How Do You Spell Unk? And Other Questions That Need Answers.

I have the memory of the six year old child you once promised to take out for ice cream if she was well behaved while running errands; in other words, I remember things quite vividly, just as they happened. I remember a time in kindergarten when my teacher, Ms. Harrington, had us draw pictures of our families. I, being the young budding artist that I was (only through elementary school though), drew not only my wonderful immediate family, but also some of my extended family. As I was labeling the colorful characters with my magic marker, I realized that I hadn’t yet learned how to spell uncle. Understandably so, right? So, naturally, I took to the only person I knew for sure would be able to help me. I put down my marker, scooted back my plastic blue chair, and marched up right up to my all-knowing teacher and asked, “How do you spell “Unk?”

(Like ‘funk’ without the f. Yeah.)

Obviously puzzled, (but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t surprised-she did spend whole days with five year old children after all) she asked for a bit of clarification,

“You want to spell “Unk?”


“What’s an ‘Unk?’

So, in clear five year old logic, I replied, “I was going to put an ‘L’ at the end and make “uncle.”

I’ve always been pretty quick witted. I got that from dear old dad. As I’ve gotten older and had the opportunity to work around so many personalities which are usually accompanied by differing levels of sensitivity, I’ve learned to keep my witty quip and sarcastic thoughts to myself (and my coworkers in the back galley, of course).

A few of my favorite questions from passengers are, “How much longer until we land?” or “What time will we land in (insert city)?” With a glance at my watch and bright, warm smile, I always respond with an explanation of the time zones and my best guess of when we departed and the flight time, or a quick, “let me call the pilots and find out for you.”

My mind on the other hand, thinks, “Why? Like if I say the wrong time are you going to get off the plane?”

Now, logical, empathetic Morgan knows that they’re asking, not because they want to know the exact moment the wheels will touch down, rather they’re trying to decide whether or not they should have that second glass of wine, or if they have time to start another movie on the digE InFlight Entertainment Tablet, or if it’s time to start looking for little Hunter’s shoes, or do some galley yoga. ***Just a note: there is never a good time to do yoga in the galley.

After spending nearly all of my life in Sweet Home Alabama I made the decision to jump ship and moved to Seattle to begin the career of a lifetime. A little over a year later, after having to work through my sister’s baby shower (yup, still salty), I made the decision to move to San Diego. Best decision ever, by the way!

I’d like to say my willingness to up and move on a whim and fly by the seat of my pants was due to how confident and strong I am as  a pseudo-successful young adult, but that wouldn’t be entirely truthful. The whole truth is that my moves were the questions I had to ask myself in order to figure out who I was and who I am; my moves begged the questions I did not yet know I had of myself.

Could I leave everything and everyone (except Momma) and start over with new friends, in a new city and be truly happy? Do I really want to leave home or do I just need a break from my southern roots. Am I still who everyone else knows or is there more to me? What else is there outside of what’s been nurtured by the people who are used to me?

Sometimes we ask questions for the sole purpose of simply knowing the answer. Quite often we ask questions, whether to another or through experience and experiments, in order to figure out our next moves and learn about ourselves. More often, these questions tell us more about ourselves than the actual answer.


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