I just finished an engagement for the organization Friendship Circle in Newport Beach. I had never had an engagement like this one. The event was an awards dinner celebrating all of the efforts of the high school student volunteers, but this wasn’t any normal award ceremony. The whole event took place on a BOAT (check out the pictures below). Anyway, after the event I caught a redeye from Long Beach, CA back to NYC. As usual, I waited till almost everyone boarded so that when I boardedthe plane everyone would be sitting down to hear me make my Tourettes announcement. On this flight, my row was 25 so I stopped at row 20 and began to make my usual announcement. I should note, on a red eye where people are expecting to sleep I am way more conciencious and aware of my TS.
So I began, “Hi everyone, my name is Marc Elliot. I have Tourettes syndrome and I make noises and say things that I can’t control. I should hopefully be sleeping (I had an ambian!) but I would really appreciate your understaning.” Before I could even blink my eyes a man two rows in front me stated, “Hi Marc, my name is Matt, and I stuff pillows in people’s faces who….”
I obviously thought the moment he said “Hi my name is Matt” he would follow with, “Don’t worry about it Marc,” and I actually felt bad that he mentioned his name because I would then start ticcing his name on the plane. As I stood in amazement at his comment, he stopped abruplty and said, “Do you really have Tourettes?” I of course said yes and began to walk towards my seat.
As I passed his chair I padded his shoulder lightly and said, “It’s nice to meet you to Matt.” The funniest part is that I kept ticcing Matt’s name for the next ten minutes. As I approached my seat the faces of the people sitting behind me were in of amazement of the events that had just transpired.