Traveling home for second days of Passover- missing 5 classes because this ain't no "Pesach Z'man," mind you- there's a checklist of things you wish to hang on to forever.
Here are some "Eliana took a screenshot of your snapthought":
Israeli friends back at it #takemewithyou
Honey Chicken for midday snack- I need a College Mommy
Soaking up Shabbos Sun Hammock-style
People still buy Crispy' O's?!? #aunthood
SNL viewing from a dogpile
Driving back to the airport- Tucking and Rolling is sounding pretty good#childlock
So, with tears in my eyes (and hair and clothes and nose), I printed my boarding pass, shuffled through security, and found a seat at Gate B8.
Having not been able to check-in 24 hours in advance because of the holiday, I got boarding number B52, and I was made to pick between the myriad of middle seats. Seeing me and the people in line behind me pass by the first few rows, an attendant announced "the middle seats you're passing by are just as uncomfortable as the one your going to choose."
I picked a seat three rows ahead of the Emergency wing exit, because my mom once said that its the people within 5 rows of an exit that survive a crash. Total bogus-- but in either I became wedged between a cropped haired Whoopi Goldberg and a taller, longer-armed version of CeeLo Green.
Within 10 minutes we were 35,000 feet up in the air.With my borderline claustrophobic position leaving me out of reach of my tucked away Tifilat Haderech, I decided to recite Shema, a few memorized Tehillim, and some freestyle chants of "don't let me die. don't let me die. don't let me die."
I heard some gruff exhales to my left and that's when I noticed CeeLo wasn't doing so well. He hadn't been on a plane since he was 11 on his way to Disney World. I told him my barf bag was all his when he wanted it. He laughed and we began our hour and 50 minute plane-ship.
I told him to call me "Ellie."
We fist-bumped the introduction making it official.
What year in school was I?
Here comes the split second when you decide whether or not to include your Seminary gap year in Israel. I decided to tell him I took a year abroad before starting school. Apparently learning Bible and Jewish philosophy in the ancient land is "dope."
He told me about his steel workers' business conference he was headed towards; four days of conferences, marketing strategies, and dynamic company reorganizing.
"But what I'm really excited for is this," thrusting the gigantic screen of his iPhone6 in my face. It a beach resort with palm trees and digital clock counting " 4 days 15 hours 3 minutes and 23..22..21..20 seconds." It was his St. Lucia countdown. I told him he was going to have to fly there, and again, offered my barf bag as a token of safe passage. " I'm buggin' out man," he laughed looking over my shoulder out the window. "Where than oxygen pack at?"
He was the guy that ends up holding everyone's phones and coats at SixFlags.
We talked about the NCAA tournament, about 6 o'clock sprints, and the St. Lucia "honeys" he was so excited to meet. He asked me if I got a guy, and I told him I was recently dumped. He didn't believe me, and decided to call me "heartbreaker" after that.
"Listen," he said, "the dude missed out, ya know. And trust me, he'll realized what he missed. You're young anyways, go out and have fun, don't think about it too much."
He saw me scribbling in my notebook, and I told him I was writing a reminder to study for a test, too embarrassed to let on that I was writing down everything he had said. He called me "one studious heart breaker."
As we started our descent into D.C. he asked very audibly if the plane was "going down." I told him not to say that phrase too loudly, and the people around us started laughing.
After some armrest clutching and a successful landing, we split ways the way we formed them, with a fistbump. He told me not to go around breaking too many hearts. I wished him luck with his honeys.
Walking through my apartment door, I didn't feel the gaping pangs of homesickness I had prepared for. I saw my roommates and we all caught up about our weekends.
As it turns out, I missed sex week on campus. My roommate told me about the crazy discussion event she went to about BDSM. Apparently it wasn't so much of a "what is this thing," as a meet and greet between chronic sadists. They discussed how to make household whips and "the best" ropes to purchase at Home Depot.