If you didn’t already know this, people are weird. Airports are filled with people, ergo, airports are weird places. However, this allows for my overactive imagination to be on the constant look-out for new and strange goings on that you may have missed. My FHB and I are sitting patiently waiting for our next flight south to San Francisco. Scanning the other passengers in the terminal, I have the best view of “Young Narcissistic Couple”. They are taking turns doing pushups from their seats as well as obstructing traffic as other travelers are walking around them on their way to their gates. They are videoing one another doing all sorts of gyrations while doing push ups. He is doing one handed, one legged push ups and she is recording him from various angles. He appears to be directing and explaining what he is doing. He suddenly yells “Cut!” and gets up and walks away, shakes himself off and returns for another round of airport aerobics. Perhaps if I choose to do a Youtube search, I will see the stars of this display. Just not sure what I would look for.
We are told that we are unfortunately going to be delayed in boarding because of an air traffic control management issue related to ground fog in San Francisco. I don’t know what that means exactly but I understand the concept of delay. I look for my next observation and it doesn’t take long to be witness to the laughing and braying of a group of young millennials who are seated directly behind us. The “brayer” is sitting directly behind me and he is so enchanted by his own stories that he laughs and bodyslams his back into the seat which creates a chain reaction that propels me forward with a cardiac rhythm regularity mixed with a chacha beat. I switch seats and hope that when we board that we don’t sit near one another. I look toward the push up couple and now he is placing his feet through the seat back and doing some sideways push ups. It amazes me that the travelers walk around him and after a while, it appears that this is now part of the show at Gate 4 and no one seems bothered by any of it.
It doesn’t seem as though we are leaving Portland any time soon. I decide it is time to have my third cup of coffee for the morning and I have been awake for about four hours. I wonder if that is contributing to my inability to sit still. I reject that theory and head for one of the coffee brewing concessions. It gives me an excuse to walk around and see what intrigue is happening around us. As I approach the vendor, I overhear two older women (older than me but hardly doddering) having a discussion about what size coffee woman #1 should order and whether woman #2 should consider decaf but she really wants the real thing. Woman #1 says to the barista ” I would like a 16 ounce coffee but only fill it halfway.” The barista says ” I could give you a 12 ounce cup and it would cost less and fill it up three quarters”. Woman #1 “Do you think I can’t afford the 16 ounce?” The barista ” No, not at all, I just figured if you wanted half of the 16 ounce, it made sense”. Woman #1 to woman #2 “This one thinks I need an accountant to order coffee!” Turns to barista “I want the 16 ounce filled to the top! I’ll pour out the part I don’t want”. Woman #2 to second barista ” I want a large coffee and make sure you don’t give me decaf. I can taste the difference!”. I decide I have had enough coffee for the morning. I head back to the gate.
My FHB is sitting quietly assessing whether or not all the rest of the travelers are lining up prematurely in their designated group. He is the last one sitting. I suggest that perhaps now might be the time to head to our line. We are in the last group to be called and now there is a kerfuffle about getting the flight going a bit earlier (as we are almost forty-five minutes past our scheduled departure time) and having people “volunteer” to surrender their carry-on luggage at the gate and it will be at no charge and will help herd the passengers more quickly onto the plane. I am not paying much attention as I am eavsdropping on a family with a very precocious 8 or 9 year old child with a lovely British accent asking her mother whether she thought that the grandmother who was getting divorced (and presumably who they were visiting) was more devastated than the “new” grandmother who was marrying the old grandfather. I had to pay close attention to hear what the reaction is, as the mother (who did not have an accent nor did her husband) indicated that the old grandmother was probably more devastated because the new grandmother was getting the old grandfather and it was not the old grandmother’s idea. The child seemed to process this information and looked knowingly at her parents. I was impressed by the level of discussion and the use of the word devastated. Then the mother turned to the child and said “Lily, when you see your grandmother, you must not ask her about this.” Lily responded ” Maybe I will and maybe I won’t. Will you buy me a present to make sure I don’t?” An 8 year old extortionist. Lovely Lily. My FHB prodded me along toward the ticketing agent.
It was somewhat like changing channels and seeing slices of programs that you were interested in for just a minute and then you switched again. I often wonder if we are ever the subject of someone’s boredom. The airport, a million people, a million stories.