There have only been two times in my life where I have managed to sit next to someone on an airplane and then come across them in “real life” afterwards. It’s one of those things that you just never expect to happen, but when it does you’re half surprised and half not. Over Thanksgiving break, I was taking off on a flight to Southern California thinking that I’d just be holed up for an hour reading Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In.” Fact: I’ve been trying to read this book for months and I’m still not done. As I was starting to get comfortable with the book, I became aware of my seatmates – a mother and her son. A mother… that looked a lot like Sheryl Sandberg herself! Could it be?
As expected, I played it cool and decided to strike up a conversation just asking her what she did instead. Turns out, I was wrong. Not Sheryl. What actually happened next was that we talked the entire hour of the flight, I made no progress in the book at all, and this went down in being one of my favorite memories of meeting a stranger while flying. A couple of weeks ago at brunch, I ended up seeing this woman with her family again at one of my favorite spots (hers too! as we also had a conversation about Borrone on the flight) I didn’t get a chance to talk to her because I wasn’t sure if she would remember me too, but it made me really happy thinking back to my talks with her and recognizing the funny coincidence that we were both in the same place at the same time again in our lives.