I took my first airplane ride at age 17 or 18 or thereabouts (I can’t even remember where I was flying to or from). Since that first airplane ride, two things have never changed.
First, I absolutely detest flying. It scares me to death. My sister Jen shares my fear and, together, we’re a pair. Flight attendants see us coming and immediately begin writing their letters of resignation. We were flying to Phoenix from Denver one time on Frontier Airlines and turned on the little map on the television that shows the plane’s current location. We were nearing Phoenix, so the plane was heading straight south. Simultaneously, Jen and I both GASPED out loud because we believed the downward facing airplane indicated imminent plummeting. We should never travel together. It’s not good.
But, despite this dislike of flying, I love airports. I love all of the activities and the people hurrying and scurrying to catch planes. I love the shoe shiners and the electric carts that haul people back and forth. But most of all, I love eating at airport restaurants.
There are several reasons for this. Eating at an airport restaurant makes me feel like a grown up. Despite my 61 years on earth, I almost never do. Feel like a grown up, that is. When sitting in an airport restaurant or bar, I always order a Bloody Mary, even if it’s 8 o’clock in the morning. Especially if it’s 8 o’clock in the morning. Because it’s ok to drink vodka with your scrambled eggs as long as there is tomato juice involved. And finally I love the clientele at the neighboring tables. Always on their cell phones closing million dollar deals. They have their laptops open and, unlike me, they aren’t playing mahjong. They are checking their emails from their Very Important Clients. Or at least that’s what it looks like to me. Sometimes I want to just open up my laptop and click on my keys to make it seem that I, too, am doing Very Important Work.
And no matter how high my credit card balance is that month, I happily fork over an arm and a leg for a BLT and a Bloody Mary. It’s what grown ups do, after all. Of course, many grown ups have expense accounts.
Yesterday as soon as Bill and I arrived at the airport, I told him I wanted to go to the Denver Chophouse Restaurant at the airport. I love the Chophouse, having eaten at the one in downtown Denver on many occasions, particularly if someone else was paying. But their salmon and white cheddar mashed potatoes are one of the few things I miss about working downtown.
We sat down, and the first thing we did, of course, was order a Bloody Mary.
“Our Bloody Marys are doubles,” the server told us dubiously, as she checked out my jeans and sweater and compared them to the business suits sitting next to us. “Will that be okay?”
“Hell yes,” I responded. Remember my fear of flying?
Well, it was no surprise to me to see the prices of the food items on the menu, and I could guess just what those double-shotted Bloody Marys were going to set me back. But I soldiered on, because I wanted those cheddar mashed potatoes.
Here is a copy of our bill….
Fourteen dollar Bloody Marys. But they were goooo-ood.
One last thought about flying. I started flying somewhere around 1970. I distinctly remember that women dressed up to fly. A skirt and sweater or a nice dress. You simply didn’t wear the comfortable clothes that folks wear today when flying. I mentioned this to my sister Bec recently, and she reminded me that when she started college, young women dressed up for class.
My how things have changed.