How do others see us?
Do you ever wonder how other people see you? We each have our own self-perception and we assume that others see us as we see ourselves. But that’s not always true.
I get motion sickness, mostly in cars but sometimes when flying. Several years ago my husband and I flew to Cheney Washington to visit some friends. I knew it would be a long trip so I wore comfortable clothes, jeans, tennis shoes and a hoodie. It was not a direct flight so we had a layover. While waiting to board the connecting flight, a fellow traveler became very noticeable to us.
All the other passengers were sitting around reading, eating or talking quietly. This guy was by the windows facing the tarmac. He walked back and forth, talking on his cellphone very loudly so everyone could hear him. Wearing a suit and tie, you could tell this man thought he was a very important person.
His tone let us know that whoever he was talking to was just hired help. Mr. VIP was giving orders to sell 10,000 shares of this stock and buy 20,000 shares of that one. He expressed how smart he was and how much money he was going to make. This went on for quite a while until we were advised to start boarding and I lost track of him.
I’d had no trouble with the first leg of the trip and expected the last part to be the same. It was not to be. The flight was OK but when I felt the plane starting its descent I suddenly felt a wave of nausea. In a car it helps if I look straight ahead and focus my eyes on something outside the vehicle. But I can’t do that on a plane. Focusing on something inside the plane doesn’t help and closing my eyes makes it worse. I just laid my head in my hand, stared at the floor and prayed for a quick exit off that plane.
When I get motion sickness the nausea is overwhelming. I can’t hold my head up and I try real hard not to throw up. Steve told me sometimes my face actually gets a greenish cast. By the time the plane landed all I wanted to do was lay down in a fetal position.
Steve had seen me like this many times. “There’s a bench,” he said.” Go lay down. I’ll find Gary and Pat and get our luggage.”
So that’s what I did. I laid down, curled up in a fetal position and closed my eyes hoping the spinning would stop.
After 10 minutes or so I heard footsteps walking in my direction. I didn’t really pay any attention until they stopped right in front of me. Before I could react I felt something light hit my arm then heard the footsteps quickly walking away. I opened my eyes and looked around. I saw Mr. VIP walking away. He had dropped a dollar bill on my arm.
When Steve and our friends came to get me I told them what happened. I didn’t think they’d ever stop laughing. Gary said, “You ought a put an empty cup out by your sorry green face. You might get enough to pay for your trip.”
I was just a traveler who got air sick. Mr. VIP saw me differently. Apparently he thought I was a bag lady, a homeless person or a wino. Maybe that was his charitable donation for the month. Big heart. I still have that dollar.
Linda Messmer can be reached at 812-448-8725