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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Heck Yeah I’ll Drive You To The Airport!

You know how you can tell if someone really, really likes you?

They ask you to drive them to the airport in time for their 5:30 a.m. flight!

This request came from my 23-year-old son. Apparently the gods are still punishing me for that premarital sex thing.

I just knew that one was going to come back to bite me in the butt…

The Boy flew out this morning from Minneapolis to Atlanta to Philadelphia to drive back to Minnesota with a long-time friend fresh out of the Army. I asked him to be smart while traveling and he said he couldn’t make any promises.

It’s a different world when you’re leaving the house a little after 3:00 in the morning – speaking of which, were you aware that there was a 3:00 in the morning now? I’ve known about 3:00 in the middle of the night for some time, but 3:00 in the morning? That’s crazy. We need to do something about that.

But as I was saying, the world is different at 3:00 a.m. Of course it’s darker. And quieter. And if you’ve woken up at 3:00 a.m. because you’ve been forced by your One and Only Son specifically to drive him to the airport, your eyes hurt at that time of day. But there are people out, apparently voluntarily; and they can’t all be driving their sons – who didn’t even offer money for gas! – to the airport! Can they?

I wonder – because it’s what I do – what these people are doing.

Like the two guys on bicycles, occupying a lane apiece, on Broadway. It was almost 4:00 a.m. at that point, and there’s these two, no lights or reflectors, no hands, talking, laughing, and heading west. Were they going home from work? Were they drunk? It doesn’t matter, but what’s their story?

Or the DOT workers out washing the Highway 94 tunnel. What a strange shift to be working outside, the eerie high-intensity lights. Did they eat lunch at midnight? Will they get a couple days off to recuperate? Where did they park?!

Yes, there’s a lot of time for thinking at that time of morning, but apparently not enough time to think about the directions my son gave me to get home. Somehow, I ended up in St. Paul (wrong way!) but still made it home in the same amount of time it took me to get to the airport in the first place. Go figure.

I went back to bed at 4:30, but I couldn’t swear with any certainty that I slept between then and when my alarm went off at 6:20. I splurged on a “venti” coffee (that’s Starbuck-ese for “the biggest you’ve got”) on my way to work; and other than the urge to lay down – or at least zone-out – I’m feeling okay.

So next time you’re wondering if someone really likes you, ask them if they’d be willing to drive you to the airport. Anyone remember the poster from the 70s? If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was. Well, I think we can paraphrase: If you think someone loves you, ask her for a ride to the airport. If she says yes, odds are good that she’s your mother. If she says no, call a taxi – and don’t forget to tip.


Atlsat said...

That was a great post, I think a close second is when you ask your neighbor and coworker to take you to the airport in 5pm rush hour traffic.. In Atlanta! My friend did that for me, what a pal and I did offer to buy him a tank of gas, he graciously said nah.

Pearl said...

Hi, Ted.

I've never been to Atlanta, outside of the airport, but I do hear that the traffic is something for the record books! I'm a total bus convert now (despite the moments when I don't so much celebrate diversity as I do tolerate it!) Whoever said it takes all kinds was probably on the bus when he said it. :-)


R. Jacob said...

I think I am getting close to the beginning!
only one comment!!