Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas Break: Highs & Lows


  • That Christmas actually came.  I really love the Christmas season but I feel like it is like being on vacation. It can't go on forever. It needs to end before you start to feel weird and like not in real life. Plus, by the end, everyone needs some saving from themselves before they're bought out of house and home.  
  • Watching Julian open things and go berserk over something because his mom went 50 x more berserk over it.  It's weird trying to, say, manually make a kid excited. He might not be naturally  excited about something so i entertain myself by picturing the kind of excited I have to be to get him there.  So after watching him lose his mind, imagine how insane his adult mother must have been initially, and you will be entertained too.
  • That the flight to Saint Lou was not the most horrible thing i've ever endured. And that i only got in one measly little fight with TSA.  Kudos, Jen.  Alright, fine, here's the story.
Something you may or may not know about me is that I hate airlines and airports and all people/things associated with them.   Usually what happens is upon entering the doors of an airport, I find that i exit the real world and slip into the blissful calm of my Zen Place.  Unfortunately, I can never fully be there because my physical self still lives in another place and there are things that i have to do, so every so often my mind is yanked back to the unpleasant and reeking stench of airport hell that one must endure from time to time to time.  I deal with my business and then get back to Zen as fast as humanly possibly. Normally, in case you were wondering, a typical Jen at the airport means I follow Sean around, a bit like Rainman but without the interesting things to say. I shut down, I don't acknowledge anyone around me. I mechanically do what needs to be done, i.e. produce my ID, manhandle the child, pull suitcases, etc, but I don't engage with hardly anyone, Sean included. Julian mostly included.  He one time sat in his stroller throwing pears all around himself unbeknownst to myself, who was standing behind him, hands on stroller, a far off gaze on my face.  I'm not exaggerating in the slightest, just FYI.  This is how it is. Sean will attest.

Anyway, but the problem is, see, are those moments where i'm yanked back. We were in security doing our thing, business as usual.  I was calm, despite the ever-present hatred that turns my heart black when i'm there.  But no one likes to be there. And everyone hates the TSA, as a general rule, right? This isn't news. 

One more thing: You could say I have a sliiight, teensy weensy thing with authority. Some might call it a "problem," but i'll just say thing. I am a rule-abider but if I don't respect you, and you are in the wrong, my tongue makes no discernment as to who you are, and it will defend my wronged self.  Maybe particularly if you are someone of authority who i don't respect, because, how dare you?

So back to the story.  I take off Julian's shoes, they inform me that's unnecessary. I say "oh, thanks" (<-- look, words!) and i'm holding him, getting ready for my turn to walk through the detector.  Deciding he weighs 500 pounds, i put him down to walk him through. At this moment I hear a voice to my left, belonging to a TSA worker on the other side of the conveyor belt, say "you can carry your child! You can carry him!"   I may have glanced over but i seriously doubt it, for I never got any shot of her face until later and even then, not really, and deciding i'm free to make my decision about this, and getting ready to move, we go on ahead through the thing.

On the other side i am busy with putting the Julian in the stroller and grabbing our bins full of clothes and bags when I hear this same sassed-mouth TSA lady say to the TSA man behind me, "I did tell her she could carry him, and she gave me a dirty look!"   These words registered meaningfully in my brain and, knowing i gave no such look, at least intentionally [not that i wouldn't], I sprang into Defend Wronged Self mode, and I said to the man, "I did not give a dirty look. Look, you're doing your thing, I'm doing mine."  I'm pretty calm, but she insists I gave some kind of offense.  I told the man, "I didn't want to carry him! this kid weighs a hundred pounds!"  Meanwhile I am still trying to put myself together--shoes, jacket, etc.  Then i hear the girl say, "well you/she [can't remember] could have at least acknowledged me!"  like a gravely offended teenager.  Strike three said my brain and i replied loudly, and muy sarcastically, "Oh, ok--THANK YOU! THANK YOU SO MUCH for mentioning that to me. I appreciate it!"  And we got our stuff and went away.

Now, at our terminal i felt pretty silly for even engaging. She could have thought i was giving her a dirty look, what do i care? a) it's not a big deal. who is she to me, and b) she's the TSA, why wouldn't i give her a dirty look? and c) there's a pretty good chance I already had a dirty look on my face the moment I crossed the airport threshold.  Can you blame me? Can you.

Anyway, that was that. I was the crazy lady. Sean told me he supported me and my feelings, but was pretty sure we were going to be detained. I apologized for my behavior. It is one of several instances where Jen will kind of unleash and say exactly what she wants.  I am what i am. (And she is what she is)

Sooo other things that happened.... I don't know, some more stuff.  I can't really remember, it was weeks and weeks ago.  So i'll just end there, i guess.  Happy new'ish year.




    James Best said...

    The airport is a weirdo place. One of the things that makes me sad about the recession is that we never got to see Obama's transit overhaul and the introduction of bullet trains. i much prefer a train.

    I am an engager. If someone talks to me or about me then I'm pretty sure that person should hear some voicebox action from me. I dont share your airport catatonics but I think everyone has coping strategies for it.

    Joel said...

    I'm mostly just afraid of all the security people in airports who carry guns. I try to keep facing forward and mind my own business, like when there's a cop driving behind me.