A Case in Humanity: A 4 Hour Layover in LAX

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.

So what if Leo carries his neck pillow in public? It shouldn’t be worn like an item of clothing #fashionpolice

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.


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