She lit up the room with her pensive gaze, quietly waiting for her turn to board. This room was an airport gate in Cebu. A quick glance at her had me, but I never try to speak to a woman at the airport; people come and go vast distances from this place (me included), so why bother with someone you will never see again? Carry on.
However, boarding that Philippine Airlines flight 2927, I made my way through the aisle to find my seat and had to do a double-take - actually, triple-take - of my boarding pass, because that same beauty who had caught my eye was there at the window seat next to mine! Travels have taken me on many flights, and it is a rare occasion when I will actually speak a word to my seatmate - even for hours-long journeys. But this time was different. She quietly read her Bible, with all apparent desire to keep to herself for the flight. Years previous, I had interrupted a woman from reading to make her acquaintance, and it did not go nearly well enough to warrant another attempt on this occasion, however I was quickly resolute in giving it a go. I like to think that God was both my witness and my first test as Kim and I engaged about Jesus and the Bible. In the course of that relatively short inter-island flight, she nearly immediately surpassed my several main criteria for the ideal woman.
But then, what is the ideal woman or the perfect mate? Sometimes, people seem ideal, but circumstances are not. Maybe there is no perfect, or maybe we all come into one another's lives to just play a part in their puzzle, helping to make them complete at a later date... and vice-versa.
Kim and I did go on to meet in Qatar, the Philippines again, Tanzania, and throughout the United States. We are both world travelers, each making our way through our own discoveries and documenting along the way. I showed off to her, America: snowy Manhattan, the beaches of Southern California, our nation's capital, her first jazz show and rock concert, the Philly cheesesteak, key lime pie, Miami nightlife, the Golden Gate Bridge, high school football, Major League Baseball, Texas barbecue, the vast natural magnificence of Alaska, craft cocktails, and In-N-Out. While in the end, I am tempted to say she was not impressed. But could you blame her? The life of an international flight attendant is blessed with the best of the entire world; in her case, I'd say that is as it should be.