What were they thinking?

There’s something about the airport that just gets me thinking. I have always been a “people watcher”, and what more ideal people watching spot than the middle of the Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta? This is one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world. It is just crawling with people all milling about. They’re rushing from one flight to the next, hustling to make connections, talking on the phone, eating lukewarm fast food on the run, and doing all this while dragging half their earthly possessions behind them in luggage on wheels.

But, I digress. Back to my original thought – there’s just something about an airport. Somehow with all the bustling about folks get lulled into thinking they are invisible. Where were their families and friends when they got dressed this morning? I guess these fashion failures figure if they don’t know anyone it doesn’t matter how they look.

Today the airport promenade was like a parade of bad fashions I’ve lived long enough to regret! Let’s see… first, who stitches madras triangles into old, torn up blue jeans to create bell bottoms? No one I’ve known since 1966 when I was listening to the Mamas and Papas. 

Beehive hairdos? Haven’t seen one in years! Saw one today…still looks like a ratty mess!

Furry lavender sweater clips? Who knew! “It can’t be so!” you’re thinking, but sadly, it is. I remember my mom wearing sweater clips back in the 1950s and I even had a pair of mink ones when I was about ten (1958). I thought I was the neatest thing since sliced bread! However, that was 59 years ago. I think this person was trying to channel June Lockhart! (You’re too young to know who she is. You can look her up or make a mental picture of the cast of Father Knows Best, Leave It to Beaver, or Lassie). I just can’t imagine where she would have gotten them…antique store? eBay? Aunt Millie’s junk drawer? That will remain a mystery. 

Oh, and when was the last time you saw someone go out with curlers in their hair? Not just curlers, but the ones the size of soup cans! Let’s see, what else did I see? 

Well, there was the “Bedazzler Gone Bad!” pair of blue jeans. I can’t imagine how she sat down. Her behind was covered with the sparklers; it must feel like a pin cushion! 

And then, just to round out the day, there was the florescent blue eye shadow. Now that’s a real fashion statement…from the 1970s when I was listening to Jethro Tull and the Moody Blues while wearing my way cool madras insert bell bottoms!

BWAHAHAHA!!! Don’t you just LOVE the airport?

Social Animals

Have you ever found yourself sitting in the middle of the “holding pen” at the airport? When I was there a few weeks ago, I was struck by the level of noise…human noise. I tend to keep to myself. I’m one of those folks that follow the rules…you know, those unwritten rules like, “You don’t talk in elevators.”

However, that rule definitely does not apply at airports. Complete strangers all around me were striking up conversations, “Where are you headed?” “Where are you from?” “Who are you visiting?” “Have you been there before?” “Let me show you pictures of my ______(fill in the blank: grandbaby, dog, Halloween costume…).

Apparently the airport is a place where it is acceptable to talk nonstop to people you don’t know about stuff that nobody really cares about. What drives that behavior? Why do we have such a strong need to connect with those around us? Does the shared human experience reassure us that we’re “okay”? What is it about the temporary circumstance of waiting at an airport, sitting at the stadium, or standing in line at the theme park that makes us open up?
I believe that each of us value the comfort we feel when a common experience is shared and a connection is made. We were created to be social animals and as such, we rely on our five senses to let us know where we stand. When we feel another’s touch, hear a comforting voice, smell our mother’s favorite perfume, share a meal, or see people standing in line beside us, we are reassured that we fit in, we are safe, we are accepted.  I am constantly reminded that, in spite of the sad and scary daily news reports, ~people are good…~people are caring…~people are kind.  And therefore, I am blessed.