Sunday, August 22, 2010

In Which I Confirm a Cliche

In which I confirm that Midwestern residents are, indeed, nice and polite. 

The first leg of my return flight was from Indianapolis to Minneapolis (a lovely city I'd like to revisit as I haven't been there in over ten years--lots of good food there, too). When the plane rolled up to the gate, everyone remained seated and waited, patiently, till their row was ready to disembark and then stood up and retrieved their luggage from the overhead bin. No leaping into the aisle the minute the seat belt fastened sign is turned off, no opening of bins from which bags tumble out, no flinging of bags over seats hitting people in the head, no pushing and elbowing their way down the aisle, regardless of the presence of grandmothers with handmade noodle art clutched preciously to their chest or people with canes or pregnant women, or even just tired middle aged travelers like me. Everyone waited their turn.

It was wonderful. It was so kind and stress-free. It was so the opposite of what it was like when the next leg arrived home here in the Old Metropolis.

So I confirm, even though it is not a statistically and therefore scientifically valid sample, the cliche that Midwesterners are polite.

1 comment:

  1. I can vouch for this, too, based on my long-ago trip to Missouri, the Show Me state, in 1982.

    It was in the midst of the controllers' strike, the first time I'd ever flown, and I was so nervous. I had been 12 minutes late leaving Newark, en route to St. Louis, for a 20 minute layover, after which I would proceed to Kansas City to meet Chris.

    We lost time flying west and we arrived too late for me to make my flight. I was in a panic. It was a 45-minute flight cross-state but Chris had an hour's drive to the airport to pick me up. (Remember, dear reader, these were the days BEFORE cell phones!)

    The airline representative not only contacted KC and had them page Chris to tell him that I'd be late, late by an hour and forty-five minutes (!), but they gave me a complimentary lunch in the airport restaurant AND upgraded me to first class for the flight to KC.

    And THEN, in Grandview, I was staying at Chris' apartment, a mile, perhaps two miles, from his parents' home (distance, like time, seems warped when you look back to when you were younger!). He left for work one morning and I was to walk over to his parents' home, for a day of estate sales with his mom. I was walking through their development and a little girl with braids, riding her bicycle, said to me, without an ounce of fear or trepidation in her voice, "You must be Chris' friend, right?"

    I remember the shock. How could she possibly know? So I said, "Yes. How could you possibly know that?!"

    "Because," she said, "I didn't recognize you."

    Heck, I have neighbors (within a few houses) that wouldn't recognize me if they ran me over on our street!!!

    That made such an impression on me back then...