I once had a friend who thought that the reason she could find a parking space close to the shopping mall entrance was that Jesus loved her because the had fibromyalgia.
I told this story at work and one of the more curmudgeonly (and agnostic) members of our team said, “If Jesus loved her so much, why did he give her fibromyalgia?”
But i am not here to discuss the validity of childlike religious views or fibromyalgia diagnoses. Rather, I would like to discuss the problem of having a scatterbrain for a friend.
One lovely fall afternoon, I was taking my dog for a walk when I came home to find a phone message from her.
“Hi,” she said. “I’m in California and my plane gets into Boston at 6:30. Can you pick me up at the airport?”
First, let me say that I have no problem picking someone up at the airport. I’ve done it countless times. This request, however, left me with a few unanswered questions, namely:
- What airline might you be flying on?
- What California airport might you be flying out of?
- What, pray tell, is your flight number?
I’m not greedy. I would have been happy for just one answer. Just one.
I couldn’t call her cell phone because it was turned off. I just had to guess, so I went to the airport and started guessing.
First, which terminal should I go to? Boston’s airport has multiple terminals. I guessed that she’s flying on a free ticket based on her husband’s frequent flyer points. I picked a terminal based on the airline that I knew her husband used for his business flights.
Next, I looked at the Arrivals board for flights from California that were arriving at 6:30. Nothing. In fact, four flights were delayed. I spent over an hour on this scavenger hunt and then decided to just go home.
I was headed out the door when I spotted her strolling down a hallway. She spotted me and waved. “Hi,” she said.
Hi? Simple as that?
What would she have said if I’d never picked up her phone message? If I hadn’t guessed the correct airport terminal? If I hadn’t invested two hours wandering around the airport looking for her?
I have no patience for things like this but I know she is a scatterbrain, so I just drove her home.
There is no punchline to this story, but there is a question which is this: How did she manage to marry an extraordinarily intelligent man? He truly is one of the smartest men I know.
Really, what’s up with that?