Monday, February 15, 2010

Kindred Spirits

I flew yesterday from St. John’s to Toronto on my favourite airline, Porter, that treats people like valued guests, takes your coat and hangs it up, puts your laptop away carefully, serves you whatever you want in real glass, mugs and plates, and best of all gives you a seat that allows you to stretch both your feet and your elbows. All this, at prices that beat the competition.

In Halifax, a tall handsome young man gets on and is assigned the seat next to me. He holds out a hand and introduces himself as Thomas. Over time, it turns out he is barely 18 years old in his first year of university in Moncton, New Brunswick and had already been on a 3-1/2 hour bus trip from there to Halifax to catch this 2-1/2 hour flight to get to Ottawa where he was going to surprise his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. He had met her when they were both children in the same summer camp and had been really good friends until they had finally confessed their feelings for each other a year ago.

Her father was in on the act it turned out and was going to pick him up at the airport and deposit him in his garage where he had a huge box ready to put him into and tape up. He was then going to go into the house and play a little podcast for his daughter from Thomas telling her he missed her and wished he could be there but hoping the gift in the garage might make her feel less lonely.

I thought this was one of the most romantic stories I had ever heard. Thomas was so excited about getting there and seeing his Emily’s face when she opened the box and there he was.

We went on to talk of other matters. I admired his earrings and he took one out to show me it was made of wood, very unusual, and he’d been macho enough to pierce each ear himself with a thumb tack. Actually, he said, he couldn’t afford the piercing fee.

He was very interested in my life, asking me all sorts of questions about my writing and my travels and when I mentioned one of my stories that I thought would interest him, he was completely enthralled, to the point where he gave me his email address and begged me to send it to him so he could share it with Emily.

The 2-1/2 hours just flew by, we were flying at that time of the day where we had 4 sunsets in a row which we both marvelled at. Who gets to see 4 sunsets in the same day?

When he got up to deplane in Ottawa, we shook hands and he said to me:
“I feel I’ve made a new friend.”

“Me too,” I said, through some tears.

"Don't forget to email me, now!" he admonished me as he disappeared down the steps.

Age is never a barrier to kindred spirits.


  1. What a wonderful story! I would love to know how that story ended. :)

    My husband flies Porter on business whenever possible, and can't stop raving about it.

  2. Lovely, lovely story! How come I never meet such lovely people on airplanes? Probably because I spend the first and last part of the trip clutching my seat with white knuckles and the middle bit deep in a book ...

  3. A great story. I'd love to know how the box-opening went and how his girlfriend reacted! I bet that isn't the first such romantic gesture she's been treated to!

    That airline sounds like a breath of fresh air when other airlines are doing everything they can to squeeze more money out of you and make the journey less and less comfortable.

  4. You caught the Toy boy bug!!!!

    What a wonderful tale. He sounds like a fine young man. I hope you keep in touch and that you will soon give us the next instalment of the love story.

  5. Ha, my heart rose like a falcon up to the sky ...

  6. lord. i have never had a flight like that. ever.

    how wonderful that you did! and how wonderful that he did, too!

    my brother and his family spent a month last summer in Moncton. i'd never heard of the place before then.

  7. Hard not to be friends with you, WWW.

  8. Your story makes me smile. What a kind young man. Have a great day!!

  9. So if you send him your story will he send you an account of how his little surprise turned out? And if he does, will you tell all of us? Please?

  10. Oh! Do let us know how it all ends!

  11. What a lovely experience!
    And....I echo what RJ said.

  12. One of our kids flew to Ottawa from Halifax and told us how great it was. I liked the story.

  13. heart warming, thank you WWW. xx

  14. @K:
    It is an amazing airline in this day and age!
    One word: biofeedback.
    I was like you until I took a course on my fear of flying (I had to, my job depended on it!) and it continues to help me.
    Me too, I've emailed him asking for update. If he's like this at 18can you imagine him at 80?
    I can add Toyboys to my Gentleman Callers then? Marvellous!!
    Oh what turns of phrase you have, my good man!
    I even picked up a new friend at my car dealership a month ago!! we now sing the Toyota song when we get together!! And yes I wrote about the Tidal Bore in Moncton a few years ago...
    Oh *blush* go on wi' ya!
    It restores one's faith in our youth, doesn't it?
    I am literally dying to hear back from him and once I do, I will race to the blog!
    Absolutely, if he shares it with me.
    oh I feel another *blush* coming on. Youz guyz!
    Yes, it is the ONLY airline, in my book.
    You're welcome my dear!

  15. Love this story! You are a magnet for interesting people. I think it takes one to draw one.

  16. I feel that you met a very nice young men who could have been my son and I'm so happy for you. I know you will email him the story and make him very happy and Emily too.

  17. Awww. What a nice young man, despite his gross-out earrings.

    I hope his girlfriend was suitably bowled over!


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