This afternoon I packed up my laptop after doing a sales training, waved to my colleagues, and raced out of the office to the airport. I was hoping I could get a stand-by seat on an earlier flight and arrive home at dinnertime instead of bedtime.
No luck, the regional airline I was flying didn’t take stand-by passengers.
So I settled in for the long haul. I enjoyed a late lunch with two large glasses of white wine. I browsed the bookstore (even though I’d purchased three new books at the terminal on my flight out). I savored a cup of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
When you hang out at an airport as long as I did, you start to notice a few things that perhaps you have always overlooked before.
Dang, smoothies are expensive! More than $5 for an “all natural” smoothie. I’ve been making smoothies at home for so long I had no idea people would shell out a five spot for these concoctions.
If you need to take shelter in the event of a tornado, you can rest assured toilet facilities will be handy. This would be a biggie for me, and it’s comforting to know I wouldn’t have to be crossing my legs for the duration.
There’s a whole new etiquette around outlet sharing begging to be examined. Almost every passenger today carries a cell phone, and many additionally lug laptops and iPads. And all of our devices seem to be in need of charging before our two, four, six hour flights. Yet despite this, it seems that only one of every six or so pillars has an electrical outlet. So travelers wander through the terminal trying to find an available seat next to a pillar with an available outlet. But what if half of the outlet is in use? Do you ask the owner of that device if you may use the other half or do you just go for it? What if you jostle his power supply and accidentally unplug it?
I’ve set up all of my children for the same feelings of tchotchke deprivation I experienced growing up. I remember on many family trips, trying to spend my allowance in the gift shop of whatever attraction we had visited, being disappointed that I couldn’t find a license plate, keychain, or pencil personalized with my name. There were always Kristen’s and Chris’s, but no Kristine’s or Kris’s. Today, browsing through Hudson News, thinking that spending some money on trinkets for my girls would help me pass some time, I realized all of their names are just far enough out of mainstream that they’ll never find it on a souvenir.
“I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions.”