You know you are getting old when an attractive woman sits down next you in first class and says “it is going to be a long flight since I forgot to bring a book” and you look at her, smile and hand her a book to read. That just happened to me. But it made me think of all the interesting conversations I use to have on planes (and some interesting flirtations I should also say). I guess in the good old days when human beings actually made conversation by talking rather than typing, a plane ride was a good time to learn something new from someone you did not even know. I met a number of interesting people and actually have a few friends that I met on flights (the girl friends are long gone J). My first encounter with meeting people on a plane, was a flight I took from NYC to Luxemburg via Iceland in 1964 when I was 19. The flight got terribly delayed. During the flight a meet a number of people my age and we got dumped in Luxemburg at 4:30 am. I ended up taking a train to Paris with a French girl around 7:00 am. She fell asleep with her head on my lap as we rode through the French country side as the sun began to rise. It was sweet beyond words.
One of the benefits of professional success was flying first class. And there I would often meet successful business people and make important connections. I think I found a deal or two this way. But now, we are all protected by our iPods, Blackberry’s, notebook computers and soon, eBooks. We carry on our semi anonymous conversations on facebook. We make our business connections on LinkedIn. We learn about the world from the Wikipedia and we carry an extra book just in case someone forgot theirs and wants a conversation.