Wednesday, August 21, 2013
She remembered my name...
In life, there are a multitude of things that make us feel significant. A mother feels significant when her child tells her that he/she loves her. A wife feels significant when her husband cooks dinner for the evening. A co-worker feels significant when they are awarded a promotion out of the blue and a child feels significant when they get that long awaited toy for Christmas. But what about when a complete stranger makes us feel significant?
I was in San Juan, PR at the airport in August 2013 waiting for my connecting flight to Philadelphia. I had just landed there after spending 7 wonderful days in St. Thomas. While waiting for my flight to take me home, there was a group of women who took seats near me. As I people watched, I became mentally engaged in the behaviors of those around me. Some energized me, others made me laugh and still, others disgusted me because they were extremely loud and was acting as if they had never traveled before.
I don’t apologize for staring at people. I can’t help it at times, although I do try to remain aware of my super long stares if it makes someone uncomfortable. It’s just so amazing how much we learn from people simply by observing and listening. One of the women from this small crowd took a seat next to me. A few moments later, her friend appeared. This friend spoke very softly but had quite an edge to her. I could already tell that she didn’t take “no stuff” and for this reason alone, along with her eclectic look, I paid special attention to her.
As it turns out, she took a seat on the other side of me. We smiled at each other and then began to have a conversation. I learned that she had just come off of a cruise and she was taking her flight from San Juan back to Philadelphia. She asked about me too and that is when I informed her that I was coming from St. Thomas after 7 days there and that my 2 hour layover was in San Juan, PR. We shared our vacation stories and talked about our hometown ~ Philadelphia.
This woman was approximately 65-70 years old but had the energy of a 40 year old, looks of a 50 year old and the friendly spirit of an innocent child---still, she had a way that I cannot effectively describe that demonstrated that she didn’t take “stuff” from anyone, yet she had a genuine interest in me.
It’s now time to board our flight back to the City of Brotherly Love. My San Juan friend was a Platinum Card Member, so she got to board first. As she stood in line, she looked over at me and smiled a few times. The very last time she looked, she said, “have a safe flight Tori” and followed the line ahead of her to board. She remembered my name. It seemed to be hours before my section was called, but nonetheless; finally, I could board.
I didn’t see this woman again during the flight or after we landed. Four hours had passed and we’re now back in Philadelphia. I’m outside waiting for my ride to pick me up and take me on my hour long car ride back home. I was tired, semi-depressed because I had to leave beautiful St. Thomas and my friends, but at the same time, ready to see what was waiting for me.
A car pulled up in front of where I was standing. Out of nowhere, the woman I met in San Juan and her friends appeared. They were quickly placing their luggage in the trunk of the car and taking their seats. As the driver began to pull out he had to maneuver around shuttle busses, taxi cabs and other awaiting vehicles. I was so focused on his driving skills that I never noticed my San Juan friend who rolled down the window and yelled, “Good-bye Tori, it was nice meeting you!” She remembered my name. I’m not certain if I made that great of an an impression on this woman that she would remember my name, or if my name is so unusual that she couldn’t forget it, or perhaps, maybe she just had a good memory ~ all I know is…she remembered my name.
While this may be a “small” thing to many, it had a “big” impact on me. It proves that to our very core, one of the things we really want is for someone to remember our names.