Last night I saw Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, and it gave me all the feels. After sobbing at Hamilton the day before, I was convinced I had no more tears in me and brought zero tissues. Big mistake.
The moment Ben Platt walked on stage I battled the urge to pick him up and put him in my pocket, where I could keep a close eye on him and protect him from the cruel world. I would sing him songs and make him tiny flannel pillows with my sewing machine…ok, maybe now this is sounding a little creepy so I’ll just say I really liked it and stuff. I mean, it's not like I'm counting the minutes to the release of the soundtrack so I can listen to Ben sing to me while I lie pining like a teenager on my Star Wars sheets.
Anyhoo, as I walked back to my Airbnb in the crisp night air I was inspired to add some open letters to our blog this year. In the show Evan’s letter writing efforts are a little, well, problematic… but I’m hoping my efforts will be more productive? Enjoyable? Used to get me a date with Idris Elba? Hard to say, but I’m sure you’ll let me know.
This week I’m going to write an open letter to the guy sitting kitty-corner from me on my Virgin America flight from NYC back to LA. Dude is right here, let's find out how nosey he is.
Dear Beardy Flannel Wearing Hipster across the aisle -
It’s been a rocky start, I think we can both agree on that. Between the two hour delay on the runway in the rain, and the person lying in the aisle in need of medical attention*, I haven’t been able to introduce myself. I considered using the seat to seat chat feature, but I’m worried that if I interrupt your video gaming you may get angry and that’s not the best way to kick things off.
First off let me say how much I like your cozy plaid shirt, and the way you chew the collar as you wiggle around like you are driving a tiny go cart while you battle those aliens or ninjas or whatever they are. I don’t really play video games, and you are sitting directly behind my right shoulder, so I obviously can’t see your screen. I wish I could. If I were sitting next to you I could smile and give you the thumbs up when you snatch a new life or gold coin from that dragon wizard. Maybe it’s Super Mario, or maybe you aren’t even playing a game…maybe you are just watching the GoPro channel and pretending it’s you skiing down those stupidly high mountains. I get it, you are a thrill-seeker and I love that about you. I mean LIKE, jeez I’m getting ahead of myself.
I noticed you just ordered a ginger ale right after I did - was that your way of flirting with me? Yeah, I picked up on that. Smooth. I think I’ll order the same protein box and glance at you ever so suavely as we enjoy our brie on crackers, you with a few crumbs lingering in your unruly beard. Oh to be a cracker on your rosy cheeks.
Jesus, is it hot in here or is it just me? I mean, seriously, it’s super hot in here, right? Ugh, I need more ginger ale, and maybe a little Jack to toss in it this time. Turbulence, turbulence, turbulence. I need a hand to hold.
Suddenly I hear a chuckle and my heart flutters - I love to watch men laugh. I know, it’s a weird thing to savor, but the way one’s eyes light up when they have a moment of pure joy is intoxicating. I am finding myself wishing I was the one lighting the fire of your amusement. I close my eyes and listen to your stifled chuckle as you try to contain yourself, courteously avoiding bothering those around you. I smile, imagining we are sitting across from each other at a candlelit table, twinkling stars above and delicious glasses of red wine in our hands…
I thnk I'm going to turn around, finally ready to meet your eyes and spend the remainder of our hundred hour flight cozily getting acquainted. "What?" I'll say, "you noticed me at the gate and considered offering me one of your red vines? Aw, you should have, that would have been so sweet."
Deep breath and I turn.
You are nibbling the ear of the dude next to you. Yep, the one with the fabulously gorgeous pea coat I noticed in front of me at Peet’s coffee. I bet he smells like the expensive men’s section of the Duty Free shop and has less hair on his legs than I do. Well, he definitely looks better in a swimsuit and probably knows how to make artisanal gnocchi from scratch…
Good on ya, dude. I have to admit, you made the right choice - I haven't washed my hair in three days.
Well, now I can take a nap.
Happy New Year!
*said passenger is doing much better, and so far I have not had to whip out my sweet level one CERT disaster team skills.
ALSO - go see Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway and load your pockets with tisses - you'll need them.