Up above the world so high, like a tea toy in the sky.....
It was my first flight of the day, of course our plane was late inbound. On top of that, Nashville flights are usually full, and that fact alone makes it even more challenging to keep on schedule. It was now ten minutes past our departure time, of 6:15 pm, and everything was on par for being an uneventful flight. My pre-departure duties had been completed, which had included reseating a woman who suddenly didn't speak English, who had attempted to give herself a five fingered upgrade from coach to first class. What she hadn't anticipated was my fluency in French.
"Whew, I thought the departure time was at 6:50, I'm glad I was able to make it!!!" The one and only Ashley Judd blurted out to me.
"6:15..... 6:50.... Same difference right?" I replied. "Our plane was late inbound, so we are a tad behind schedule."
She smirked back at me, as she and her "service" animals made their way to her seat.
Unlike most celebrities I have the pleasure of encountering during my career, Ms. Judd was definitely camera ready. I can say that she is as stunning in person she is in photographs. Though my awe was replaced by fear and dread almost instantly. I began to recall the horror stories that have circulated about this woman's less than stellar airplane behavior, as told by my fellow colleagues. B----y, mean, rude and hateful were some of the many adjectives that have been used to describe the infamous Ashley Judd. In stark contrast quite the opposite has been said about her mother and sister.
It was now twenty minutes past our scheduled departure time, with every seat filled, it was finally time to head to Nashville. As our plane lifted off the runway, I mumbled a small prayer to myself for an easy flight. I wasn't in the mood to fill out paperwork, or write reports today. Please just let her be nice to me... PLEASE!
I got lucky. While not friendly, she wasn't rude. She made direct eye contact during every interaction. Ashley Judd's eyes can only be compared to gazing at the darkest of storms, filled with an intensity of anger, curiosity and a whirlwind of other emotions all rolled into one. I got the impression that I was being tolerated only because I was lucky enough to have everything she kept asking me for. By asking, I mean, waltzing into my galley, looking me right in the eye and telling me exactly what she wanted, then standing there while I fumbled around to find what was needed. I can imagine the extra minute for me to walk to her seat was just too long of a wait.
It's obvious Ashley Judd, relishes the attention and adoration that her celebrity status brings. Before she made her trip back to the LAV, she made sure to touch up her makeup. Tossing aside her big floppy hat, she slowly pranced through coach, so that everyone knew that they were lucky enough to be on the same flight as she. She must have heard all the ooohs and aaaahs, as she strutted back, because she had a triumphant grin from ear to ear upon her return.
At last our 56 minute flight had finally came to an end. I was surprised to hear a "thank you" from Ms. Judd, as she and her "service" dogs strutted off of the plane first.
My interaction with Ashley Judd, how ever brief, has left an impression. She is a woman whom one would think has it all. Yet under the surface I doubt she really has nothing more in her life than her two dogs. Does she have anything in her life that brings her any real joy, besides her waining stardom? What will she have once plastic surgery can no longer stop the clock for her face? It's made me appreciate just how full and rich my life really is. There are some things in life that no amount of money can buy.