Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Airport Appeal

Yesterday, my daughter and I got to spend all night in and out of various airports on our way to Washington (the lovely green state, not the Washington currently lacking “green”, D.C.).  We started at the airport in Burbank, making our way to Seattle and ultimately to Pullman, WA – which has a one-building airport where the rental car company left me directions to fetch my keys after hours from a 2nd drawer behind their counter.


For me, airports are one of the most exciting places on the planet.  While other women get their grin on over a trip to a salon or island resort, I’m giddiest when given the chance to people watch in airports, amusement parks or grocery stores (but don’t get me wrong, I’m still grateful for that pedicure gift card or exotic drink with the umbrella on a hotel balcony).  There is something intoxicating to me about imagining the emotions and lives connected to the nameless strangers sitting in lounges and along airport concourses.  This fascination with people is one reason why I’ve never minded all of the solo travelling I’ve done in my lifetime, because I’m never really by myself.


Taking this trip with my daughter was especially fun, because she is wired with more than a bit of her mother’s DNA.  People are interesting to her and we had ample opportunity throughout the night to share thoughts and ideas on the subject of human nature.  Like why women go to the bathroom in pairs or packs.  For me, personally, it’s thanks to some horror movie I watched eons ago where a woman went into the stall of a public bathroom and got sucked out through the back side by some creature from an unfortunate lab accident.   I think.  It might have been at the hands of some zombie or random monster lurking in the wall space.  I don’t really recall.  Either way, no matter how unrealistic it was, it was enough to swear me off solo trips to the potty for evermore.  As I got older, watching the news didn’t help either.


One thing I find really entertaining about people watching is the way they stake out their temporary real estate in airport waiting areas.  Where some people will just walk up to a chair and sit down, never really looking to their left or right, others lie in wait and scope out the spaces before them.  Then, choosing their location they start setting up camp, putting papers on the chair next to them as if waiting for a companion (who never shows), and placing their luggage all around them like wagon train settlers fearful of a sneak attack.  These people will not talk to you, no matter how hard you try, and I have tried.  Most attempts end up becoming a game of Don’t Poke the Bear with the Stick and eventually I give up (despite what’s been said, the same big stick need not need hit me in the head to take a hint).


One of my favorite airport pastimes has changed radically in the last decade, thanks to increased airport security, and it makes me sort of sad.  Romance used to be abundant in airports, but no more.  No more lingering hugs, last kisses and emotional goodbyes at departure gates.  No more rush of excitement as people tear across the tarmac to leap into the arms of those anxiously waiting at arrival gates.  I miss that.  I miss that a lot.  Airports have always been the one place you could sit back and view proof that romance was alive and well.  No dimestore novel or cheesy Movie of the Week necessary (although, now and again, that Lifetime Television comes through in a pinch).


I am terribly misty and melancholy about this concept of sending my eldest child off to college in 2010.  It pains me to think about how much I will miss her sunshine-y company and conversation.  But, if she chooses a campus far away – I’ve decided I’m okay with that.  Because the idea of going to visit her is actually an exciting thought, as long as it involves multiple airport terminals.

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