Then Again, Maybe Not

It’s been over 36 hours since I sent my cheeky little text to PSM#2.  Not that I’m counting, but if I was I’d have come to the conclusion that he’s just not that into me.  Either that or he’s been staked out in front of his computer for the past three days, Googling his little heart in search of my blog; naturally he’ll have collapsed from exhaustion and lack of nutrients by now.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I don’t really care.  That’s because earlier this week, on way home from Miami, I realized something.

I love airports.  I love airports so much that I enjoy spending three hours at the departures gate: sipping wine if it’s after noon or drinking coffee if it not, flipping through the best sellers in the bookshops and imagining the day when I’ll find my work amongst them, checking out the men in the sports bars, admiring my color-coordinated hand luggage whenever I catch my reflection in the windows…

Few people, however (including my brother) share these passions.  And nor does my brother subscribe to my “better three hours early than three minutes late” mentality.  As I blitzed through security and scanned the terminal for the nearest coffee shop, I suddenly recalled why I usually travel alone: whereas I had blitzed through security (despite my high heeled boots, my laptop and my layered outwear), my brother was still attempting to reclaim his property from the gray bins at the end of the x-ray.

He’d already knocked over one of the stanchions (you know: those little poles with the interlocking nylon cords that you’re supposed to go around and not under?) and was in the process of knocking over an old man’s suitcase.

I rolled my eyes and found myself thinking back to that George Clooney movie that came out a few years back.  What was it called again?  Airport?  Airplane?  Snakes on a Plane?  In the Air? I can’t remember.  The point it, Clooney’s character was the Zen master of airport security and aside from being 25, female, not a movie star and not short, I’m just like George Clooney:

My carryon toiletries are always of regulation size and packed in the requisite Ziploc bag in an outer compartment of my suitcase so that I don’t have to stand there holding up the line while I fumble around for my toothpaste.   I hate those people— almost as much as I hate Midwesterners who get sunburned— and although high heeled boots might not be the most sensible choice for air travel, I can slip in and out of mine faster than most people can flash their boarding pass.

I’ve always thought that the epitome of marital bliss would be heading to the airport with my husband someday: to share in the responsibility of packing in-flight snacks, printing boarding passes and locating the departure gate.  But traveling to and from Miami with my brother has forced me to reconsider.

I like flying solo.

I like leaving four hours early for a domestic flight.  I like strolling through the terminal shops on my own.  I like zipping through security without having to wait for those who haven’t mastered the art of flipping their toiletries into a bin with one hand while hauling their suitcase onto the conveyer belt with the other.

Maybe I’m not cut out for marital bliss (or, God forbid, children), at least not yet.

16 Responses to “Then Again, Maybe Not”

  1. Katie

    I travel pretty much exactly the same way – boots and all. And as someone with a husband, trust me – it’s still far better to travel alone. But maybe that’s because my husband tends to be one of those guys who’s holding up the line trying to tie his sneakers and pack up his laptop, while I’m standing a few feet away, arms packed full with his wallet, belt, phone, boarding pass, ID card, Kindle, and anything else he haphazardly dropped into the gray bin, tapping my heeled boots with impatience. (Okay, I’m not that big of a bitch, but you get the idea.)

    As far as I can figure, the only good thing about a designated travel buddy is you have someone to watch your carry-on while you go to the bathroom. (I have yet to perfect my carry-on method – it still tends to be a little cumbersome with books, netbook, and DSLR camera.)

    • Katie

      And P.S., PSM#2 isn’t worth the effort. Your response couldn’t have been more perfect – witty with a hint of flirt. If he’s not all over that, then he’s not a good guy for you. Save it for someone who will appreciate it. 🙂

  2. Carolan

    Oh my gosh I HATE ill-prepared security gate people. Geneva airport has this wonderful section you put your bag on towards the end of the queue so that everyone can get their act together, take out their toiletries, find their boarding pass etc., yet some wallies still leave it until the security guard waves to them to start the Great Luggage Shuffle. I pride myself in my security gate efficiency and it rankles when it still takes ages to get through because someone has packed a razor in their carry-on luggage.

    I’m very proud to say that my charming boyfriend is very good at airports. He is almost better at it than me, although he did once leave a penknife in the bag he had given me to carry through, leaving me to blushingly rummage in search of the offending item while he stood there denying all knowledge of said penknife in the hope that they wouldn’t find and confiscate it. Gee thanks, helpful.

  3. Emilie

    Hey I am new to your blog and so far i really like your style of writing. I also like traveling alone, however there should be a little place where you able to ask a potential date how he likes to travel as traveling is always fun. And I also need to master the art of air travels as that can be a little tricky at time!!

    As for PSM#2…. I would agree with katie; if he cant get your sense of humor thern her is not worth your time and save it for someone eles that would appreciate it 😀

  4. Pat Amsden

    I have to admit I’ve never actually travelled alone. How sad is that? But I always seem to go with people who want to be there at least two hours early and care more about the packing than I do (although I do make sure I have the right size and amounts of various items such as shampoo, etc.). But left on my own I’d be the one running through the gate at the last moment.

    Part of me would like to try and solo trip and the other part of me sees me stuck somewhere in Kalamazoo going – maybe I should’ve checked that gate, door, aisle number a little more carefully.


    • Kat Richter

      Haha! Once I flew to Denmark en route to Germany and when I asked the customs official for directions to my next flight, he informed me that I was not in Denmark but Sweden and there was no flight to Germany. It took me a good five minutes to realize he was just messing with me…

  5. Anna

    Traveling alone…so much easier! I, too, have mastered the art of juggling a carry-on suitcase, bag of toiletries, bag of electronics, sneakers, and jacket into bins in about 5 seconds flat.

  6. jswesner

    I love airports. I love security. I love getting there late and racing to my gate. The rush!!!

  7. Jill

    Michael and I flew together for the first time since right after 9/11 last weekend. I should wear a sign that says “infrequent flier.” I’m clueless and I know it. I have said for years that there should be a disclosure form where PSMs list crucial items like “will never clean a toilet but will take care of all insect, reptile and rodent removal.” Or “Blood family absolutely insane but brings excellent friends to social pool.” How about — “will sleep soundly through spouse & children’s midnight stomach flu yet demands 24/7 sympathy when ill.” Did those eHarmony questionnaires cover these?

    • Landlord

      WOW, I love your disclosure form, it SHOULD be part of the marriage vows or something—

      • Kat Richter

        Haha! If only! I’m beginning to get rather fed up with eHarmony. The first question is, “Aside from your parents, which individual has had the greatest influence on your life?” Unless that individual happened to be Indiana Jones, in which case I’m going to guess that you’re fairly intrepid and well-traveled, then I DON’T CARE! I’m going to start asking my PSMs YOUR questions instead 🙂

  8. Catherine

    Growing up, my dad was about the cheapest man alive. He was in the military, so we moved a lot, and often had to make the trip by plane. He used to tell me flying was like being royalty – the flight attendants had to wait on you, get you whatever you wanted. only really special people had the opportunity to fly in a plane. Obviously, this wasn’t true then, and it’s even less true now with how much airlines have downsized, but I still get the same feeling of excitement when I fly as I did when I was a kid. I really feel like hot stuff. I find myself saying things like, “I have to get to bed early tonight, super early flight in the morning,” or “I’m hungry, but I’ll just grab something at the airport,” in a ever-so-slightly egotistical way. I just feel so important! So, next month I’m flying to Little Rock for a conference. I’m already planning to feel like a true jetsetter. Ha!


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