Stuff I Talk About

by Christina Ledbetter

Traveling Shorts

Flight 231

Our seatmate by the window looked at us and then poked her head behind her to make sure nobody else was listening. “You know the people that are really – ” She then mouthed out “fat” while holding her hands out in front of her, mimicking a protruding stomach. “You know how they’re suppose to buy two seats if they can’t fit into one?” she whispered conspiratorially.

We kind of slowly nodded, unsure of where this is going.

“Well they don’t have to. They can just show up and take two seats and the airline has to give the extra seat to them.”

“Oh,” we said with our eyebrows raised in a way that conveyed we were very thankful for this tip.

“Remember that if you get fat,” she said, motioning her head toward our near anorexic frames.

Her next story involved black people. I don’t remember the details, but I do know it involved football and Ferguson, and that she said, “You know, the – ” and then mouthed out “black people.”

Because we anticipated her next topic of conversation to involve mouthing out “Jews” or “the gays,” Benson pulled his laptop out in efforts to work for the remainder of the flight.

She nudged Benson. “What’s her name?” she asked, pointing to me.

Benson told her, and then she showed me all her jewelry and recited the story behind each piece, holding up necklaces and earrings over Benson’s laptop.

In her defense, it really was pretty jewelry.


I attended a church lady conference in Dallas. After a day of singing praise songs and nodding along with a zealous speaker and eating croissants with other church ladies, I loaded into the car with my friends Ranelle and Amy for the drive back to Houston. Upon said drive, a sudden urge to eat Chick fil-A sprung upon us. I assume it was due to the large influx of scripture we’d just been made privy to and the deeply rooted relationship between Jesus Christ and chicken sandwiches. Amy found one on her phone, “just a few miles off the interstate.” It had been a long day. We were tired. We were hungry. We could drive a few miles off the interstate.

We even had coupons.

A few miles off the interstate, we made a perplexing discovery. Our precious chicken sandwiches were located inside a college. After stopping two groups of 19-year-olds and waving our bibles before asking for directions, we located the appropriate building. Upon entering, we realized a choreographed dance of sorts was about to take place and we were behind the scenes with the practicing performers. They all wore head-to-toe black and flung their hair and arms and spun and lunged. They took up the entire room between us and the food court.

But here’s something you should know: NOBODY stops southern church ladies on a mission to eat Chick-fil-A. Not a craft stand with embroidered scripture vests, not free Kate Gosselin haircuts, not a sale on leather-bound King James Bibles with accompanying quilted totes and feather pens.

We walked right through those dancers, dodging limbs and locks the whole way through.

CollegeThen, amid stares from small clusters of teens wondering why some students’ moms were visiting the college food court at 9 PM on a Monday, we purchased our sandwiches, shoved some ketchup packets into our purses, and were on our way.

Categories: This and That

2 replies

  1. My hat is off to anyone who correctly uses the word “conspiratorially” in a sentence.
    I miss the hilarious interviews you used to do at the mortgage company. You should get hired by them again. 😉

    • It’s funny you mention my million dollar word – I hadn’t given it a second thought until I posted my blog to WordPress and they highlighted it as a misspelling. But when I originally wrote the post in Microsoft Word, it wasn’t flagged. Thanks for missing the old blogs – I’ll try to interview some more folks for this one.

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