Delta: A Dog or an Airline?

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I’ve told this story a million times already.  And it never gets old.  And thankfully, the story is requested time and time again.  I hear the following statements on a regular basis:

“You have to tell (insert name here) about how you and Jim met!  I love this story!”

“Can you believe Jim & Jean met on an airplane?  You have to listen to this story!”

And so it goes.  Like I said, I don’t mind telling the story though.  It gives me goosebumps thinking about it and brings a little spark back remembering how I felt that Saturday evening…..

Let me back up though.  I have to precede the story with a conversation I had several months prior to our meeting.  I was staying with a friend in Minneapolis, MN and sharing conversations over a glass of wine.  I was in my later 20’s and traveling the world non-stop as a Trip Director with BI Worldwide.  I was in a different time zone each week; staying in different hotels; and working with different corporate clients.  I had been to the Super Bowl, Bermuda, Hawaii and numerous other fabulous locations.  Don’t get me wrong, I traveled to some not so exotic locations as well.  I frequently made trips to Orlando, St. Louis, Kansas City and Charlotte.  Now don’t get me wrong, those not so exotic locations were some of the best.  Those are some of the programs that rank on my top 10 favorites list.

But I digress.  As usual.  Back to the conversation…. keep in mind that Royce is married to a wonderful man with three beautiful children and living in one of my favorite areas of Minneapolis.

Royce: “Aren’t you afraid you’re never going to meet Mr. Right with all the traveling you do?  You’re never in one city long enough to meet someone and get to know them.”
Jean: “Yes.  I do worry about that.  I do want to be married with a house and kids someday.  But right now, I’m having fun.  I love traveling!”
Royce: “Don’t you ever worry that you’re on a plane flying one way and Mr. Right is on another plane flying the opposite direction?  Don’t you worry that you’re constantly crossing paths mid air and will never meet?”

And now fast forward several months.  The conversation weighed on me many days.  I did wonder if my path was always crossing with Mr. Right and I did wonder if we’d ever meet?  I decided to make a life change.  I had recently moved to Denver, CO and I decided to leave my job as a Trip Director for a more stable office job that would require much less travel. It was not an easy decision to make.  But I knew it had to be done.  I had to do this for me.

I was on a program in New York City.  It was December and the city was decorated for Christmas.  It was amazing and perfect.  The city was alive with energy and I couldn’t love my job more than I did that week.  I went to several broadway shows including The Boy from Oz with Hugh Jackman (he’s HOT!!); I had dessert at the Rainbow Room; I walked 5th Avenue and looked at all the beautifully decorated windows for Christmas; I saw the tree at Rockfeller Center; and I stayed at Marriott Marquis Times Square.  And yet, here I was leaving it. I gave my notice while on this program and accepted another position as a Meeting & Event Manager in Denver.  I couldn’t wait to start a new chapter in my life.  A chapter that I vowed would be the best one yet.

This is where Jim likes to jump in and tell his side of the story.  But since he never posts on this blog, you’re getting my side of the story today.

I arrived at the airport late on that particular Saturday afternoon and flew from NYC to Ohio for a connection to Denver.  I was sick as a dog with some bronchitis deal and hardly had a voice.  I slept all the way from NY to Ohio and could not wait to get on my next flight to continue my sleeping.  I grabbed a pizza and a Starbucks for dinner and headed to my gate to wait for my next flight.

I was dressed in running shoes, jeans, a big sweater and a long winter coat.  I was wearing my scarf even in the airport and I seriously felt miserable.  I just wanted to sleep.  It was a Saturday night and the airport was silent.

I got to the gate and the first thing I notice is this guy standing by the ticket counter.  He was tall with dark hair and was laughing in a conversation with someone.  He caught my eye, but I quickly dismissed him because I looked and felt miserable.  I thought it was unfortunate that I looked and felt the way I did, but what was I to do?

Side note:  His version of the story involves some potentially too-good-for-herself-girl carrying a Ritz Carlton bag and blah blah blah.  Again, if he wanted to share his side, he could log in and post it himself.  Right honey??

They started boarding the plane and basically jumped from the first group to all groups.  The plane was far from full.  I think there were 20 of us getting on the large plane.  I boarded and as I walked past the flight attendant, she made a comment about liking my scarf.  I smiled and kept walking toward my seat.  Sleep.

I walked past that same good looking guy from the ticket counter and he also made a comment about my scarf.  Again, I smiled and said something politely with not much of a voice.

I settled into my seat and had an entire row to myself.  And before I knew it the guy was sitting behind me.  Yes, our flight was completely empty and yet this guy was originally sitting in a row with 2 other guys.  So he got up and moved behind me.  And it only took minutes before we were engaged in conversation.

We somehow started off talking hockey and teams which led to Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche.  He mentioned that he had an extra ticket to the Wild vs. Avalanche game in a few weeks.  Hmmmm…..

We talked all the way from Ohio to Colorado.  I forgot all about the sleep I had been so impatiently waiting for.  We arrived in Denver in the wee hours of the morning and walked to baggage together.  He asked for my number and wanted to know if I’d be interested in going to the game with him.  I happily agreed.

I couldn’t help but wonder where this chapter of my life would lead?  It was so unexpected.  And I couldn’t help but think back to that conversation with Royce about Mr. Right passing me in the air.  Hmmm……

We left the airport separately that evening.  We went about our normal lives and agreed to talk soon.

And we did.  We talked nearly every day for several weeks until our travel schedules brought us both back to Denver at the same time.  We went to that hockey game as our second date.  We had a blast. Well, except for one uncomfortable encounter at the game which I won’t go into detail about tonight…..

Several months later we were dating.  We went to Dumb Friends League one day and we met this overly excited, crazy German Shorthaired Pointer named Rosey.  She acted as if we were her long lost friends and took to us immediately.  We fell in love and she came home with us.

But with a new name.  Delta.  She was to be our constant reminder of where our love started.  On a Delta flight thousands of miles above the ground on a dark, starry and snowy Saturday evening.  That time our flights didn’t cross in the air. That time we were on the same flight.

That time it was serendipity.  It was a fortunate discovery made by accident.  And who knew that two months after meeting we would share a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity back in NYC over Valentine’s weekend.

And that is how Delta got her name.  Our now 6.5 year old pup that still has as much spark and energy as she did when we adopted her at 3 months of age.

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  1. Love this story, Jean…I got goosebumps, too!

  2. What a fun story! Serendipity indeed! It is so crazy to think how cross paths and your life is changed forever!

    • Typical Suburban Family says:

      It is amazing no doubt! I’ve read your story about how you and Aaron met and loved it!! How amazing that he was the same guy from the night before. It was meant to be.


  1. […] Who would have thought that the very next day would change my life forever.  I met my husband on the airplane back to Denver.  Talk about serendipity!  You can read the whole Delta story here. […]

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