Crazy Even Follows Me to LAX

Posted by mwallach on June 20, 2011 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere, New To You |

Dear That’s Life,

Having a big mouth has its pluses and its minuses. I don’t mean ‘big mouth’ as in ‘incapable of keeping a secret,’ because after carrying twins full term and not telling my family nor community, I have clearly proven otherwise. Rather, it is the ‘gift of gab’, being able to talk myself into and out of various situations or converse with complete strangers, that has reaped the most benefits. How else could one explain my notorious ability to strike up interesting conversations with people I have never previously met, providing an endless supply of funny situations about which to write? This time, however, I did not provoke nor engage. I did nothing of the sort. I just wanted to check my bags. This time, she found me.

I had no intention of schmoozing with the woman I stood next to as I waited for a skycap at LAX. Generously offering to let me go in front of her, we determined that our flights were at the same time, rendering her offer unnecessary. She then explained that the rest of her family had gone to return the rental car and unless they were back in time, I was free to cut her in line. Having been in her position, I thanked her but was said I assured they would be back before her turn. Prepared to wait my turn, I said, “It’s all good,” only to be stunned by her response. “It was ‘all good’ about 25 years ago,” she said stoically. “When I still lived here…and was thin…and toned.” I smiled, having myself recently bemoaned about the changes in my body over the years. That’s where I thought her train of thought was going and wished it had, though she continued and I was wrong. “That was before I got married,” she continued, staring into space, “to an airman…and raised a spoiled twenty-year old daughter…who turned out to be a b—h.”

BAM!

‘Well, okay then!’ I thought to myself. It takes a lot to stun me, but here I was, at the curb at LAX, with a woman who had just shared way more than I had expected. I had no words. All of this from a simple, ‘It’s all good’?! I am now going to have to use that line more carefully. I smiled nervously, expecting her to apologize for making such a comment to a complete stranger, but that never happened. Instead, I asked her where she lived now, though I could clearly read all of her matching luggage tags and therefore knew the answer. Simply put, I needed to change the topic. Since, ‘It’s all good’ seemed not to be as innocuous as I had hoped or as it has proven to be in the past, I decided to ask a question to which I knew the answer. Luckily, her family did not arrive back in time and I was able to scoot in front of her. Even luckier: she was not on my flight. With the way my life works, I should have been sitting right in between mom and daughter on this cross-country red eye, playing therapist or praying for motion sickness. But as luck had it, she was going to West Virginia.

While waiting for the curbside check-in to be completed, I motioned to my husband. “Remind me to tell you what that woman said to me,” I said, reminding him that ‘crazy follows me everywhere.’ With check-in finally complete, I wished her a good flight and hurried out of there, afraid what she would say next. I got back into the car and as we drove to the car rental, all ready to return the car, he asked me what she had said. I repeated it word for word, in the same listless and spacey manner she had said it to me. After I reached the punch line, which was not all that funny, my husband’s eyes widened. “Well, all-righty then!” exclaimed my husband. (Insert nervous laughter here.)

My sentiments exactly, I thought. While the experience should have taught me to conversing with total strangers, I (of course) would learn a totally different lesson. If I can get ‘My daughter is a b—h’ from a simple ‘It’s all good,’ imagine what kind of response I could get from, “Nice weather we’re having”???

Ahhhh. The world is my oyster.

MLW

 

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