Friday, April 15, 2005

First Impressions

Honey I’ll be home soon” “No, don’t bother. No. I’ll take a cab... I love you!” He literally sang into the cell phone. All the while, he was fishing frantically inside his bag (which seemed to house pretty much every perceivable gadget in the market) for his Blackberry. Upon finding it, I thought he would switch to answering emails and shut off that cell. But no, it was just to compare some numbers and he was jabbering away in a second. “So I’ll be in Philly next week and maybe we can meet for drinks?” Pause. “Uh huh, Uh huh” Pause. “No, I understand! I’ll be there next month too, maybe then?” “Uh, huh” “Sure” “Yes, Yes” “Yes we should. Miss talking to you Kathy, love you!

At that point I discreetly switched off the little switch on the right ear of my headset. Noise cancellation was the last thing I required at the moment. That was the second woman he had said that to!! Of course it could have been his mother, daughter, sister, whoever, but the curious will remain curious and the book I was holding slumped just a bit. The attentive observer could have correctly predicted that I wouldn’t be turning too many pages for the rest of the time before our plane took off. I (meaninglessly!) felt satisfied that this Kathy had turned down his invitation for drinks. “Good for you” I rooted silently. He was on yet another call now and he kept the caller waiting while he switched to an incoming one. “Yes. John! So you do have a 4 PM slot open? Great!
Ah, this one is just business” I thought. We were after all in Business Class and he had invested in all these gadgets and it was still 5 PM Thursday. So if he had to work, I would be obliging, though everybody in the small cabin had already begun giving him the looks. “Good to hear your voice John, Miss you!” Eww. Well, he was just a very affectionate person I guessed. Till I heard him end the next call with an “I love you” again, this time a mumbled one. Maybe because he saw me motionless, head cocked or maybe he suddenly became aware of how he was “spreading the love” with the entire cabin within earshot. It was all odd indeed.

After take off, he settled down with laptop and Blackberry, shooting off emails and doing typical managerial stuff. He asked me the perfunctory questions and though I usually tell people a little bit about my work in such conversations (I’ve met some really nice and interesting people in my fortnightly visits to Chicago), I just wasn’t in the mood this time. It had been one of those days when you end up feeling exhausted but nothing significant has really been accomplished. I needed to unwind, to stare blankly at the most detailed birthing description in “Midwives” (my current read, I swear I did not know it was an Oprah Book Club recommendation. This copy did NOT have the seal) and then let my mind wander. These 2 hour plane rides home are very useful for being with the Self so-to-say. On arrival in Boston, project designs seem much clearer, code seems more debug-able and personal life seems altogether beautiful! He was a very persistent fellow though and I ended up mumbling more than a Yes and a No to his questions. He laughed at my jokes and he told me about his business. He drank his wine and ate his dinner, urging me to eat up too. He seemed nice enough and we became quite friendly. First impressions can be misleading and though I had initially sensed that he had thought me very lax to be wasting all this time reading a novel for somebody not on vacation and actually traveling on work, he completely dug my “de-compressing” theory when I explained its results to him. He decided he needed to take that up too and promptly shut down his laptop. I told him that when I had flown in the previous day, I had gotten some work done in-flight. (On hindsight that was such an un-cool thing to do - as if I needed to convince him of my professionalism! But I guess I was impressed with his work and successful entrepreneurs are interesting people and my own vanity and need-to-impress inevitably struck). Favorable tail winds (I love them!) took us to Boston in less than 1 hr 35 minutes. We walked out together, chatting amicably.

My husband waits at the exact same spot at the curb at Logan, each and every time I fly out. He comes directly from work and though there used to be days when he would try to cook and keep a warm dinner ready, those days are long gone. We usually head to 1 of 3 favorite restaurants right down our street, a short ride from the airport. I like that, not having to think or look for him or figure out stuff. There’s a short call when my plane lands and then I walk directly over and jump into the car. I left Mr. Entrepreneur at the curb and as I slid into the front seat I was almost afraid I would be subject to his standard parting-line too! It was a joke in my head now, one I would share with my husband, he being a man never generous with his 'I love yous' in public, I knew it would make a funny story. As my husband inched his way to the outermost lane through the long line of waiting cars, I twisted around to reach for the seat belt that tends to slide all the way back in a most irritating manner. I saw a woman step out of the Mercury that had been parked in front of my husband’s spot and stand on tiptoe in her 2.5-inch heels to kiss Mr. Entrepreneur. Something was odd but I couldn’t put my finger on it. As they stood there in a passionate embrace and we drove away, the words “No, don’t bother. No. I’ll take a cab… I love you!” rung out in my head, almost audibly. I recalled the mumbled version too. Maybe I’ve jumped to conclusions but the bad taste has yet to leave my mouth.

