Confessions at an airport
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Confessions at an airport

The ThWhen your flight is delayed for four hours, you can choose to be annoyed and aggravated, or you can use it to gain valuable material for a newspaper column. Though I am usually a student of the school of annoyed and aggravated, there was so much good subject matter happening all around me, it was hard to stay negative. I also learned that four hours goes by very quickly when you have so much fodder to absorb. And that some people get really, really annoyed when their flight is delayed, and they spend their time yelling at the people at customer service and using really bad words. No, this was not me. I was too busy eavesdropping on everyone’s conversations.

Let’s begin with the young man who wore scrubs to the airport. Only someone who wants everyone to know that he is a doctor wears scrubs to the airport. Please do not tell me that you didn’t have two minutes to put on a pair of pants and a t-shirt. I know, firsthand, that it takes less than two minutes to get dressed when you are putting in no effort whatsoever. By the time we boarded the plane, almost five hours after first seeing this doctor in his scrubs, we learned from his girlfriend of four years (who also is a doctor and was not wearing scrubs) that she also felt that he only wears the scrubs for attention.

We also learned, from the girlfriend, that she is going to make partner in her medical practice in four months, and scrubs-boy has another six years before he accomplishes the same goal in his practice. And that he wants to get married and have kids and she still is not ready. And that she went to medical school on a full scholarship. And that she and her boyfriend went hiking in Vietnam and slept in a cave for four nights as part of the hike. She told me that is the coolest experience ever and that I should put it on my bucket list. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the only thing on my bucket list, currently, is, “Get out of bed every morning.”

My contribution to this conversation was sounding like a really old Jewish mother, and saying things like “If you ever want to have kids, you probably should start sooner rather than later because you never know how long it will take…” and “If you don’t know about marrying scrubs-boy after being together for four years, maybe he isn’t for you.” And my personal favorite, “Just wait until your kids are old enough to find out what nursing means…”

She met scrubs-boy on the PATH train and she couldn’t believe that husband #1 and I met when we were 13 years old. And that he had a full head of hair when we met. And that I was thin when we met (Just kidding. I never told her that.)

Now let’s change channels to the man sitting behind us. And you can’t make this stuff up. “So where are you off to?” the man sitting next to the man behind us asked. “Well, my job is sending me to a rehab in Florida for my alcohol addiction.” Apparently this man has been working for the same company for 30 years. He was married once, has some older children, and then he remarried and has an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old. He wants to start setting a good example for them, so he is looking forward to starting over. “The rehab is sending a limo to the airport to pick me up.” “What do you do for a living?” The man sitting next to the man sitting behind us then asked. “I am an iron worker,” he said. “I build bridges.” “It must be hard to do that kind of work drunk,” responded the man sitting next to the man sitting behind us.

Hey, that is just what I was thinking!!!!

And then it was time to board the plane and all my fun ended. Will scrubs-boy marry his girlfriend? Will the man in rehab overcome his drinking problem? Will husband #1 and I ever spend four nights sleeping in a cave? At least I can answer one of those questions….

Banji Ganchrow was on a plane because she and husband #1 attended a family bar mitzvah. It was very lovely and they had a wonderful time. (In case you were wondering….) And their flight home was not delayed.

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