Happy landings

It's not the journey, it's what's waiting at the destination, as one member of Salon's reader community, Table Talk, explains this week.

Published August 17, 2007 9:00PM (EDT)

Private Life

Come Fly Away

Mary1971 - 10:55 pm Pacific Time - Aug 12, 2007 - #624 of 643

Today was not a very good day in terms of people using their brains for good, unfortunately.

Often, though, after a series of people flipping me off, co-workers who do the bare minimum required because "it's not my job" and various and sundry people acting completely childish, I'll get the happy, "We just got married!" people, and the "We're finally going away on that trip we dreamed about for so long" or the little kids going on their first plane trip and all excited to hand me their luggage, and carefully writing their names in crayon on the cheap paper luggage tag. I'll get the people who come up to me all upset and angry, and then thanking me over and over because I'm really nice and I'm really sweet, and I really LISTENED even though they are sure I've heard their complaints from other people, over and over.

Because my terminal is really, really tiny, I get to see the people with the banners and the balloons, welcoming someone back from a trip or often from military duty. Today, I got to see a mother and her two daughters -- the girls must have been about 5 and 3 -- and they were valiantly holding up handmade signs bigger than themselves "Welcome home Daddy!" The mother came over to ask me if the flight was on time, and when it was expected in, and then I drew numbers on a piece of paper, and handed to the girls. "When that clock has these numbers on it [it's a digital clock] that probably means Daddy's plane landed and he's on his way down to see you."

The mother smiled and mouthed "Thank you" and the girls were entertained by periodically running over to the clock to compare the numbers on the piece of paper I gave them with the reading from the clock. Pretty soon, they had everyone in the whole terminal in on the "game" and finally when the numbers matched, the girls squealed with glee.

Ever try to stop two little girls from running full force into their father's arms? No, two little girls were no match for the TSA guys, who stop people from entering the wrong way through security. Perhaps they realized that Daddy was himself running, swooping up both girls with one arm and wrapping the other around his wife.

There wasn't a dry eye in the whole terminal at that moment.

That's why I work there. Exactly that.

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