A bouquet and banquet in the air
We had celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. The trip itself, 12 weeks touring Alaska and Canada, plus a surprise party given by our Vancouver friends, were quite enough.
So we agreed there would be no gifts, not even cards, especially since the actual anniversary would be spent on a trans-Pacific flight from Seattle to Seoul. Maybe we would indulge in a special dinner during our South Korean stopover, or so we thought.
Unfortunately, my husband, Alvin, suffered a lastminute attack of guilt. Consequently, I was awakened mid-flight by the presentation of a mini-bouquet of yellow carnations. How romantic and absolutely gorgeous and ... mystifying.
Then I remembered the aircraft loo had sported just such a floral display the previous evening.
Ever the pragmatist, I envisioned trying to explain my gift to airport quarantine. Sadly, it would have to go back.
I hid it behind by handbag and headed for the denuded loo. It was engaged, of course.
“Mrs. Whittle, come this way. This other toilet is unoccupied,” the cabin attendant offered.
I insisted on remaining by the flowerless loo and she was not at all happy. Unbeknown to me, she approached my husband. “Is Mrs. Whittle OK?’’ she asked. He felt compelled to confess.
“You should have told us,” she said. “We would have had a special celebration. But we can sing for you. What kind of music would your wife enjoy?” It seems traditional jazz was not in the Korean repertoire.
Seven years on, I still treasure a card signed by all the cabin crew. We wonder if we will ever return to Seoul for that celebratory dinner.
Because, after consuming the contents of an airline bag that must have held all the leftover packs of nibbles, washed down with a complimentary bottle of French champagne, we couldn’t have eaten another morsel.
Not long now to our 60th. Look out, Canada, the US and Korea. Send your 400-word contribution to Follow the Reader: firstname.lastname@example.org. Columnists receive a set of men’s botanical skincare products from The Aromatherapy Company including face and body balm, natural soap bar, hair and body wash, face cream and shaving cream. $120.70. More: shop.davidjones.com.au.