Yawn. As usual, I had to be up at oh dark thirty. For those of you that were never in the Army, that means Damn Early. It’s about 5 AM in the morning and I am in the downstairs bathroom putting on my makeup when I hear someone coming down the stairs. Most of my family knows all about me (except my youngest son) but I am still not eager to have them see me, and so I was a bit nervous as I peeked out the door to see my wife headed down the stairs.
“What, are you crazy?” I asked her teasingly.
“What, are you crazy?” I asked her teasingly.
“Nah, I just couldn’t sleep.” She replied in a tired voice, and then made her way to the coffee pot. I thought about tossing in the towel and cleaning the makeup off, but I had most of it done, and I had an entire day to spend in airports ahead of me – I didn’t want to spend it all regretting a lost opportunity to be me for a bit, and so I carried on. Besides, I'd shaved my legs and painted my damn nails for this!
When I was ready to go, and had my back pack on and my hand on my suitecase, we gave each other a brief kiss good bye. My wife is Five foot and two inches tall, and in heels I have to be about six foot, two or three, so I kind of giggled at how far down I had to bend to reach her.
“You’re kind of short you know? I’d ask you how I look but I’m afraid that you would give an honest opinion.” I told her with a grin. Yeah, that would have been her big chance to say something either uplifting or crushingly depressing, but all I got was the sound of crickets outside of the waiting door. Well, she didn’t say anything to make me crash and burn, so I guess I’ll take what I can get . . .
Having my face fried a few weeks ago (laser hair removal) has helped a bit and the damn beard shadow wasn’t as prominent, and so my confidence is perhaps a little higher. Not high, mind you, just higher than it was. I guess the improved attitude showed because I found people willing to engage with me in conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure they knew full well what I am, but when you exude contentedness instead of anxiety, people are a lot more inclined to strike up a conversation with you. I was sitting in the gate area of the Austin airport waiting for my flight to Chicago, when a family came and sat down across from me. The husband was looking a little frazzled as he spoke to his wife.
“Our flight has been delayed by about an hour. That’s not too bad.” He told her.
Of course I almost panicked, because I only had 50 minutes to catch my connection as it was, so an hour delay meant I was 100% sure to miss my connecting flight. I guess my panic was obvious as I frantically looked at the monitor above the gate, because the young man started laughing.
“No no, you’re all right. We are on that flight over there – not yours!” he said, while pointing at the gate next to mine.
I started laughing with relief.
“It was that obvious huh? I only have 50 minutes to catch my connection, so you scared the hell outta me!”
OK, speaking of only having 50 minutes to catch your connection (which by the time my flight landed turned out to actually be 35 minutes) if I ever wear four inch heels to Chicago O’Hair with such a short connection time again, would someone please slap the shit outta me? I looked up a map of the airport later and discovered that you just about literally could not have placed my landing and departing planes farther from each other and still remained within the confines of the airport. That was a LONG walk to make quickly in any shoes, let alone four or five inch stilettos.
By the time I got to my connecting flight, I was “perspiring” (a kind way of saying sweating like mad) and I probably smelled like a goat. None the less, the woman sitting next to me on the plane took the time to tell me that she thought my shoes were awesome. I’m pretty sure that was female speak for “Are you fucking crazy wearing those to the airport?”
At long last, I arrived in Indianapolis where I got my rental car and made the hour drive south to my hotel. I was checked in by a super cute young lady who had almost certainly never encountered anyone like me before. She was awesome, but clearly a nervous wreck. Among other signs that she was nervous . . .
“OK, we have breakfast every morning from 10 Am to 6 AM . . . “ she started off. I just looked at her for a second with my head cocked slightly to the side to show her that something didn’t compute.
“Oh! I mean from 6 AM to 10 AM!” she corrected herself with a nervous giggle.
“It’s OK,” I told her with a wink and then batted my eyes, “I have that effect on people sometimes. . . “
I suck at it, but I’d rather leave them with a giggle than to leave them nervous.