Especially the ones with free wifi. I have a four hour layover in San Francisco on my way to Washington state (this is one of the many adventures I have had/will have this short summer that you will hear about later) and even though I usually have no trouble entertaining myself in airports, free wifi always helps to pass the time. Just a warning, I have no idea where this post is going to go. I’ve been up since 4 this morning (my flight left at 7, but I woke up an hour and a half before I had to get up due to traveler’s anxiety and excitement) so I am perfectly content to sit here and sip coffee for the next few hours and try to form my thoughts into semi-coherent sentences.
I love airports. You get to see all kinds of interesting people (like the young woman who just skateboarded across the food court…) and have interactions like this one (that literally happened moments ago).
Young guy: Does anyone want this yogurt?
Me: Definitely. (It was unopened!)
Young guy: Awesome. This guy (as he gestures to his older buddy next to him) was about to throw it out and that would just be wasteful.
Me: Well, I’m glad I could help.
Older guy: Would you like a spoon?
Young guy: Did you just ask her if she wants to spoon?
Older guy: No, I asked her if she wanted a spoon.
Young guy: Oh ok good. That would have been wildly inappropriate. This is strictly a no-spooning zone.
Something about airports makes me think. Maybe one day I will buy a ticket and go someplace completely unexpected. Someplace no one knows my name. Some of my friends (if we’re being honest, they are people on facebook that I haven’t spoken to in years, but haven’t de-friended because I think their lives are interesting and worth stalking) are jet-setting off to faraway places with no agenda other than to live and have adventures and hopefully discover something they believe they are missing.
I could do that one day. Maybe. I could be a whole new person. A mysterious stranger. I kind of feel like a new person right now because yesterday I did something rather drastic…I cut my hair. I know what you’re thinking. Big deal. It’s just hair. But for someone who considers long, thick, mermaid-lion (interesting idea for a mythical creature) like hair to be a part of her identity (it’s not just me, other people associate me with my hair), a cut like the one I just did is kind of a big deal. It’s currently resting in little bouncy layers on my collarbone when just yesterday morning it was tickling the bottom of my spine. Maybe it was rooted in some practical desire. Shorter hair is easier to take care of. But I think mostly it was rooted in some deep-seated desire for change. It makes me feel older, more professional. Last summer when I was working with mostly middle-aged men who had little-to-no-hair, I felt a little ridiculous waving around so much mane. To clarify: I never felt discriminated against for my age, appearance, or gender. This was just a feeling I had, something that I was all too aware of.
Funnily enough, when I first looked at myself in the mirror at the hair salon I felt older. I look more like my mom than ever with shorter hair. But when I went to bed last night, wearing my favorite shirt that is softer than clouds and has X-Men on it, I looked in the mirror and saw my eight year old self because that was the last time my hair has been this short. It was really weird to simultaneously feel older and younger at the same time.
Back to my layover (which is half way done!). Lately I’ve had the strangest urge to watch old movies. Most recently I’ve watched The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, You’ve Got Mail, and I just finished Say Anything. I’ve never been a huge fan of older movies (and as such am somewhat movie illiterate, which is strange considering how much I love movies), but for some reason I am on a binge. I like that the people are ordinary (and not unrealistically beautiful) and that the plots focus on the emotional intricacies of their normally weird lives. I love that the romances are both simple and fierce. I also have a huge crush on Meg Ryan and wish I could be that adorable.
I do a lot of thinking, and consequently a lot of writing, in airports. Maybe it’s because traveling is a kind of in-between time. Right now I keep wondering if there will ever be a time when I get on a flight to a brand new place for the sole purpose of self-discovery. One day, perhaps, but right now I am too excited about the west-coast adventures I am going to have over the next week.
I’ll leave you with this recent discovery. I’ll probably attempt to make something like this for my future kitchen.