It started with a stranger asking for a favor.
On Tuesday, Rosey Blair asked a woman on her Alaska Airlines flight from New York to Dallas if she would switch seats so that Blair and her boyfriend, Houston Hardaway, could sit next to each other.
And who sat down next to this kind soul? An attractive man, who’s since been identified as former professional soccer player Euan Holden. (He’s now known on Twitter as #PlaneBae. The woman has been identified as Helen, and she’s declined to share her last name with the media, who have quickly devoured this in-flight romance.)
Blair spent the entire flight documenting every inch that the two strangers nudged closer, every tidbit they revealed about themselves.
Blair’s minute-by-minute narration — and her and her boyfriend’s vicarious excitement over what was unfolding right in front of them — is what made this so riveting.
Several times Blair tells her followers she’s purchasing extra WiFi access so that she can keep live-tweeting this budding love connection. Her phone battery’s juice is dwindling, but she continues tweeting about how Helen and Euan are showing each other pictures of their family.
After the plane lands, Blair shares an image of them walking together. Cue the video of Blair and Hardaway cheering, fists pumping the air.
As Blair was invading the privacy of the people in front of her, she gave them this one courtesy: She obscured Euan’s and Helen’s faces in her tweets, instead capturing the excitement on her own face and that of her boyfriend, while also sharing images of her followers who were taking in the romance from afar.
This is the absurdity of falling in love or breaking up in public these days: Anyone can be listening or broadcasting it, while those experiencing it are unaware. Does merely witnessing sparks fly give someone the permission to broadcast them? We seem to think it’s okay if the story is happy, or if someone is behaving badly.
On Thursday, Blair shared an image of herself on Instagram, with a caption noting that her first name, Rosey, rhymes with nosy. She notes that her favorite movie is the Nora Ephron romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail” and that she “believe[s] in the possibility of magic in the minutiae of everyday life.”
Blair’s tweet stream, which had reached 339,000 retweets by Thursday, reveled in that minutiae, bringing hundreds of thousands of people along for the ride. In the days since, Euan has been on “Good Morning America” and the “Today" show, saying that he and Helen plan to meet up soon.
Blair, who’s an actor, writer and photographer, connected her own love story to her compulsion to document someone else’s. “I am a plus size woman and for years I believed dating and love were experiences that simply wouldn’t happen for me. I was proved wrong,” she wrote on Instagram, noting that “experiencing a love free from judgement has changed my life.”