I spent the last couple of days in New Jersey. Stop it! Don't be jealous.
I was supposed to go down on Monday but delayed my trip a day due to the blizzard. (I keep meaning to tell you about my amazing weekend but then my life gets in the way.)
Anyway, I flew down Tuesday night and immediately started feeling sick. At first I thought it was Newark airport - which should be it's own level of hell - but as time went by it became clear that I really was getting sick.
I refuse to acknowledge illness because I feel it means that it has won, so I cranked the heat in my hotel room to 75 degrees, put on THICK wool socks and fleece pajamas and crawled into bed. Then I covered my body with the extra pillows on my bed and fell asleep.
I woke up around 2am drenched in sweat. I feel back to sleep and woke up healthy. I don't know why it works but it does.
I had a meeting from 8:30 until 3 - I was EXHAUSTED when it was over - but I had to hustle back to the airport. I'd already missed my 3:30 flight and rebooked on a 5pm.
I got to Newark, returned my car and raced to security. It was PACKED. I appealed to the TSA agent - "my flight boards in 10 minutes."
He looked at me and shook his head, "You're never going to make it."
Those TSA people really are helpful.
I ran to the next gate and begged the first class agent to let me through their line. He agreed. I made it through the SLOWEST security lane ever and raced to my gate.
When I got there I saw a guy on the other side of the gate who looked very familiar.
Then I realized that he looked like someone I went to high school with. But really, what are the odds that someone I went to high school with 24 years ago would look similar enough that I would recognize him? - so I didn't say anything.
They boarded my zone and when I got to my (middle) seat, guess who was already in the window seat?
You guessed it.
I thought I might ask him where he went to high school. Or less creepy, ask him if he went to my high school but the truth is that back in high school he was super popular (in an athletic, party-boy sort of way) and I was popular in a "who's that junior in the AP calculus class" sort of way (or, you know, not.)
Back in high school I barely knew his name - but I remember thinking he was HOT.
And the guy sitting beside me was attractive - but the guy I remembered had gorgeous blonde hair and this guy was totally gray. And the guy I remembered was VERY attractive and so was this guy, but WAY, WAY shorter than I remembered.
Anyway, I was sure it both WAS and WASN'T him.
And then he pulled out his boarding pass and I almost popped my eyes out trying to read his name.
BINGO. It was him.
So I said, "Want to hear a funny story?" and he said, "Sure."
And I said, "I saw you in the terminal and I thought 'that guy looks like someone I went to High School with' but I figured it couldn't be so I didn't say anything. But when I saw you sitting here I thought, "Wow you really should ask him if he went to XX High School."
(At the mention of our high school he smiled.)
Then I admitted seeing his name before I decided to talk to him.
He was VERY, VERY nice and we enjoyed a lovely 90 minute conversation back to Boston. I can HONESTLY tell you that in 4 years of high school we never exchanged 5 minutes of conversation so it was funny to talk so easily about everything from work to family to blizzards.
We said goodbye at the gate in Boston, promised to see each other at the next reunion and went our separate ways.
When I got home I had a nice email from him via linkedin saying how nice it was to chat.
I wish I could go back 24 years and tell myself that he wasn't half as scary as I'd imagined.
Actually I wish I could tell myself that about a lot of things.
And, HOLY FUCK! 24 years?