Horaio, My Hero

First-class view

I am flying to Portland today.  Although this is not the big trip.  Just a one-week vacation to spend some time with my family when Portland shines at it’s best.  To eat, drink and not teach a yoga class for 7 straight days.

I made it to the airport without event.  Passed through security where the only thing I secured were mild flirtations from the crew of men who scan my luggage to see if I might be harbouring any fireworks in my panties.  I assure you boys, ain’t no sparks in my Calvin Kleins.  Literally.

I spent $35 on trashy magazines and snacks and then saddled up to my gate one hour prior to boarding time to wait.  Not having received my seat assignment at the first check-in counter, when the man arrived at his post to start his shift, I was the first in line.  You see, I get a little bit claustrophobic when I get seated in the window seat.  Nothing major, but I hate having to bash with my ass the knees, trays and faces of my neighbours every time I need to squeeze out to pee.  Good God, these rows get smaller and smaller every year! And because I stress about having to disrupt so many people already squeezed into an airborne high-chair, it usually makes me have to pee more.

So I wanted an aisle seat.  I needed an aisle seat.

His name was Horaio, or something like that.  And he clacked away at his keyboard trying to aid in my request.

I realized, as he mentioned the only available aisle seat was in the last row next to the toilets and the service galley that I hadn’t asked him how he was.  So eager to secure my comfort-zone seat, and wrapped up in my fear-pee headspace, I had forgotten to ask this human about his day.

His fingers hovered over his keyboard and he paused.  “Busy,” was his reply.  “But it’s okay, because I just got back from a two-week vacation to France with my wife and kids, so I am happy to be back at work.  Two weeks with the wife and kids was enough.  I need a vacation from my vacation.”

We laughed, and he explained that there was nothing he could do to help me with my seat.

“That’s okay.  Thanks for trying,” I said.  “I could just ask someone to switch with me if I need to.”

“Hold on one sec,” said Horaio, “You want an aisle seat?”  His fingers clacked and soon a boarding pass was in my hands.

“Wow.  Thank you so much.  I really appreciate that,” I said, relieved.

“No problem.  You’ll appreciate your seat once you see it,” Horaio replied, with a glint in his eyes.

Now maybe you’ve guessed where this story goes, but at this point, I was still clueless.  I boarded the plane, handing Horaio my ticket and thanked him once again.  He smiled, scanned the pass, and sent me on my way.  As I looked at my boarding pass, I realized that I had never seen a seat number so LOW on an airline ticket before.  And it was just at that moment that I figured out why he’d had such a twinkle in his eyes:  sure enough, Horaio, (you little devil you) had given me an aisle seat in First Class!

Never mind that there was a man sitting in my First Class aisle seat.  Did I argue?  Nah, I just scrambled into my wide-as-a-bus window seat and happily jumped over him each and every time my wine-induced, First Class-self had to pee:  with not one ounce of guilt!

The point is, I forget how important it is to incorporate random acts of kindness into my daily life.  That those moments when we do things for others; the moments when no one is watching, are those that define selflessness.  When we don’t seek attention; when our egos are not driven by self-indulgence or guilt are the moments when we truly give.  Horaio didn’t even get to witness the mega-watt smile that spread across my face when I matched the number on my ticket to the number above my seat.  He just took the opportunity to do something nice for someone he could see was a little bit stressed.

So thank you, Horaio, for the upgrade.  But mostly, thank you for reminding me that sometimes, to make a difference or change a day, it only takes a few simple clacks.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Peg
    Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:52:33

    Thanks for this great story, Jen. The week’s off to a good start!


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