And, the country is a great place to raise kids. While sitting on their behinds staring at some electronic device it’s healthy that they can see a blur of nature out the window with their peripheral vision.
But, sometimes it can be kind of isolated. I dig the bustle of busy places. I thrive on the energy and oddities of people. We’re all fascinating, curious creatures and people watching is fun, free entertainment.
That’s why I like airports. It’s the perfect people petri dish.
On our way to Oklahoma last weekend we had a two-hour layover in Denver. We found a central place to perch and began playing one of my favorite games.
First specimen – lovely 50-something-year-old woman, thin, very classy, except for the head-to-toe ruffly banana yellow pantsuit and matching pumps. All she needed was a collection of tropical fruit on her head and a Congo line following behind her.
When she passed, Jason spoke first, “When you get older, you don’t have to dress like that.”
I promised him I would avoid yellow and ruffles no matter how desperately I long for attention as I hit the crossroads of the hag years.
While we were still making Charo cracks another character came to play. It was Where’s Waldo, but the grunge version. The long-sleeved striped shirt, the pom pom-topped stocking cap, wavy brown hair, thick-rimmed glasses – it was all there, just in darker colors and frumpier fits. It was like Waldo having a sad day.
I thought the likeness was so funny I wanted to get a picture with my phone. I tried to sidle near him inconspicuously, but I couldn’t get a good shot. Then, just as I was poised to capture emo Waldo, he got up and walked away. I followed him. Then I lost him. I was engaged in a real live 3D Where’s Waldo search!
Eventually giving up, I walked back to Jason and he told me I’d just missed him using the payphone right in front of where we had been sitting. Somehow he had slipped passed me! Emo Waldo had mad blending skills. His books will go huge.
In contrast to Where’s Waldo’s disappearing act, the next set of specimen ended up right in our faces. Four loud, foul-mouthed, twenty-something loadies plunked down in the seats surrounding us. One of them was being pushed in a wheelchair – a swollen ankle visible above his unlaced shoe. He probably tripped over a scantily clad girl who had passed out on the floor at the kegger they attended the night before.
They were the epitome of the current trend of big boys behaving badly and made me think we’d somehow gotten stuck in the middle of a shooting for The Hangover – Part Three.
Gimpy was popping wheelies in the aisle with a buddy on his lap while the other two were busting a gut over some vile image someone had sent to their phones.
We were annoyed and disgusted, but Jason tried to put a positive spin on it, “Well, if this is all the current generation is producing, that leaves more opportunities for education and jobs for our kids, right?”
Just then, the lap dance recipient got bucked off his mount. He staggered up from the floor, shlumped into the seat next to me and starting messing around on his phone. All of a sudden he threw his hands in the air, spewed profanity and said, “I just lost 90 Gs!”
Gimpy responded with an unsympathetic laugh, “Dude, I told you not to invest that.”
They both laughed it off and Moneybags jumped back on the lap of Gimpy for another spin.
I was shocked, though I should not have been. I realized we were surrounded by a model sampling of this generation’s techno-debutantes who amass wealth with a simple keystroke. For all I know they could be Mark Zuckerberg’s frat boys.
When I was their age I was living in a basement apartment with my husband and new baby working two jobs to put my husband through grad school, and here these young punks were globetrotting with financial resources at their fingertips!
All done people watching. Suddenly, my serene life in the country on my lovely little ranch that we worked, sacrificed, scrimped and saved over years to build and continue to work hard to keep was all I needed to be content.
If I have to put up with crap, I’d rather it came from my horses.