27 Comments:

Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

hmmm.. u can never be so sure about a person in just a 2 hrs flight, I guess..

n thanks for the comment on "why TF".. I somehow just *knew* that at least u wd comment on the fact that ppl open up more during eve/night.. (something which hadnt evoked any comments so far :p )

n i have the same ques as alpha - what's that abt ur anonymity being compromised?

10:12 PM  
Blogger phatichar said...

Interesting. But there can be so many angles to this one. Like, maybe, the lady you saw hugging him, might actually be his sister and he might be having designs on her husband, who sat at the wheel, invisible to you. ;) (since you said he said 'i love you' to even his male colleague). Maybe it WAS his wife, who came to pick him up, after all. Maybe the 'other woman' in question was about to get out of her car and saw the hugging, and then drove away, disappointed.

Ah well...

2:29 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

T.fairy - I think the "twilight" is the best part..."fairy" comes with it's problems of course :)

Anonymity has been sort of compromised...a few people know who I am. I'm used to it now, so no biggie!

Phatichar - Quite an analysis. See he said "Miss you" to the John not "I love you"...so that leaves a few questions non? It was like this. I started off curious and suspicious, soon I let it go as he seemed OK...at the end it went back to weirded out...I don't think it was his wife who he was hugging. We had walked out together, he had received no other call. Thanks for trying to give it a happy ending though.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. Maybe there is an explanation but fishy behaviour usually makes itself obvious. You say "weirded out" and that gut instinct usually proves right.

-Peggy

12:59 PM  
Blogger alpha said...

i have a theory..wait for me to come up with one.

3:52 PM  
Blogger FunnyCide said...

Hmmm interesting observations and conclusions [if any!!].. something to keep you entertained in your middle-of-the-week travels :)

btw, I happened to click on a link and went to Alpha's blogs.. and boy!! she has been churning blogs at the rate my mom churns dosas.. :P
what boggled me is that each one of them is equally interesting!! I mean, in a good way!! Like in wonder and awe as to how can people write such good stuff.. on a daily basis!! Alpha, keep them coming.. if possible longer and faster.. :)

As to why I hijacked GratisGab's post to say this is, it is easier for you to read it in context to who I am.. and also each and every one of your blogs have hundreds of comments..

anyways, girls.. kudos!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous HiredGun said...

Man, this dude is my hero! Where was I when they were teaching this in ManSchool? Wonder if they offer remedial classes and I can catch up.

BTW, who said only women could multitask? This guy is a shining example.

12:21 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

Didn't you feel like listening some more when the woman kissed him?

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uhm. uhm. i'll be back with an opinion as soon as alpha does. yesh.
grrr...
zis blogger peepels make me sign in or make me go anonymous.
:(
toinks i iz by the by...

6:30 AM  
Anonymous alpha said...

funnycide, if you are indeed talking about me I'm totally honored beyond words. Esp since you break this news in Gabby's blog... it makes for healthy jealousy and rivalry among us. Oh, you must check out my paintings too. (trying to squeeze this for what it's worth)

If (God forbid) you weren't really refering to me (clue being I don't get hundreds of comments), I'll just take the abuse and ridicule that will follow. I don't have a choice at this point.

11:00 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Peggy - Yes I agree! I am a big believer of gut instincts myself.

Hiredgun - He gave me a business card...will forward to you. I'm sure he'll love this hero-worship and will steer you in required direction. Maybe I'll meet you in a plane soon!

Anumita - I soooo did. If it was me driving I would have stopped right there and gone back on some pretext. But hubby is not an "encourager" of such healthy persuits. Our interests vary much. :)

Toinks - This obsession with Alpha's opinions is not healthy boy. It's time to grow up now I say...come, you can walk on your own. Sorry about the forced anonymity by blogspot...it does get to be a pain.

