Flights of fancy
Contributor
Written by
Madge Woods
June 2010
Contributor
Written by
Madge Woods
June 2010
I always get nervous before I get to the airport but once there, with all the hubbub, I relax and settle in the lounge. I pay a fortune for my American Express Platinum card so that I can have the privilege of the lounges when I travel. A few years ago I decided that spending my kids inheritance for my convenience was a good thing. So here I sit watching the world cup as the world travels by. I usually just sit and watch people. I am a true people watcher. I wonder about their families and what they do and where they live and why they are traveling. Every face holds a story and I being a voyeur and a talker, relish the contact. After leaving the lounge, a minute before boarding, I get to the gate and am the 2nd to board. I upgrade whenever I can to sit in business or first class. Another advantage of spending my kids future money. Believe me they get lots of perks having me for their Mom. I am always generous because I believe, like my Dad before me, that it is better to see them enjoy the riches of my being alive rather than enjoying it after I am gone. I have been fortunate that I was born into a family of hard workers and it paid off for my sister and myself. I tried to continue the tradition myself by investing wisely and having a very business savvy brother-in-law who helped me manage and invest my money. But back to the flight I am on now to visit my grand kids in Chicago. One son and his family live there and one is visiting for 7 weeks so if it works according to plan we will all meet up so the cousins can play with each other(a rarity). When families live away it is hard to get together as well as sometimes when they live in the same town. When I get on the plane in the first row (bulkhead), I get the opportunity to watch as everyone gets on board. Some are smiling, some sad, some newly married (2 newlywed couples on this flight) and some just oblivious. I know the newlyweds because they are dragging their dresses along and their rings are very shiny and clearly clean and new. Lots of kids with parents also dragging blankies, juice cups and various bright colored, character oriented carry-ons. Some traveling with just Dads and some with just Moms and some all together, one unaccompanied minor who looks beyond the 14 year age requirement but probably is just really tall for his age. Then there are the really happy guys traveling with buddies who laugh and talk down the aisle and say hello. One particularly fellow told me after 4 cups of coffee and a red bull he was ready for this flight. He was chatty while he was waiting for the aisle to move forward. He had what looked like his two best buddies, lovers or complete strangers that he met along the way. He was a happy chatterer. A couple of people with their elderly parents needing assistance with their luggage as the grown child pushes two carry-ons down the aisle. I have an empty seat but I knew an up-grader would get it. Sure enough here comes a guy from the back. Straight laced with no expression and clearly not a real friendly person. Puts on those big earphones and proceeds to pull out his blackberry and IPOD. He reminds me that I too have my IPOD and can match him with my big ass headsets as well. Here we sit in our two separate worlds. As the people pore through the aisle I look at each face and smile or stare but make some kind of contact and lo and behold who do I see but my old boyfriend from the 90's. I call his name he looks behind him (sort of sums up our past relationship for the 5 or so years I dated him). He was always a backward looking guy. Anyway we talk for a few seconds. He looks just the same. He was 15 years older than me and I realize he is now 76. Having just been dropped off at the airport, by my friend with benefits FWB) and who is almost 9 years younger, I am glad I made the decision to go younger. One boyfriend needed constant attention and taking care of and the other not much at all of either. I of course have not quite figured out what I want in a FWB. The flight attendant is a cheery woman who greets everyone with zest for living and her job. She chats it way up making everyone feel like they are special. The captain comes on and tells us the travel time and what we will be seeing along the route. I actually listen and realize I hope he doesn't talk along the route. I like just listening to my Buddhist chants and soft music. It soothes my soul and prepares me for the onslaught of family, where I need to be always cheery, never tired and constantly interested. Since I have not been here for 9 months (the longest between visits for some very real and not so real disagreements with one son and his family), I am hoping that this visit shows compassion and my ability to not hold grudges or foreshadow anything but happiness, joy and lots of laughter while I am there. Finally, being allowed to stay in a hotel instead of with family gives me a much needed rest in the evenings and a little down time for myself. All of this goes through my mind as I travel these great skies, adventuring forward to my grandchildren who love me more than slice white bread and right now forgive all my faults and can't wait to plant kisses and hugs and just hang with Grammie. A delight to behold. Makes the trip so worthwhile.

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