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I’d never a human so massive. This guy was huge, probably closing in on 800 lbs. He had rolls of fat rolling off of his rolls of fat. Jiggling, his cheeks and nose drooped down. As I watched the man (more like monster) waddled down the aisle, tipping his oversized cowboy hat at all of the seated passengers. He smiled and nodded to everyone. How obnoxious, just the type of person I can’t stand! I thought to myself.
I couldn’t help but wonder if my luck was really that bad.
Yup, it is that bad. Its horrible actually. The beast stopped at my aisle (23), smiled and pointed to the window seat.
“Howdy there, miss!” a piercing southern accent jolted me.
Oh goody. A 4 ½ hour flight next to friendly Sheriff Pete. This really just is not my day. I watched as “the Sheriff” (my new nickname for the large man due to the fact that he reminded me of those plump sheriffs in those old westerns that I couldn’t stand) attempted to squeeze himself into the window seat, spilling over into the middle seat. When he was finally settled in, I gingerly sat down, hoping “the Sheriff” would fall asleep for the 4 ½ hour flight. No such luck. (Like I said, I have horrible luck!)
“The Sheriff” decided to chat it up with me as soon as the plane had lifted off the ground., much to my annoyance. His whole body shook when he spoke. He asked me all sorts of questions, and I just gave the generic one word reply like “Fine.” and “Yeah.” I knew that he would get the idea and just back off. Unbelievably, it didn’t work. “The Sheriff” just kept going on and on. I was surprised that his sweet southern drawl was starting to grow on me. Before I knew it I was engaged in a deep conversation.
I learned that his name was Cooper Brown, and that he worked as a shoe salesman, owning his own business. At his company he sold only two kinds of shoes; rainboots and cowboy boots (he worked in Seattle and Dallas, frequently flying between the two cities, just like me). After we got past the normal introductions, we began to talk about everything (and I really mean everything!) I was surprised to learn that we shared interests. We were both 100% team Edward, our favorite colors are brown and teal, jalapeño and sour cream is our favorite snack, and that Simon & Garfunkel made some of the best music ever. It was the best flight of my life, at least until the turbulence started.
See, I have this thing with planes. As long as I don’t have to think about hurtling through the sky at 550 mph, then I’m perfectly fine. But the second that I am aware that the plane is 35,000 feet above the ground my pace starts to quicken. I have even been known to hyperventilate . Well on this particular flight we hit a spot with some pretty violent winds. Before the seatbelt sign had turned on my hands were sweating and my eyes were tearing up. Cooper picked up on my change in mood, and did something I never would’ve expected. He reached into his bag, and pulled out a travel-size game of Sorry! Without saying a word he began to set up the board, indicating that we were going to play. At first I thought that he was crazy. But the longer we played, the less and less I thought about the engines overheating or the wings snapping off. Soon I was even laughing. When the pilot announced that we had started the descent, I hadn’t even realized that the time had slipped away.
In Seattle it was pouring (of course). I realized I had forgotten my umbrella in Dallas. Cooper, being quite the gentleman, lent me his. Laughing together, we dashed through the rain. I had met the most wonderful man, someone who I never would have talked to in other circumstances.
When I got home, I realized I still had Cooper Brown’s umbrella.
It is now three years later, and I’m on another flight from Dallas to Seattle. I am flying to my wedding, which will take place tomorrow. My husband-to-be is sitting next to me, filling two seats. He has on the cutest pair of cowboy boots I had ever seen. We passed the time playing Sorry, the two of us filled with anticipation and excitement for the next day. Tomorrow I will be Mrs. Cooper Brown!