I’ve been doing a lot of traveling the past week. Within 7 days I’ve been to five different airports (SFO, SJC, PHX, LAX, JFK – if you know airport abbrevs. then all the more power to you dude) and am currently waiting out a four hour layover in Los Angeles. I love traveling… and I do happen to love airports (just don’t mention the anxiety that comes with checking bags, boarding my flight and we’re all good). If you’ve ever heard of the modern philosopher Alain deBotton, you’ve probably heard of his book called A Week At The Airport. DeBotton spent a week at Heathrow airport, the world’s busiest hub, and proceeded to make a small, albeit picture-filled book of modern existence within the dwellings of Heathrow. I have neither the philosophical nor psychological talent, nor a week to spend at an airport, so I could never endeavor to mimic Alain’s masterpiece. Instead, I’m about to live blog this long ass layover.
7:00PM: My flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles touches down. The D List celebrity who sat in front of me (Pretty sure D List because I saw about 2 random people ask to take pictures with him, and he dresses and acts like a bonafide, entitled douchebag. My guess is some MTV show like Laguna Beach or a season of the Real World) cusses out the lady who put her bag in the overhead space which ended up wrinkling his suitbag. For the first time on my trip/vacation I notice people are just as impatient as I am while waiting for our bags. Conclusion: Phoenix, the land of the retired in the valley of the sun, has absolutely no sense of urgency. Los Angeles and Los Angeleians(?) know urgency, just not as much as New Yorkers.
7:38PM: After retrieving my luggage and walking 3 terminals over, I check in for my Virgin America leg of my trip. Its conveniently located with the Virgin Australia check in. I find myself surrounded by Aussies in line for security. An Aussie lady talks to me about my shoes for 10 minutes, in return I pretend to be interested in her baby. The Australian flight attendants going through security look like they just got laid, or a $10,000 bonus. Either way they’re all friendly, all smiles, and all people I want to be friends with… no sky hags in sight! Conclusion: Sunshine generally does make people happier. I’ve been pretty happy this past week in the 70-80 degree sun… even if its left me with a god awful sunburn.
8:19PM: This mother cannot (or is refusing to or has just given up) on controlling her son. I couldn’t tell you how old he is, just that he is about two feet tall, stomps around, cannot formulate full sentences, and just talks in orders like “MOM!” or “COME HERE” etc. This child is out of control and is whining about something (I cannot understand children when they whine). The people around me are smiling and saying how cute he is because he just threw his hat on the ground. Some stranger picks it up and gives it to the mom. For a brief second, the little boy makes eye contact with me. I’m on to him and his antics. He’s expecting me to smile back and say how cute he is. I refuse. Conclusion: Children are manipulative. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.
8:54PM: I’ve noticed… 7 people now since I’ve been sitting here… that think its acceptable to wear their neck pillows around while walking around. I try to make eye contact with these people and tell them with my eyes that “no, it really isn’t okay and you look like a goddamn fool”. They avert eye contact. They probably know how ridiculous they look, hence the avoidance of others’ judging eyes. Conclusion: If youre ridiculous, the best thing to do is just own the shit out of it, and f*** the haters. Even if it is #shameless
9:15PM: An adorable couple sits next to me and is super friendly and they smile and I smile back and though unspoken, we’ve made a circle of friends. He’s wearing Teva hiking boots and a cool trucker hat that says Eco- something. She has a tote that says “go green” with a marijuana leaf outlined on it. Theyre probably from Bizzerkley. This is verified when the male gets a call on his no-brand, unsmart, cell phone and talks about how he caught the game last night and what a bummer it was that they lost. Obviously they’re talking about Cal. Safe to assume, right?
9:38PM: A twenty something girl sits across from me on the phone talking (to her mom I’m guessing) about how AWFUL, and TERRIBLE, it was being patted down at security and how TIIIIIRED she is. Shes sniffeling and sniveling. I cannot stand her. She keeps saying how she “always opts out” of getting searched and how she was just too tired to put up a fight this time. Obviously she’s going to be on my flight to NYC where she probably lives and participates in protests, and her most important accomplishment was Occupy Wall Street. Except she keeps talking about how shes in a “fragile mood” and is whining. “I’m actually going to die”, “I’m going to cry so much”. Oh my good god. Conclusion: The couple is clearly from California, the girl across from me is clearly from New York City. I’m California born and raised but identify now partially as a New Yorker. As much as I’d like to disassociate myself with the dramatics and annoying antics of the sniveling chick in front of me, and disassociate myself from the hippy-green, commune-ness from the Californians next to me, I have to say I can absolutely identify with both. Which is frightening.
