Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning


January 2012

You know you are stuck at SFO when…

So there I was yesterday, racing to San Fran airport to get the 3PM flight home which luckily was delayed until 4pm…woohoo!  I was reserved on the redeye but praying for the standby gods to look fondly on me when…alas.  Foiled at every turn.  My reservation was lost in the kiosk and then despite my best “but I have TWO KIDS!” look I was not given a seat on the “3PM delayed until 4PM” flight.  For context, this sucked DOUBLY since I had only flown out that very morning.

Here I was, presented with airport lemons.  But friends, let me tell you – if some airport demon pees in your cereal, you should count yourself LUCKY to be at my new friend, The San Francisco International Airport (BLING BLING!!). Oh SURE, I have friends in San Francisco.  And some would say – hey you should have called them!  But there I was, passed security, my clothes back on, boarding pass in hand, standing in front of…you guessed it…a SPA.  A real, eucalyptus smelling, buddhist monks chanting, Spa.  It offered a bevy of relaxing services calling my name.  For a moment I flashed back East and thought I heard “MOMMY! MOMMY!” but then realized my god, I am alone for several hours.  Mamas, you KNOW what I am talking about – we love our kids and all but there is nothing wrong with falling into the comforting arms of a spa when no kids are within 3,000 miles of you.

So I embraced the challenge of no “MOMMY! MOMMY!” and said “What are your longest treatments and may I please have two?” 

After two hours of total self-indulgence (and it must be repeated…at an AIRPORT), I was naturally quite starved.  No better place again than SFO!  Seriously, I had pasta that rivals Mario Batali’s creations.  It gets better.  There was Culture – a surprisingly good bookstore; Fashion – apparently Riding Boots are mandatory for women on both coasts; Technology – police dashing around looking terribly serious on their Segways; and Art – and on this I kid you not, my husband’s cousin’s wife has An Installation – yes click through – at the American Airlines terminal that is nothing short of stunning.  I sat down on the floor underneath it to get the full effect…so my night also included a near brush with the law “M’am are you ok?” 

Just kidding on that last bit. Security was very understanding.

And last but not least, the people.  Oh they didn’t really start off that well…where I took in my pasta (solid performance), my first neighbors were a pair of girls who delivered a frightful number of “OMG!”s.  After declaring that OMG! it would be “so fab” to go to OMG! Napa for a wine tasting day, it was clear they were outgunned before they even left SFO.  OMG!  But then my next neighbors…THEY were funny.  A nice enough looking older couple who were right of out Northern California Central Casting.  They talked about sourdough, notes of coffee in their beer, the legs on the wine glasses…they even did a pretentious glass swirl (in case you forgot, we are at an AIRPORT now where they are swirling wine).  They were great comedy.  They swapped iPhones (of course) and looked at pics of their new granddaughter (she was adorable in her hemp onsie).  Then it took a turn…they started acting all flirty with each other.  Yes.  Gross.  They were talking about stuff

Get a room, Grandparents.  I am not from California, but if I had to guess, they must have been from Marin.

Naturally, I spoke to nobody.  This was, after all, a night all about enjoying being alone with no “MOMMY! MOMMY!” for a little bit.

So there you have it.  That is how I spent a few alone hours in an airport.  I didn’t see The Terminal, but I bet this beat Tom Hank’s day when he was trapped in an airport.  It was a great time.

What is Happening to the Middle Class (a link, not an answer)

I’ve been watching the Republican debates religiously.  Generally, I didn’t expect to be encouraged by the candidates’ policy recommendations and on that, my expectations have been met.  If only we could watch for comic and dramatic value.  So on Tuesday I turned to the State of the Union looking for more a inspiring and thoughtful vision and OH how badly I wanted to like that speech!  But no.  It felt like more of the same and – I hate to say it – a little too little a little too late. 

Seems Washington is missing the boat on what is really happening to the middle class and what to do about it.

If you care about what is really happening to the middle class and the manufacturing sector as a historical channel of support for this sector of the population, read THIS ARTICLE in The Atlantic.  It is one of the most interesting articles I’ve read in a long time providing detailed and honest insight into how plant owners are making decisions.  This piece has something for everyone interested in how we should be educating our kids, what happens to you if you make a mistake when you are young and the implications that can have for the rest of your life, a look into the burden of child rearing on women versus men (especially single parents) and how that can impact a person’s likelihood of progressing in their career, and exporting jobs to China and Mexico versus keeping them here.

This is an important read.  The article does not judge and it provides a substantially more serious look at what we are faced with as a country than anything you are likely to hear from those standing behind a podium. 

Of course, it begs many questions and does not provide a nice neat box of answers, but starting with a realistic assessment of what’s happening is better than living in the waves of politically motivated clouds.

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