Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Last night, I flew out of San Diego headed for Sacramento. My sister dropped me off just after 6 o'clock pm. I was pleasantly surprised that the lines for both check-in and security were relatively short and moving quickly.

I arrived at my gate about twenty minutes later.

And I finally got on the airplane at 10:20 pm. Then we sat in the plane until 11:00 pm, because they could not find anyone to load the baggage. (Really.) Which meant I finally reached Russ's house at about 2:00 this morning.

Now, the point of this post is not to gripe about holiday travel. Really, I just bought a book at the airport gift shop, and read for several hours. (Big personal sacrifice.) The point IS that whenever I surfaced from my reading material, I took stock of how my fellow passengers were holding up.

Based on several hours of observation, I have found that there are key "types" of passengers.

Type #1: The Hostiles. With each announcement--delayed, delayed, broken plane, problem with the luggage--these people became snarkier and louder. Specifically, there were two guys sitting behind me that let out a string of expletives one expletive longer each time the airline representatives made another announcement.

Type#2: The Martyrs. While these people weren't shouting or cursing, the corners of their mouths were dipping lower and lower with each passing hour. By 11:00, some of these people had become true facial contortionists.

Type #3: The Deer in Headlights. This group was largely made of parents with young children. Their faces slowly drained of all emotion, and their glassy eyes stared straight ahead as Junior sprawled unconscious across the airport floor or shrieked murder from his stroller.

Type #4: The Smirkers. There were several of these, and I liked watching them the most. They were the ones that cast sly sideways glances, quirked their lips sideways in bemusement, and maybe even let out a scrappy chuckle or two. There was one lady in particular who really seemed to think the situation got funnier and funnier as the evening went on.

I'm not sure why I felt compelled to expose you all to my mini Sociology experiment. I just thought I could take a lesson from the lady from group #4.

To be fair, I guess I should say there was also the fifth type:

Type #5: Girls who are so distracted by the book they are reading that they only realize an announcement is being made when it's already 2/3 of the way over. These girls then have to judge whether it was a good announcement or a bad announcement based on the reactions of the people sitting around them. So they stare. And then they blog about it.


Kalen's Mommy said...

I'm a combo #4/#5. I look up from my book long enough to catch the last part of the announcement, then chuckle or make a little joke regardless of whether it is a good or bad message. Situations in which you are completely helpless are best handled with a positive attitude (because grumbling just makes you and everyone else miserable while you are STILL helpless). I learned this from my wise, smirking mother.

Stormie said...

This is one of the reasons I know we are related.