According to calculations based solely on my own expertise and situation, I spend a lot of time in [the] airport[s]. I'll readily admit the time I spend in [the] airport[s] is probably minimal compared to a lot of people who travel for work or something, but again, this is all according to me. (It's lcblogs, not youblogs.)
Some could argue that I spend a lot of time in [the] airport[s] because I'm incredibly paranoid about the time and the thought of missing a flight because of something I could control is just out of the question. Sometimes I wait on a plane longer than the actual flight I'm about to take. It's a blessing and a curse.
All of this to say-- based on the amount of time I've spent in various airport terminals throughout the country (and a few out of the country), I've come to the conclusion that most people, in no way, act like normal human beings while in the airport. I would venture to say that most people are just a hollow shell of their normal being while in the airport and would be unrecognizable to most friends and family on the outside.
Most common courtesy and human decency are left on the other side of the security gate. And most of societal norms seemed to be stored elsewhere as well.
First, you have the business traveler that is always on what seems to be the most important phone call of his/her life or a call that leads me to believe they are very much on the verge of firing someone. They have these conversations, not in an inside voice, and with reckless abandon for other people's feelings, mine included. Not too long ago, I heard a woman call another woman named Kim, a bitch at least 6 times. At one point, Kim hung up on her and the other lady just called her back and started the conversation over. She then kept saying, "I'm sorry I'm trying to keep this business professional." I wanted to tell her she wasn't even being business casual, or business, or casual. She was being terrible.
More often than not these people are always dressed like they are about to go to bed and not like they are working. On a flight last week, this woman, who was flying Business Select on Southwest (fancy!), was wearing sweatpants that I wouldn't even sleep in. But, she was also on her laptop the whole time prior to boarding and after the plane took off. She clearly had to get some shit done and she did it in her gray sweatpants that would not have been flattering on a Barbie doll or a small boy or even just folded up in a drawer somewhere. It's just not normal. You don't scream at people on the phone and you don't wear sweatpants like that to work (or anywhere, really).
Second, you have the people who abandon all the food rules we've ever lived by during normal life. Chinese food on a 45-minute flight at 8am? Absolutely. It's always (ALWAYS) the worst smelling food at the most odd hours. I always wonder if these people have been traveling for days and their internal clocks are out of whack and you know, there's just no denying the craving one could get for Cool Ranch Doritos at 6am, right? I usually abandon that notion pretty quickly when I realize that I'm on a flight from Dallas to Little Rock. It's barely an hour-long flight. YOU DON'T EVEN NEED TO ORDER A DRINK ON THE THING. These people have not been traveling for days, or even hours, they have just abandoned normalcy.
The absolute worst thing I've ever experienced on a plane was last summer traveling from Dallas to Boston. It was hot. The plane was hot. People were hot. People weren't smelling their best. An older woman sitting next to me carried-on a Wal-Mart sack as her personal item. This should have been pretty telling. She didn't even have a purse, just a Wal-Mart sack. About the time the flight attendants were taking drink orders and trying to sell us food, the lady looks at me and says, "I brought my own!" After wrestling with the Sky Mall and the Wal-Mart sack for what seemed like forever, a three-pack of "snack" tuna emerged. I don't know why this was labeled "snack." I'm guessing it was because three crackers came with each can. I have never smelled anything more foul in my life. I legitimately put my shirt over my nose for the next 30 minutes while she enjoyed her snack. There was no common courtesy involved in this woman's snack choice. None. I think I would've been happier if she would've brought horse shit to eat.
And we can't forget about the people who order drAnks at odd flight times either. And listen, if I step foot out of the city of Dallas on a weekend, I deem it a vacation which opens up the doors for poor decisions. HOWEVER, I stop at this: It was a 6am flight from Little Rock to Dallas two days after Christmas. I was headed back to work. The flight attendant is taking drink orders. A woman in front of me says, "Chardonnay. There's a long pause and then, "I know! I'm still in vacation mode!" What vacations are you going on that require a glass of chardonnay that early in the morning? Sounds like you're on a vacation from rehab. I mean, hell, order a bloody mary or a mimosa! But, chardonnay? Not normal.
Those are obviously my favorites, but you can't leave out some other great ones:
The parents who decided to quit parenting for a few hours. Seems perfectly logical to let your children run loose in an airport. I like when they jump off the furniture. Last night at LAX this little girl (let's be fair, might have been a boy), jumped off of a chair and right into my business. She then yelled, "Where's my grandmother?"
The starer. Staring is not polite. Or cool. Or sexy. But, you walk into an airport terminal and suddenly, it's all the rage. There are the people that stare at you at the gate and the people that stare at you while on the plane. It's a toss-up to which is worse. Both are bad. Even worse when you're in a foreign country.
The bathroom users. This isn't based off of a single thing I've read in Scripture, but I'm convinced there's a portion of hell modeled after airport restrooms. What do people do in there? Maybe if they weren't eating Chinese food at 8am these places would be in better shape, but I have my doubts. Most of the worst things I've ever seen have been in airport bathrooms. Again, last night at LAX, I walked into the bathroom and there was a piece of ham on the floor! A piece of ham. The reasons for this could be several, still none alright: somebody was eating ham in the bathroom and dropped it (not alright), someone was carrying around a loose piece of ham and dropped it (why?), someone threw ham into the bathroom (huh?).
Of course, you have the talkers/sharers who think sitting on a plane is the perfect place to spill the beans about their neighbors Christmas lights, the runners and the people who stop in the middle of the walkway to adjust something in their bag (usually right when the runner is coming through).
Maybe I'm being harsh or maybe I'm far too observant in airports, but I'd like everyone who visits an airport in the next month or two to just dial it down a few notches. Like, 12 notches. Be a normal human being. Eat normal foods at normal times. Just play it cool.