Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Overheard Conversations

Settling down to wait, it was the woman who caught my attention.  She was most likely in her 70's, well groomed and thin, almost birdlike with her delicate bones.  Further reinforcing the bird impression were the quick glances all around her environment with her back completely straight and her posture very alert.  She was holding her passport in her hand along with her ticket.  She kept craning her neck to look at passers-by in a searching manner.  Her expression was worried but my impression was that this was normal for her.  I cannot tell you why I had that impression but I did.

Sitting next to her was the man I guessed to be her husband. The completely different mannerisms between the two really made me want to watch them, so I did.  He was relaxed into his chair and unlike his wife, his expression of general happiness was deeply molded into his face.  He may or may not have been happy at that moment but it seemed that his face had been in the happy expression so much that it became his default expression when relaxed.  

His wife's anxiety did not affect him in the least.  She glanced and twitched and settled down, then sat up again to anxiously look at people around her.  She never was completely at rest.  She also periodically spoke, possibly to her husband, possibly to herself.  He never responded so I began to suspect he had a hearing aid that was turned off and that was why her anxiety did not rub off on him.  He just sat looking content, his arms resting on what was surely her bag in his lap.

Several times she quietly said, "Yes, I see others holding their passports.  Yes, we are going to need them."  She would relax a bit and then again: twitch, crane, glance, affirmation: "Yes, we are ok.  We will need these."  He sat content, his occasionally shifting to follow someone as they walked by or sat down.

In one of her small windows of relaxation, she leans back into her seat, glances down at her legs, and says, "Oh look at these bites.  Those mosquitos love me."  To which the husband, whom I had incorrectly decided could not hear her, responded (in a very positive glass-half-full voice), "Hey, at least someone does."

I had to put my face in my chest to not burst out laughing.  I honestly think he meant it as a positive note.


Sitting in the airplane the two men behind me are chattering away.  One man has the sort of stereotyped gay man voice and the other a rough street guy voice.  I catch only a small snatch of conversation:

Street Guy Voice, "Well people say I am intelligent."

Other Voice (in a completely catty, but quietly spoken, tone), "Oh and who might they be?"

I never heard the answer because I was suppressing my snorting laughter.  

That same Street Guy voice went on to lose his composure for at least 45 minutes when he realized he left his iPad in the airport restaurant.  I finally had to turn around and ask if he had the location feature and that he could, 

1. Call the restaurant or airport as they probably get this all the time.
2. Call Apple
3. Access the tablet online and pinpoint the location and/or erase it or lock it
4. ... said only in my head.... Shut the hell up about it as you cannot do anything until the freaking plane lands and talking about it endlessly only makes those around you want to find the nearest iPad and beat you into silence with it (or is that just me?).

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