As I sit at the San Francisco airport (after participating in @vvanedwards amazing class on Negotiation!), an interesting interpersonal topic sprung to mind. Isn't it interesting how, when traveling alone especially, we form these short term relationships with complete strangers? At least, I seem to, and I was wondering what other stories are out there about memorable but short lived mini-friendships that start, grow, and conclude all within the span of a few hours.
For example, during a very long layover, I got into some really interesting conversations with an older man from Miami named Sammy (talk about easy mnemonics...."Sammy from Miami"). He was in a wheelchair and brightened as he told me about his kids and grandkids. I can picture him plain as day, but will never see him again.
Or a lady whose name now does escape me, but we sat next to each other from Tampa to Albany, and talked at length about self-image, confidence, and how photos can affect someone's self esteem. I can see her curly hair and shade of lipstick perfectly and think fondly on our time together, but after a quick "so lovely to meet you, have a great visit", just like that, the relationship concluded and we went our separate ways.
And lastly, today's example. I requested an Uber Pool, and jumped in to a nice driver and another passenger, a friendly face named Jonathan. After initial pleasantries we realized we were both (a) going to the airport, (b) both flying Virgin Airlines, (c) both headed to Fort Lauderdale, and (d), he had even initially been seated in my row but recently switched so he wouldn't be in the emergency exit row (seats don't recline). What a coincidence! As gridlock took over the downtown area due to the Science March, we helped the driver navigate around the traffic, made comments about the crazy drivers and entertaining pedestrians we passed, equally stressing the approaching urgency if we didn't get there on time, and upon arrival, walked in together, helped each other find the gate, handed each other bins at security, and were generally "in this thing together". But once we got to the gate, I turned around and he had vanished. Not that he had any reason to stay nearby but it did kind of strike me as funny that after our almost 90 minute "adventure" together, he would veer off without saying anything.
Which brings me to the observation of situational relationships, and any interesting stories there have that demonstrate the typical unspoken "rules" like those encountered while traveling.