Thursday, August 31, 2006

rage, hate, seeeethe, but then again... okay

coming to you all live from the lufthansa red carpet lounge @ chicago o'hare airport with a little bit of perspective on things. explanation: this morning as i was exiting security @ austin bergstrom international airport (ABIA, for those in the know), my shoulder jerked suddenly as the strap on my carry-on tote broke and my heavy load nearly came off my shoulder. this is when the rage, hate, seeeeethe, etc, began. note that this is a BRAND NEW BAG and today was its voyage outing. i had been extremely pleased with its neutral khaki color, professional look, spacious interior, and well-thought-out design, including a laptop compartment and external pockets for odds and ends.

but! breaking on me before i leave for a week-long trip to europe! when i need it to last so i can take it to client meetings, schlep it around munich, and pile it full of work reading and munich guidebooks! oh the anger! the gnashing of teeth and tearing of garments! (i just got all biblical on your ass... raise your hand if you saw that coming.)

and then i saw a pair of kids saying good-bye to their daddy as he boarded in his plane in his army fatigues. it wasn't overly sappy -- in fact, the little boy seemed to be in a fantastic mood, wishing his daddy a happy good-bye and jumping around in excitement as he looked at the big plane. it was the little girl -- his older sister -- and the mom that killed me. she was pretty brave and happy, wishing her daddy good-bye, etc etc, and the wife seemed to be pretty together as well. after he boarded the plane, though, the little girl (8? 9? 10?) kept rubbing her fists on her eyes to stem the tears and the mom started tearing up as well. she put an arm around each kid and they walked down the terminal as a little trio.

call me a softie, but hot damn, i was moved. it wasn't like a "sappy music wells up now" moment because it felt so much more real. no elaborate good-byes or wild demonstrations of affection, but you can see the mom and the daughter were trying to keep it together until dad walked down the jetway. who knows, in reality the dad could be a total jack-ass and the mom could be cheating on him, but that one moment felt incredibly raw and real and incredibly touching, and i was rather humbled.

that, combined with the fact that i am sitting in the business-class lounge, sipping a glass of white wine and getting ready to fly to munich, makes the fact that my cheap emergency replacement bag that cuts into my shoulders seem relatively insigifnicant in the grand scheme of things. am counting my lucky stars as we speak, actually.


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