Posted by: tranalist | January 29, 2007

An Uncanny Airport Experience

Steve and I were sitting in the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Saturday watching hundreds of post-cruisers cram in line to check their bags and get their plane tickets. People watching is one of our most favorite-est things to do and the airport proved to be a perfect place for such observation to take place.


We mused to ourselves as a couple of rather loud ladies went about weighing their luggage. One was a blonde sort of thin type, the other a rather overweight woman who unfortunately carried it all in her mid section.  Blondey walked away dejected at the realization of having to repack because she was 2 lbs over, the other screamed with excitement when she found herself 2 lbs under.


I thought to myself, if you’re traveling together, why don’t you just swap the 2 lbs.


This obviously didn’t occur to them.


As Lady #2 walked away, still in her euphoric state for being underweight, she exclaimed far too loudly to her friend, “Oh thank goodness! Now all my alcohol is safe!”


I found this statement rather amusing. It was such a typical “Cruiser” statement. By “cruiser” I mean those individuals who pay thousands of dollars to go on a week long cruise to the Caribbean just so they can get a tan, eat way too much food all day long, and drink way too much alcohol—something that is free for me (minus the alcohol…well maybe not…I am a woman) to do in California if I so chose.


I began to giggle out loud at Lady #2. She had such a sweet disposition and to hear her elation over the safety of her duty free alcohol just tickled me sumfin’ fierce.


A couple people further up in line, two different ladies, had also been observing the display of these somewhat obnoxious women, noticed my laughter at Lady #2’s comment and proceeded to tell me, a perfect stranger mind you, “Ya, the weight she is under in her bags, she certainly makes up for right here” and proceeded to motion to her stomach region, holding them far away, mocking Lady #2’s weight.


My jaw dropped.


I laughed in amazed shock that someone would say such a horrible thing about a person they didn’t even know. Lady #2 had done nothing to this woman, except put on a ridiculous show for everyone in line…but that was harmless. Mean Lady had mistaken my initial laughter as me maliciously making fun of the display, when in reality I find people hilarious in general in the best sort of way (you’d understand if you knew how much I laugh at myself).


I covered my face with my hands signifying that I was not keen on Mean Lady’s comment. She shut up pretty quickly and turned back around in line.


This spawned a comment from Steve, a Canadian, who said, “You Americans.”


This made me sad. Is it really just American’s who would be so malicious to a stranger? I wouldn’t.


But I think there was a time when I would have, until I made a conscious decision to not get sucked into that sort of sub-culture and have been constantly battling it ever since.


Life is just too short to notice only the bad things in it…to make fun of people who are different than you, be it in looks, personality, hobbies, and my personal favorite, music (what an absurd thing to judge people by and anyone who finds their identity strictly in musical preferences is a boob).


No…I choose to enjoy and delight in the things that make us different. It certainly makes the world a more affable place to live.  I wish more people would try it. Then maybe we’d start saying Hello to eachother when we walk down the street instead of pretending to be occupied with something very interesting on the ground. Maybe people would start smiling more. That would be nice wouldn’t it.


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