Last August, I went on a trip to the East Coast with 6 friends.
On Friday, August 8, for the first time in my life, I took Porter Airlines to Halifax, Nov
On Friday, August 8, for the first time in my life, I met DC (Name protected for privacy reasons).
DC and I hit it off right away. I must say, he is my 'type'. Clean shaven, blond, blue eyed, in a suit. I would have been perfectly happy to just sit next to him without much interaction, after all, on all the flights I've taken throughout my life, I've never really 'talked' to whoever sits next to me.
DC, however, engaged me in conversation almost as soon as I sat down.
He asked me where I was heading and the purpose of my trip. By the time we took off, he was sharing his plans over the next few days and how he has to get ready for his friend's wedding the next day. I gave him some pointers on delivering speeches and even talked about Toastmasters.
By the time the plane made a stop in Ottawa, we've been having a blast, not letting the banter die down and laughing so loud that most of the plane could hear us. My friends dropped by to say hi and they were all introduced to DC, my new BFF. It's funny how we didn't need retrospective to realize that we were having a great time and sharing too much. DC said it a few times and I said it a few times. Like 'woah, okay we are really sharing our lives here....'
In the 3+ hours we were together, he made me switch on my phone to check the meaning of the word 'gesticulating', he spilled wine on himself and he told me about his stay in hospital a few months ago. We talked extensively about his siblings and his girlfriend as well.
When we landed in Halifax, DC got off the plane in a hurry, his family was waiting for him as we were about 1 hour behind. We had exchanged numbers but he said he'll see me at the baggage claim. That never happened. I forgot my hat in the plane so I had to go back for it and by the time we waited for everybody to visit the washroom, nobody was at the baggage claim anymore. That was a bit of a disappointment, after 3 hours of non-stop talking, to close the chapter on such a meeting without even a proper goodbye. But DC came through, he messaged me to apologize for not waiting around.
The first few days of that east coast trip rode on the high of having made an acquaintance before it became about the trip itself. I messaged him when I got back to Toronto and we chatted back and forth for a bit that night. Then nothing, until last Wednesday. I saw DC at The Bay, with his girlfriend. I saw him, I had 2 seconds to decide whether to say hi, decided not to and walked on. I regretted it almost instantly.
Why didn't I say hi?
The main reason was that I feared he wouldn't recognize me.
What if I did say hi and he drew a blank? What if I did say hi and then had to explain how I know him? After all, although we were both there, how he perceived our interaction on the plane could have been totally different from mine. Although HE made an impression on me, have *I* made an impression on him? Are 3 hours enough for someone to remember you? If yes, then for how long? Would I remember him if we crossed paths 3 years down the road? Would I dare to say hi then, even if I regretted not doing so this time? Very unlikely, unless I was in a particularly outgoing mood.
In any case, DC will always be remembered fondly even if this 'friendship' does not last. After all, it's not every flight that you get to share your life with someone else...even if it's just for 3 hours!