This time of the year we often get the
opportunity to travel with our family to see other members of our
family. For business travelers and us entertainment ner-do-wells this
time gets the same name that hard drinkers and AA’s give New Years:
“Amateur Night”. It’s often the only time that some people travel and
can be the first time for others. Why just the thought of taking Junior
to meet Granddad for the first time and him being parked behind me for
the whole flight, kicking, screaming, vomiting…. I keep looking for
my tour bus.
There will be no empty seats or sky beds; flight
attendants will pack overhead bins like Bombay train station cops on
crystal meth. Nearly everyone is carrying presents and breakables as
carry-ons and those who are not will be returning with some on the way
back. The winter jackets are being thrown around like restaurant
recommendations; like New Orleans at Mardi Gras, it resembles nothing
like the regular day to day travel, just an exaggerated event that
gives a place a bad name.
I feel strangely calm though; it’s this wierd thing
that comes over me when other people are miserable I feel like my job
is covered and I mellow out for once. For instance, our flight has been
delayed and we will most likely miss our connection. Flying out of DFW
and having to de-ice shouldn’t be a problem. The de-icing truck broke
twice and delayed us two hours…whee. We’re connecting through
Denver (in December!) and you know that’s always a smooth thing.
Well, we’ll get to my Mom’s house when we get there.
Oh, and though I’m mellow I’m tiring of the amount
of asses that have bounced off my left shoulder… I think we’re on the
other side of aisle for the next flight. I’m glad. I’m done with that
This brings me to what I wanted to discuss in
the first place; the adjustment. I’d love to get some feedback from you
readers who travel a lot. This is not a man/ woman thing or a
husband/wife thing as I see it. It’s not even a frequent traveller/ not
so frequent traveller thing… or maybe it is.
I often get very wiggy when I travel with my wife
and I know it has everything to do with me. She travels very well; I
seem to lose my chops as soon as we leave the house. Though I’ve spent
the past twenty years travelling in groups I really travel alone most
of the time. That atonomy of getting through security, getting my
bearings, finding coffee, an outlet, a free wi-fi connection, getting
my seat, reading, writing, watching stuff on my laptop… whatever.
It’s that strange thing of being able to do what you want, where you
want, when you want.
OK, I’ll admit it , I’m spoiled and I enjoy that
time between here and there. It’s my time and that’s probably why when
the now rare airline anomolies (“I’m sorry sir, you can’t use your
earplugs, you need to hear the screaming last wishes of the person next
to you if we go down”) send me far, far, FAR left.
When you travel with someone else you have to
concider what they need to do. Sounds like something a selfish person
might have trouble with. They have to do all the things you have to do;
go to the bathroom, sit, eat, reorganize, move from place to place … and then
they might want to do something you don’t! And it never happens exactly
at the time you want to, now does it?
I’ll probably get some flack for being such a baby
but I’m trying to be honest here. Being alone in a public place,
looking, watching the world go by, whether it’s DFW or a small town in
Europe, it’s one of my small pleasures in life. I’m a people
watcher. Now before you go and report me to the Stalker Police or
the dirty ol’ middle aged man authority, hear me out. The airport can
be the scene of some really interesting behavior be you animal,
vegetable or mineral. It is a place that brings out the worst in
people. You can see adults and infants act exactly the same way. If
you’re socially retarded like I am you can see how other families and
relationships work. You can blend into the backround and let it unfold
all around you.
You can also wander where you want, eat what you
want, browse, putter, vege out, nod out, crash completely, have too
much coffee, read, listen to music or do nothing at all.


Oh yeah, let’s hear it for the airlines… We
were held at DFW for nearly two hours for De-icing and missed our
connection in Denver. Luckily there were 3 more flights to Sacramento
and we got on stand by for the first one. They probably didin’t want to
deal with us as they told people that the delay was weather related as
they made them wait until tomorrow to fly again. The captain of the
first plane made it clear why we were delayed and we would have had
some fun if they made us stay overnight without a voucher. Perhaps
asking them if God was reponsable for the maintainance of the de-icing
truck would have opened an interesting theological discussion…I doubt