Saturday, August 14, 2010
What's not to love?
- The usually free Wi-Fi, though suddenly a non-issue thanks to my brand new iPad.
- People watching; I could spend hours creating stories of others' lives.
- A blissful sense of solitude, despite the crowds. This may surprise you but I am so NOT a chatty Cathy when I travel. It's a relief to rest my mind and voice for a few hours.
- Tasty treats; everyone knows that Hudson News takes the calories out of all their snacks (wink, wink).
- Responsibility only for me, myself and I. When I'm on the road, it's all about me. (This is in stark contrast to my usual days of course.)
My love of airports could go back to when my dad used to take us to go watch the planes take off and land. More likely it stems from my senior year of college back in Boston.
My childhood home was within easy driving distance from my residence on campus. However, most of my friends lived outside the "close enough for mom and dad to drop by" range.
We'd start out as a crowd of maybe a dozen creative types, just "hanging out" in Logan International Airport. In retrospect, probably too full of energy for the hour.
I want to say we started the day with coffee. Yet my memory of it is fuzzy enough that it was probably something alcoholic. A little "hair of the dog" given the prior evening's celebration of finals being over. Plus, we were all newly of age to drink so there was a sort of novelty to being able to sit and imbibe in public.
So then, I want to say we enjoyed some big, spicy Bloody Mary drinks. Except we were all pretty broke and were unlikely to sustain ourselves on such an expensive choice. Not to mention that back then you could buy three packs of cigarettes for the price of one Bloody (and it was still legal to smoke indoors, despite how disgusting that sounds now.)
Maybe next trip I'll stop into the Samuel Adams bar for a cheap draft beer and see if it conjures up any memories.
Anyhoo... one by one, flights departed for New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Florida. Even St. Thomas and Germany. The crowd got smaller and smaller until I was the only one left. I took the "T" back to campus and waited for my dad to come pick me up. The car ride from school to home signified the temporary but welcome journey from (perceived) independence back to dependence again.
Since I knew I'd be seeing everyone again soon, it was au revoir but not goodbye. The memory was not about a bunch of hungover, obnoxious undergrads, drinkin' beer and smokin' "butts" but about friendship, laughter, support and the comfort of such ritual.
These days, I still like get to the airport plenty early. I like to be relaxed, not stressed. I enjoy being one of the shiny, happy people. The sort that asks the TSA agent how they are doing, has a smile on their face as they walk down the aisle of the plane and doesn't get impatient with the person who takes far too long to put their bag in the overhead.
If you saw the movie, "Up in the Air," you can picture a more positive, quirky female version of George Clooney. (Though I don't have near the frequent flyer perks thanks to my preference for family-friendly scheduling over airline loyalty.)
Last week I had a day trip to Raleigh, NC. In a surprisingly long security line for 5:45am, I accidentally bumped the lady in front of me.
She was tall and thin (but not fit), probably in her late 40s but still 20 in her mind. Her hair was clearly confused about being teased "big" in one decade only to be over-straightened as flat as a board in another. I found myself wondering if she borrowed her outfit from her daughter, or if she had recently raided the Juniors section of Ross for Less, or if her clothes were just well-maintained items from the Tello's days when she actually was 20.
My sister got me to stop me wearing my acid-washed jeans by enlightening me that, "Just because you can still fit into them doesn't mean you should."
(So, I ain't sayin'.... I'm just sayin'.)
As if with double annoyance that I had bumped her and was thinking such rude, judgmental thoughts, she whipped around and glared at me. Yikes. If looks could kill. Now she was not only in great need of a makeunder but clearly angry as well.
"Watch it!" she hissed.
"I'm so very sorry," I replied back in as friendly tone as I could muster. "Haven't had my coffee yet."
Somehow I guessed that this woman knew the language of caffeine.
The alternative response in my head was "Who pissed in your Cheerios this morning?" but I opted for adding my very best "olive juice" smile instead. A peace offering.
This encounter made me think of a film I talked about in a previous post. After that movie, Miss M made everyone in the family take an online quiz to determine which kind of "Bender" we each were. I secretly wanted to be an Air Bender so the results were very gratifying for me. (Might be a Gemini thing.).
Anyhoo, one of the questions was actually about what your reaction would be if someone accidentally bumped into you. No question that my Tellos friend in the security line was a Fire Bender.
What kind of bender (or traveler) are you?