“When he walked aboard the flight the first thing I saw were the boots, and then the cool jeans and long blond hair. He didn’t wear any makeup and his skin was clear and soft, a beautiful complexion. Then I noticed the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. We were flying from Orlando to Los Angeles, I think,” said my mother, who is also a flight attendant for the same U.S airline that I work for.
“I remember thinking to myself when he walked past me to his first class seat, Oh no, this is going to be a difficult flight. Because of the rock-n-roll connection. I don’t like trouble on my flights,” my mother added rather sternly.
“How did you know it was him?” I asked as I plopped down beside her on the sofa in the crashpad. Together we sat side by side watching him, the guy wearing the cool jeans and the long blond hair, on television.
“I just knew. Maybe it was the bandanna,” she said.
My mother was talking about Bret Michaels, of course, star of the reality TV show Rock of Love Bus on VH1.
So what do two flight attendants who are both on reserve at the same time do when they’re waiting for crew schedule to call and send them who-knows-where at a moments notice? They watch TV, and I mean a lot of TV. Me, I like the reality shows. I’m not afraid to admit it. My mom, she likes to watch the weather channel and Fox news. So imagine my surprise when I came home from a horrendous two-day trip, a trip that I’ll be writing about soon, and found my mother – my mother! – sitting on the sofa and watching Rock of Love Bus.
“I don’t know how he can stand looking at all of them,” my mother said, not once peeling her eyes away from all of them, all of those scantily dressed women desperate to get Bret’s attention on the television show. “They all look the same, don’t they? I’m surprised he doesn’t go for a more classy type of girl, a Jacquelyn Kennedy type.”
I burst out laughing. I mean we were talking about Bret Michaels, were we not? Somehow I couldn’t imagine Jackie Kennedy on the bus, particularly that bus!
“I just think he deserves better than this!” She pointed at the television just as one of the female contestants began dancing around a pole. She shook her head. “He’s a smart guy. Believe me, there’s a lot more to him than this show and these goofy girls.”
As I watched the man being manhandled by several half naked women, I mumbled to myself, “I can’t remember which band was he in.”
“Poison,” my mother said matter of fact. I looked at her. She looked at me. “Oh wipe that stunned look off your face!”
Now flight attendants see celebrities sitting in first class all the time. In fact, on my very first flight back in 1995 I had Goldie Hawn onboard. Last night I saw Peter Greenberg and Kanye West. After awhile you just get used to seeing them. It’s no big deal. And while some celebrity passengers make good impressions, others don’t. I won’t be going there. But trust me when I tell you that flight attendants have all kinds of celebrity passenger stories to share. Only when it comes to celebrities on the airplane, my mother is the last person to get star struck. Except for the time she chatted with one of the lead singers in the band Air Supply and the time Al Gore said hello to her in the airport terminal, she rarely ever mentions famous people.
“Why do you like Bret Michaels so much,” I asked, because…well…I know why I like him. He has a great sense of humor! But my mother?
“He just made a very good impression,” she said. “Which is why I don’t get what exactly is going on with all these girls on this bus!”
So what was it, exactly, about Bret Michaels that made such an impression on this somewhat conservative woman, my mother?
“His manners,” she said. “That’s what really stood out about him.” A few seconds later she added,” As I was refilling beverages in the aisle, I noticed him having a long and friendly conversation with his seatmate, not a young hot bimbo, but an older conservatively dressed business man. They really seemed to be enjoying each others company. He seems to be the kind of guy who can get along with anyone and everyone, and he’s one of the most pleasant passengers I’ve ever encountered.”
Which just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover – or bandanna. And that goes for passengers and flight attendants alike!
Photos courtesy of (Rock of Love bus) Robot_Zombie_Monkey and (Rock of Love, the first season) Hortensia V