Generally, the airport is a fascinating place. A particular morning last week–not so much. Perhaps it was my flight twice delayed. Most likely, it was that on the Today Show, Savannah Guthrie and her supposed fashion cohort pronounced heels and dresses dead for work wear thanks to COVID. Blasphemers make me testy.
Scanning the waiting area, I spy the perfect seat for people watching, a longtime favorite travel sport a la Love Actually. After this trip, let’s agree it’s more fun watching the arrivals than sitting with the hordes boarding. Because my flight is twice delayed, I have plenty of time to acquaint myself with those around me.
There is the dad and son who cop two seats next to mine. Um, hello? This entire area is teaming with seats. Son, young twenties with southern boy bangs, slouches down, legs splayed. If I spread my legs that far, someone would have to help me up. Really cool dad, blond highlighted tips and a goatee, chooses the seat touching mine. Nod and smile. I’m not a barbarian but I am questioning the efficacy of my resting bitch face.
Jokes on them when Loud Talker joins the fray. Chatter interrupts my reading. Is there no one in this whole damn airport concerned with my comfort?
Loud Talker, my age, may actually have a hearing problem. I feel for you, doll, but don’t shout into the phone in public. It’s not fair to your client buying the house that we all now know his interest rate, that the offer was accepted but he’ll have to put five percent more down to seal the deal. You said his name, yikes, at the beginning of the call. Hopefully, Don XXX is okay with the neighbors knowing he overpaid.
It’s like the time, while staying at Middle Chicken’s house, in the early days of Zoom when she overheard a meeting of mine.
“Mom.” She used her delicate voice so something was up. “On Zoom, you have to remember that your computer will pick up your voice. Just talk normally.” I recognize the tone–it’s the one I used on her when she embarrassed herself. She was twelve, I’m, well, not twelve.
“Oh great. You mean I’m screaming at everyone?”
“Well, not screaming. You can just talk normally. They can totally hear you.” I wonder how many colleagues reached for the volume button when the Zoom invite bore my name.
“Maybe they just thought I was excited and happy to see them,” She nods. We both know I’m grasping.
So, Loud Talker, I feel for you but a business call shouldn’t make for airport gossip. Who knows who will carry the tale of Don’s mortgage rate and the extra five percent?
The final blow comes aboard the aircraft. Thank the heavens above for a partially full flight and a space between myself and my neighbor. He needed the extra space. Just sayin’. He pulls a lunch from his pack and the meat smell assault begins.
Can we all just agree that the only scents on earth should be those that come from expensive Anthropologie candles? Did COVID steal not just our dresses and heels for work but our dignity as well? Pfft.