11:39 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

LOL Alpha, my astute friend! :)

Funnycide - Luckily for you, I charge no rent for using this pretty place for "complimenting" (quotes usage as intentions are tinged?!?!) my friends. I do have talented friends non?

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good narration. Very suspicious, this Mr.entrepreneur.

-Carol

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm , was wishing this was a story .. feels weird, doesn't it? Musta been kind of creepy too. Love each and every one of your posts :). Keep them coming!

coolcat

2:02 PM  
Blogger FunnyCide said...

eeeks.. boy! hope I did not touch any raw nerve endings there.. about my intentions, dear gabby, they are as crystal as obvious.. remember Occum's Razor? And about your writings, needless to say, I LOVE THEM too, so there, intentions got only clearer now!! :)

Ms. Alpha Hydroxy, [you must be astute(?) because gabby said so!!] Of course I was talking about your posts.. and can you deny that the comments on your blogs havent reached the 3 digits? Yes yes I spent the whole of last night reading all your previous blog.. yes, starting April 2003.. yes, I enjoyed them thoroughly.. yes, I need to get a life!!

And as long as the 'rivalry' is healthy.. rival away.. cos cat fights are one of those ugly realities that are pretty only in the guys' heads. ;)

-funnycide
PS: I do have generous friends, non? :P

2:50 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Carol - Very suspicious indeed. I should put an ad in Boston Globe so all the women he's seeing can get together and scheme!

CoolCat - Thanks so much. Is this coolcat from coolcatalyst.com? I should check out your blog.

4:02 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Hee Hee. I should set up those Google ads so I can benefit from all the banter! :)

FunnyCide - No raw nerves touched! I guess Alpha n I just found it funny that you left a comment for her on my blog that's all...I have to tell you she responds to comments on her blog very dilegently and imposes no upper limits whatsoever :)...The more the merrier. There's a regular mela going on there most days! :)

Glad you like my jottings! Thank you, thank you! *taking a bow*

4:03 PM  
Blogger Golden Words said...

first visit here...love the blog...
and hey... dont judge a book by its cover... its price maybe.. but not the cover...
Take care girl..
G.W

12:12 AM  
Blogger red said...

thanx for visting my blog:)

12:26 AM  
Anonymous alpha said...

funnycide, I agree we all need a life..me better stop giving your mom's dosas a complex. But gee thanks for going thru my archives..I always wondered what kind of people do that other than me. Now I know. We better talk to each other in our respective blogs or we'll have to be unnecessarily nice to Gabby .

Gabby, you are the greatest.

6:32 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

golden words - I know! But that was just my problem: was the very first few minutes the cover, or was the nice-guy-chat the cover or was the entire episode a cover? I guess a 2 hr flight is a cover. Thanks for coming by, glad you liked it. I'll go visit yours now!

red - you're welcome.

alpha - like i don't know where you live.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Enjoyed your post. Thanks. Found you in comments at ChaiTeaLatte. Here's my theory:

Call (1) He's a gadget sales rep and a single Dad maybe even a widower - TALKING TO HIS DAUGHTER.

Call (2) He's planning to attend a convention/monthly sales do in Philly - Kathy is a helpful sales contact not planning to be in Philly that month as usual - maybe next month.

Call (3) He was making a call to base - put them on hold while he took incoming call from John who could be his brother, in-law, old school mate or former colleague

Call (4) John is now a potential customer who can see him at 4pm to receive a sales pitch.

Call (5) I love you mumbled to his girlfriend who will be there to him at the airport.

Call (6) The woman who stepped out of the Mercury and stood on tiptoe in her 2.5-inch heels to kiss Mr. Salesman was his latest girlfriend who'd not yet met his daughter - or had and his daughter did not approve because she is Daddy's girl...

7:39 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Igrid - Aaah, finally, a plausible explanation! *fanning myself* The bad taste hasn't left my mouth yet? (no wait, it's the cranberries)..thank you, thank you....Checking with him (i have his business card) won't be a good idea I guess? :)

8:09 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Ingrid, not Igrid. Sorry, typo.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, me is coolcat from she-blogz.blogspot.com :)

10:27 AM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

My mind is buzzing !! LOLOL

10:07 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Pallavi - You a writer right? Bet you can come up with the best other-point-of-view!!

3:30 PM  

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