If you happen to be flying from Seattle to Orlando on Alaska Airlines and find a silver VAIO Sony laptop, let me know. Mike and I didn’t have seats together on our flight heading home to see my family on Christmas Day. Thanks to all my flying about on book tour stuff, I got bumped to first class and he didn’t. Just as we boarded, I took it out of his computer bag, placed it above the seat and forget it there.
I had hoped that his good karma from the flight would wear off on me, too. He was seated in 7F, a window seat. At the last moment, a young Japanese man sat in the middle. In broken English, he asked Mike if he would change seats. “She is my … partner… friend?” he tried to explain. Mike turned to see a tiny Asian woman bouncing and waving in 13D, wedged between two American women. “First time in America from Japan. Disney World,” he explained haltingly. Mike contemplated the six-hour flight time, his window seat, her middle seat. “After takeoff, OK?”
When Mike went back to row 13, the woman next him commented, “You’re a better person than me,” she said. “The young woman asked me, but I didn’t’ want to give up my aisle seat.” Then, Mike explained that he knew what it meant to sit with your girlfriend or wife, since he wasn’t sitting with me, but since I fly so much, I had a higher status on the airline and I’d been bumped. I’d offered him my first class seat, but he had insisted that I take it. She asked what I did that required flying so much and he explained I was an author. “Oh, what does she write?” And he told her about my book. “I read that!! You’re MIKE?!” she exclaimed. “You know, in the book, I thought that no one could be as nice as she described you, but you know, you really are that nice! Wow!”
It turns out that her son came to an event that I did at Ciao Thyme in Bellingham, Wash. He read the book, enjoyed it and gave it to her. I met her when we landed in Orlando. Small world, huh?