Last night my sons came over to hang out and chit chat. My lovely wife, Linda and I were fresh off our flight from San Francisco, tired but somehow alive with joy having spent the day in and around the friendly skies of the airline industry.
Unlike a normal night at the Sands residence, this one had significance as one of my boys brought a person of the female persuasion for us to meet. Not knowing the latest hip, cool phrase for this person, I will refer to her as the Female Of Significance, or F.O.S. henceforth. We had a very pleasant evening but in retrospect, I believe it could have been SO much better had I showered her with what I will call Airline Hospitality.
The festivities were to commence at 7:30. Had I been properly situated in the Airline Hospitality mode, we wouldn’t have been home when they arrived. There would be no key in a lockbox, no note on the door, no call or text and no idea of when we might bother to show up. They could, however, make themselves comfortable on the porch.
Upon their arrival, we invited them in, gave appropriate greetings and let them make themselves at home. Big Mistake! Had I been thinking Airline Hospitality, I’d have taken care of Linda first. She is here at our place the most and should be allowed in and made comfortable prior to anyone else being admitted. Then my sons could come in. While I have been extremely close to them their entire lives and they have been faithful and loyal offspring, they haven’t been around as much lately, so their status is somewhat diminished. Finally, the F.O.S. could enter. She would have to make do with whatever chair and space remained, probably somewhere on the deck.
Once seated we would have sat silently awaiting whatever might come next only to find that for the next 20-40 minutes, nothing would come next. We’d just sit there. No explanation needed, none given.
Food and drink ….. boy, I blew it on that one. We actually had warm, plentiful food with adequate drinks for pleasure and consumption. Better would have been a bit of Airline Hospitality: a 4 ounce cup, filled with eight ounces of ice and 1 ounce of a beverage of my choice (not hers). And food ………. yeah, right! No soup for you!
During our opportunity to chat with and get to know the F.O.S., I would have frequently interrupted their conversations with meaningless announcements concerning our evening and reassuring everyone that if, at any time, they needed ANYTHING, all they had to do was let me know (by raising their hand, being called on and reciting the Greek alphabet backwards before a match burned out). Bathroom? No, you can’t go just now…
Once the evening had come to its close (much later than anyone expected of course), we would have misplaced her bag, convinced her it was her fault and insinuated that we were God-like beings practicing Ritz-like customer service when it was finally retrieved.
Alas, none of this was to be. You’d think that on the very day, I had been given my own taste of Airline Hospitality, I would have been more willing to share the same. I did get one thing right, when my sons and the F.O.S. departed I placed a huge smile on my face and said, “Thanks for coming over. I hope you’ll come back soon.”
The difference is: I meant it.