10:00PM: Spotted. A group of 4-5 Japanese tourists huddling around an outlet taking turns charging their electronics, whilst the others nap. I wish I could shamelessly nap in public and not perpetually be thinking about the repercussions or what my sleeping face looks like and if its suitable if my future husband walks by and sees me. Will he think my sleeping face is like a monster? What if I drool?
10:34PM: Pop an Ambien. I haven’t slept in 48 hours so I’m really banking on some solid shut eye. Hope and pray that babies and unruly children arent sitting near me.
I have an interesting relationship with children. I wouldn’t call it a negative relationship, per se. More of a “troubled” relationship. Despite my upbringing in the suburbs, I never babysat (okay, I did ONCE, but I was babysitting with someone else) nor did I ever have a desire to. I find that babies aren’t really that cute… almost alien like. In fact, when I began receiving “American Baby” magazines in the mail (I have no idea HOW I got on that mailing list but I suspect someone must be pulling a godawful prank on me – if so, touché to you anon prankster!), my parents found this hilarious, but I found it utterly repulsive. Soon “American Baby” magazines turned into Similac baby formula samples coming in the mail (again, if this is your doing – I applaud your audacity and sense of humor) and I went from being repulsed to entertained. It’s kind of sad though that it’s a known fact that I have a dislike for babies/children.
They ask awkward questions. Have you ever gotten to know a kid and you’re in a public setting or gathering and it’s all fun and games until the kid points out a pimple on your face. “Mommy what is on her face? Why is it so big?” Or they ask, “You’re old, why aren’t you married?” Have you ever seen that commercial on TV for some skin disease like eczema, and the little girl is sitting on her mom’s lap brushing her mom’s hair and sees that her neck is all red and irritated and shouts to a room full of people, “MOMMY WHATS THAT?” and soon the camera cuts to the mom being super embarrassed and wanting to tape her child’s mouth shut, but instead she talks about her serious skin disease? Oh. You haven’t seen it? Well that’s how it goes. Just further testament that kids make situations really uncomfortable with their unnecessary questions. I especially hate when kids think they’re being all cute and ask a bunch of stupid questions they expect you to answer, “why is that bird in that tree? why is that man so old? why does that lady wear those pants? why is today Tuesday? how does the TV work?”. Quiet! Just shhh.
They do/say inappropriate things that make me uncomfortable. When I used to teach kids to swim, my swim instructors and I would ask our kids to guess how old we were. At the time when I was like 17-19, I got answers from 10, 20 (smart kid obviously), 35!, 42, 28, or 15. One time when I told them my actual age, one little boy said, “My sisters 18 too! But her boobies are bigger than yours!” There was no escaping this one. “Most likely” I answered, while simultaneously dunking the kid underwater. Also, kids point out the most awkward things too… And this is coming from an awkward person. After teaching a lesson, (in which there was a obtrusive finger in my belly button at one point or another), the kid, who had been hanging on to me, came up an screamed loud enough for all of the lifeguards and parents to hear, “WHY ARE YOUR LEGS SO POKEY! THEY’RE HAIRY!” Obviously I admitted to the whole public essentially that I hadn’t shaved my legs in a few days. Damn kid sold me out. RUDE.
They’re super opinionated and want to be heard. Have you ever heard a kid in public throwing a temper tantrum because they wanted something? It’s the thing I hate to witness the most… and also possibly the best form of birth control. Seriously, the decibal levels some of these kids’ voices reach is just ungodly. They’re also picky. Obviously they’re sonsofbitches when it comes to eating. But shit gets awkward if you let a kid pick which person they like best. Situations have come up in my dealings with children in which given the opportunity to pick between me and another person, the other person almost always wins. Cases in which this probably didn’t hold true was when the other person was A) a big hairy man, B) another kid, or C) a senior citizen. This is also one of the reasons why I’m do not see kids in my forseeable future – hypothetically speaking, what if MY kid doesn’t like ME? It’s highly plausible.
So there we have it. Kids don’t like me, and I don’t like them very much. But I’m beginning to think, maybe I don’t like babies/children because sometimes they act no differently than you and me (at the ripe age of twenty-one).
