22 October 2007

Plane People: The Other Side of the Story (Part 1)

I met a celebrity last weekend.

Are you familiar with the written word?

Are you familiar with a certain #1 bestselling novel entitled "The Devil in the White City"?

Are you familiar with Erik Larson, the author of the aforementioned novel?

I'll give you a moment to be impressed.

Okay, maybe 'celebrity' is a wee bit of an exaggeration, but I was excited to take a ride out to the 'burbs and spend an hour or so with an amazing author, a full punch bowl of apple cider (see previous post), and about 149 of my closest friends. He gave a short lecture which included a brief but thrilling homage to the wonders of Google, to which my friend Sarah and I raised our hands in college student triumph, illiciting a point and smile from the bestselling author...it pretty much made my life complete. Afterwards, as I waited in line with Sarah for the book signing, I saw the other side of the moon, so to speak.
There was a "plane person" trying to build community. And I was part of the community to be built.

That's right, my one-person-community-building-machine met its match at a booksigning next to the punch bowl.

Sarah, her boyfriend Michael, and I were standing in line, discussing how rather impressed we were with our college selves for rolling out of bed and to a library on a Saturday when the man in front of us (who I've endearingly named Chuck) turned around, "Really, what college?" We stopped. He really asked us a question? Sarah, ever the extrovert, answered him while I tried to smile pleasantly and Mike sipped his cider, avoiding eye contact. We chatted for a few minutes about the average waking time of college students during the weekend and I, being a fellow community-building machine myself, knew what was coming next: the topic was exhausted, it was time for a new one. I looked at Chuck, trying to silently encourage him in our joint pursuit. "I understand" my pleasant gaze said, "You have to come with this on your own though." He looked a little bit like one of those puppies in the pet store that wakes up from a nap only to find 10 eight-year-olds staring at him. "Why are you staring at me like that?" his eyes responded.

Would he ask another question to keep the conversation going or would he turn around and pretend to read his book?

Find out next time! Same bibLooHoo time, same bibLooHoo channel....

No comments: