Change of Heart


At LAX on the way home from the first – ever USARS National Roller Derby tournament I stood next to a family, then noticed the husband/father was wearing an LA Derby Dolls T shirt, which…………sparked  a conversation that led to me very possibly finding a potential photographer and fan for my leagues as well as a potential new skater (his sister)… Serendipity rules. 

I just sat down with the intention of writing about the tournament after bumping my way down the narrow aisle of the plane, scanning the seat numbers searching for 10A.  When I reached my seat I looked at the couple in B and C and gestured towards the window. The young man stood and got out of his seat to allow me to enter.  His female companion looked up at me and announced ” I have a DOG AND a broken foot!”.  I wasn’t quite sure what she wanted me to do with this information but she stared as if she expected me to change seats.  She appeared to be angry and pivoted to place her feet onto the aisle seat; giving me not one heavy sigh, but two, along with a glare.  I apologized as I stumbled past her to the window seat.  I noticed the bag on her lap and asked incredulously if she had a dog in the bag, which she did; a chiuaua  named Spike. She Immediately put her arm over the rest into my space so I’m making an effort to pull my right arm over my body and lean far to the window to avoid touching her, which makes it hard to type this. 

Oh HELL…When the flight attendant mentioned that the bag would need to go under the seat in front of her she began arguing loudly that it was a DOG, and at this point her male counterpart chimed in for his only vocalization so far during the flight: ” A DOG”!  Ultimately she compromised after a 2nd attendant came over, by placing the dog onto the floor.  

I tried making eye contact with the first flight attendant who stood a couple of rows ahead of me; hoping to tip him off that the dog was not under the seat.  My secret desire was for an altercation since I was already delighted and appalled by the situation and my unfortunate seat assignment. When she ordered  three vodka cranberry drinks and subsequently argued noisily about her plane tickets being drink vouchers, my hopes for a quiet trip home faded, after the fourth drink I knew I was doomed.  

Questions I tried to ignore:

#1). Do you live in Seattle? 

#2). Is Seattle in the Same time zone as Oregon?

#3). How do you put the seat back?

#4). What is Chicken Cacciatore?

#5). Where am I supposed to put this water? (the dog basket is back on her lap, and the water is sharing my personal tray as I lean even further into the window, terrified that she will  be able to read this and punch my face.

6). Come on, doesn’t that guy standing there make you nervous? Why doesn’t he sit down?

7). Why is my throat so dry?

8). Will I have time to take him out to pee before my connecting flight at 10:40?

Comments I tried to ignore:

 1). This is a boring plane ride, no television or even phones to call home

2). My dog is so mellow.

3. Remind me to get my coat out of the overhead, I know I’ll forget it.

4). I’m going to see my son, he is 25 and has a newborn and 6 year old.

5). I just had Christmas with my daughters, since I’ll be gone.

6). I wish that everyone would sit down.

7). I cried during takeoff, I hate to fly

8). I got Spike from a shelter, he is my goo’boy.

9). My niece was one of the Colorado theatre shooting victims, she was 32. Can you believe it? My niece.

I’m beginning to realize that her counterpart is not attached to her and just happens to be some guy sitting in the aisle seat.

I just told her that she is ok, and that we are almost there. I’ve decided that I should pet Spike and stop judging someone for being who they are or having fear. Suddenly I am overwhelmed and humbled for acting like the very kind of person that I try to avoid myself, when I think they are judging me.  It turns out that the water on my tray is for Spike and he is looking up at me with twitching eyebrows as his head is cradled in her arm.

I think I’ll ask her more about herself before we land. As I turn to speak with her I notice that she has pretty hair and she has put on some nice eye shadow and nail polish in preparation to see her son and his family. Spike is in her arms and she is sleeping, which surprisingly makes me tear up. I missed an opportunity to meet a friendly person that I know nothing about. How very human we all are. 

When we were landing she started complaining loudly about being hot. She repeated it about 10 times and was starting to panic. I picked up a magazine and fanned her face before we landed. Once on the ground she stood and i watched her limp ahead of me with her broken foot and Spike under her arm. 

I’ll get back to my derby story, which is fascinating and exciting, but it is about my thoughts and my world and about me. We are all about ourselves, mostly.

I spent a lot of time this weekend talking about how hard it is for people to see beyond their own agenda and I have to say, I’m pretty happy to be human, flaws and all. ImageImageImage  





About thehotflashseattle

I'm a person who found derby at JUST the right time in my life to give me hope, make me stronger and experience something that had been waiting for me all these years! My mightiest goal is to mainstream the sport of roller derby. My selfish goal is to help other people find ways to skate,connect and inspire each other to get back on track when they begin to slip off and help them up when they fall. Doing this helps me believe that there are others ready to do the same for me. In 2012 I had four surgeries, two of which were mastectomies and now at 57 I'm cancer free and back on track. Three years ago on this profile I claimed not to be a "great" coach but wanted to share what I knew. I am revising that statement at this time because I have figured out that I'm a survivor, a warrior and a damn good coach! I am the founder of OneWorld Roller Derby in the Greater Seattle area. We are sharing our resources to help other leagues form and we're creating a circuit that is coming together utilizing USA Roller Sports as a common link. We are bring roller derby to schools, colleges, parks departments and community centers across the US. Helping each other through the pack is what makes life work for me. In the world we get knocked down, get back up, reset and help each other through the pack. We look ahead for the holes to jump through. We gain momentum to find the endurance we need to be able to make it around the track one more time even when we don't think we can. Derby = life = Derby; It's all the same game to me.
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