We ask awkward questions. Well, generally speaking, everyone is a little bit socially awkward. Sometimes it’s hard to see the line between socially acceptable and teetering the edge of socially unacceptable. “Hey that’s a really cute top. Did you get it from a thrift store?” -”Thanks. No. I actually got it at Free People.” “Oh no way! How much did you pay for it? If you don’t mind me asking?”. Some people are super obtrusive and want to know everything about you, like when you go on a first date: “Where did you grow up?” “What do you do?” “What kind of food do you like?” ”Are you mentally stable?”.. etc. Like, WHY DO YOU WANT TO KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT ME?! I’M JUST A SIMPLE FOLK.
We do and say inappropriate things that make others uncomfortable. At times we just can’t see that we’re putting ourselves and the people around us in a weird situation that we all feel uncomfortable in. Like when you’re with your friend and their family and all of a sudden your friends mom starts fighting with the dad and you’re just sitting there unsure of what to do in your silence or if you should say anything. Sometimes though I entertain myself by being a complete and utter asshole. Like if you’re meeting your friend and a guy she’s been casually seeing for a few weeks, and after being introduced, you say, “Oh so YOU’RE the boyfriend! Things are super serious now huh?! I’ve heard so much about you! That’s so funny how (reveal that one thing your friend told you not to mention that pertains to the casual date)”. Revel in the look of death you will receive from your friend and the look of shock from her date probably because you said “boyfriend”.
We’re super opinionated and just want our voice to be heard. Whats up with bloggers? Who do they think they are? The proliferation of twenty something bloggers in the world is just getting too out of hand. Bloggers are so annoying. They’re assholes. Who listens to what they have to say anyways?
We’re picky. You’re pretty sure the right man/woman is out there for you. They just have to have the right eyes – no, not blue. Well maybe blue. I can go for brown eyes too. Definitely not glasses. No. Or maybe the right hair – definitely no facial hair. Well maybe minimal, I can deal with that. I don’t date guys who have unnatural hair colors. Or maybe its the right height – They have to be tall. Well not too tall. Like taller than me but shorter than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But our pickiness doesn’t end with who we date (although that says something right? At least you have standards). It extends to a lot of other things, like what we eat- Yeah I’d like the house special burger, medium rare. But like a little more on the rare side? So 60% rare and 40% medium? Oh and hold the mayo and pickles and cheese. Are the onions grilled? Can you grill them too? What kind of bread is it on? I’d like whole grain please. Oh, you don’t have it? Well there’s a Whole Foods 2 blocks down…
Is there a parallel there? Are twenty somethings no different than infantile, children? I don’t like to think so, but maybe. Also, I am not suggesting I am a woman-child, to be clear…. I’m a grown ass woman.
Can you imagine having a little spawn running freely through the world? No? Me neither. Maybe one day in the far distant future it will happen, but not any time soon of course. That’s why this week I’m thankful for “birth control”. And by birthcontrol I not only mean contraception, etc. but other types of birthcontrol… such as babysitting, teaching children to swim, managing a pool overrun by children, looking at children, ugly babies (kidding. Or am I?). etc. Thank goodness for these things… or else everyone in the world would turn into the Octomom – minus the pornstar bit. Just the thought of having an offspring that had a fraction of my genes is frightening. Sadly, I’m not at the point of megalomania where I want hundreds of mini me’s running around all over (people like that exist – just watch the Law and Order SVU episodes where egotistical sperm donors father like 100s of kids… hey, if its on Law and Order, its pretty fucking true). Despite the fact that I teach a Parent Tot swim class (babies in the pool with moms / DILFs), I am still utterly terrified of babies most times. Maybe I just don’t have that maternal instinct that all girls who love babysitting have. Who knows. Either way, thank God for those screaming children on public transportation, the kid with chocolate(?) all over his face throwing a tantrum on the side of the street, and all the children who are a huge pain in the ass and make me think to myself “Never, ever, ever, will a child like you belong to me”. Here’s to hoping that when I grow older and if I decide to have a kid, it will be as well trained as a guide dog puppy reject (you know, just the right amount of cuteness, obedience, and fun). Sorry, I just went there. Thank you various forms of “birth control”.
June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012
“I believe there is no part of our lives, our adult as well as child life, when we’re not fantasizing, but we prefer to relegate fantasy to children, as though it were some tomfoolery only fit for the immature minds of the young. Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do.”