncomfortable on the plane that I was fidgeting a bit, plus I really had to pee and was waiting for the pilot to turn off the Fasten Seatbelt sign. My mind wandered to the curious gentleman next to me, and why he did not speak to me at all. Common courtesy would dictate that we spend a moment discussing the books, and maybe how we liked the movie, before opening our books and returning to Forks. So why did he not do anything but nod?

Once I wondered if he’d taken some sort of instant dislike to me, or if I smelled. I even sniffed my hair at one point, and then laughed to myself when I realized that my mousse smells like lavender and my deodorant like freesia. Delusional as I was, I started imagining something along the lines of Edward and Bella in Biology. I of course shook that off. He just didn’t feel angry. I was still curious though so I checked him out.

Stocky Frat Boy type. Unkempt facial hair, but not completely wooly. American-style of dress. Under Armour shirt. He had two hats which was puzzling. He wore a knit cap (ironically there was a unicorn embroidered on it). He also had a fitted ball cap, which rested on his knee through the whole flight. It said Taylor U on it. I believe the knit hat was green and the cap was purple. He also had some strange green gloves, maybe motorcycle gloves. They certainly didn’t seem like they’d be warm. He mostly held his book in his left hand, so I could not tell if he wore a ring. He was about 100 pages behind me when we started. He was only 50 pages behind me when we landed. These are all things I noticed while I fidgeted. Mostly I just enjoyed my book.

Today at work I was telling Random about the strange experience. He theorized that 24A was gay and was eager to call it case closed. I tried to tell him that 24A didn’t ping on my gaydar at all. What ensued was sheer hilarity, as we came up with theory after theory about Mr. 24A’s silence. If he had only spoken to me this would never have happened. As Random said, I was stood up by a single serving friend and feeling rejected.

Theory 1: He’s gay – I don’t think so. He was much more Taylor U Football than Rip Taylor Footloose.

Theory 2: He’s shy, in which case Denise is sad for him and thinks I should have bought him a drink. I tried to make eye contact and initiate conversation, I swear!

Theory 3: He doesn’t speak English – This took some thought. I don’t remember seeing any words on his book, just the flowers. Then I remembered that he ordered his OJ with no problems and without any detectible foreign accent. Debunked.

Theory 4: He’s mute. Debunked by the memory of him ordering OJ.

Theory 5: He is a US Marshall, and New Moon was his cover. I guess I’ll never know.

Theory 6: His girlfriend/wife/SO made him read it. I couldn’t see a ring, so who knows?

Theory 7: Not only did he/she make him read it, but he/she won’t let him talk to girls on flights. That would be so sad.

Theory 8: Old Man Bobby paid him to sit next to me on the flight to test me. While I passed the test on the flight, I am now failing, as I am quasi-stalking him. Old Man Bobby laughed nervously when I told him this theory by the way.

Theory 9: He was a spy sent to the US to study teen reading habits. Terrifying.

Theory 10: He thought I was a tweeker because I couldn’t sit still and I went to the bathroom an inappropriate number of times just to have an excuse to walk around.

Theory 11: He was too embarrassed to have been caught reading a chick book to speak to me.

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I had a great flight, even though my neighbor was chatty. She amused me, so it was good. Turns out she read Twilight and passed them on to her daughter who is now a huge fan. Yep, this conversation started because I pulled out my book. I’m reading for the fourth time and I only just discovered Twilight this year. I’m beginning to wonder if there might not really be something to the term Textually Transmitted Disease. So, yeah, good flight…

The best part of the flight was getting in 30 minutes early and then my bag coming up just as I walked up to the carousel. How fortuitous! Mom drove us home and I took a nice nap. Once again I got just three hours sleep before my flight. I really must stop doing this. I don’t always get to nap like I did today. I woke up from my nap to find dinner ready and my nieces and nephew ready to eat with me and Mom. But wait, there’s more–Birthday cake! My Mom made me a Belated Birthday Cake. Creme de Menthe Cake–my favorite! We had a blast screaming Happy Birthday at the top of our lungs. Yep, I sang to myself.

After that, Mom and I were off to Uncle J’s. I’m happy to report he’s doing quite well after last month’s quadruple bypass surgery. What a relief to finally see him for myself and give him a hug.

I’m now back in Waterford, WI. The thermometer on the car said 9°F on the way home from dropping Mom off in Antioch, IL to stay with Uncle J. Yes, nine degrees. That’s cold to anyone out here, not just to this Phoenix Girl. When did I become a Phoenix Girl? Must be some time this year. I’ve been there for 10 years now. Does something mystical happen at 10 years. Do you go native at that point? However it happened, whenever it happened, I’ll be sleeping with socks on for the next 10 days.

Tomorrow I meet a friend from high school I haven’t seen in about 20 years. That will be fun. I’m looking forward to it. Thanks, Facebook, for making this possible.

Hmm…to stay up and blog while watching DS9 or go to bed before 2a? I think we know the answer to that. Tag Surfing it is!

I blame Anna. She was sick on her birthday last year and a few days later I was sick. Same thing this year. Anna, my regrets for next year’s party, I think.

Seriously, I have very little to complain about. As I write this, my Uncle J is having a quadruple bypass, having had at least two minor heart attacks in the last week. I won’t go to the hospital and spread my germs, but I’ll be thinking about you. Get well soon, Uncle, you’re kind of a big deal.

I’m so depressed that I have to work tomorrow. I’ve had a week off, and for once was not travelling. How relaxing. It felt like I was living my real life 24/7. Mind you, I don’t have a career or a calling; I have a job. I sell 40+ hours of my time each week so I can “eat and sleep indoors,” as my mother says. Having a job is exhausting. It’s work. I’m definitely not living by the “Find something that you love to do and never work a day in your life” motto. Why is this? I’ve wondered that since I joined the workforce. This is supposed to be my main responsibility in life. Gotta work. Gotta pay bills. Why does it seem like such a huge waste of time, then? I can only assume it’s because it’s not my calling. Entertainment in some form is clearly my calling. I love movies. I love books. I love books that get made into movies. I’ve even loved some movies that got made into books. So my week off taught me that I really need to get writing, you know, so that I can live in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed. But for now I must go to bed. Work in the morning. Heavy sigh.

Yep, that’s me, whining Dante-style about being at work. It was supposed to be my day off, but in a moment of weakness I agreed to have Monday as my day off to help services levels. It gets me a vacation day back, so I have that going for me, which is nice.