Date: September 18th, 2012
Location: San Diego Airport
I’ve got about an hour until my flight back to Portland – a flight that was scheduled to take off 50 minutes ago. If I could find a job that considered airport wait time as billable hours, I’d be filthy rich. Ah, the dreams of the unemployed.
There’s something about airports that always urges me to dust off the ol’ blog. It must be the ample people-watching exercises it provides. This wing of the airport (all two gates of it) is blessed with a bar. Somehow, people have managed to turn this mundane waiting experience into a dating scene. Or, I should probably say, a brief flirtation. Dusting off skills 30 years in the closet, the middle-aged, pot-bellied, receding hairline men are doing their damndest to enthrall the bottled blondes while sipping on their vice of choice. Watching a grown-man sucking on a straw is strangely off-putting.
My favorite couple consists of the aforementioned blond in her vaguely translucent blouse and over-sized gold-laced shoulder bag. She’s encouraging in her responses – a slight tilt of the head, a leaning of the body, a manicured hand on an arm. Her counterpart is the real show, though. Replete in a dark bowling button-down, portly, greying hair, a tan bordering on orange, and to top it all off – a gleaming diamond glittering from his left lobe, he’s all game. He’s pulling out all the stops – the hand on the small of the back, the endless barrage of red wines for her, mojitos for him. He gaffs, she laughs, he leans in. It’s magic here at Gate 2, folks. Pure middle-aged magic.
Tonight they’ll go home to their respective spouses with a jounce in their step. A fleeting reminder of what it feels like to be young and desirable.
I’ll go home with a less desirable memory of gnarled hands drifting down backsides and a disillusioned hope of aging gracefully.