July 10, 2005 (Blog Hop!)

Today we’re blog-hopping courtesy of It’s My Baby blog and the topic is favorite summertime memories—click on the link below to read some others and if you have a blog, post your own!

If you’ve ever seen the movie When Harry Met Sally, you know there’s this big thing about the airport pickups and drop offs.

Harry Burns: You take someone to the airport, its clearly the beginning of the relationship. That’s why I have never taken anyone to the airport at the beginning of a relationship.

Sally Albright: Why?

Harry Burns: Because eventually things move on and you don’t take someone to the airport and I never wanted anyone to say to me, How come you never take me to the airport anymore?

Sally Albright: Its amazing. You look like a normal person but actually you are the angel of death.

What does it mean if they offer? Should one ever ask to be picked up? Do you kiss, do you not? Come to the gate, meet you at baggage, park, or pull up to the curb?

When I was coming back from five weeks in Mexico, there was no one I wanted to see more than (I’ll just give him a symbol: ¥). He was the love of my life, the stars in my universe, the breath in my lungs and I had spent the lion’s share of my 5 weeks of missions work, in my obsessive young love phase, trying like the dickens to just not lose him. Absence can make the heart grow fonder, but it can also make it wayward.

I was leaving in just a few days. He hadn’t brought up the subject of the airport pickup.

My director, knowing I was just inside out over this man asked me if he was coming for me. No, I said. Do you think I should ask him? She advised against it. Let him offer, she said. Finally there was an offer. Not ¥. From my dad (there’s the man that never lets you down). Not wanting to find myself at the airport with no ride at all, I took Dad up on the offer.

The day came. It was time to go home. I don’t remember a thing about the first part of the day. Everything is a blur up until about 4:00pm. That’s when I touched down in the Dallas Airport to switch planes. The picture comes into view. I’m wearing a crisp white button-down shirt and silver jewelry. I am on a monorail, shuttling to another terminal. I am dialing voicemail, there is a message, I am hearing the voice, I cannot breathe, I am now sweating.

He knows I am coming in.

And would it be all right.

If he would come.

To pick me up at the airport?

I hang up the phone and spend several moments regulating my breath and heart rate to keep my voice from quivering. (I had cause to practice this a lot and never really got good at it). I called, confirmed, and at that moment I transitioned from a girl whose parents come to get her at the airport, to a woman who has a man awaiting her.

I cancelled my parental chauffeur and recalculated the rest of this day. The flight from Dallas to Minneapolis was about 7 years long of course. Stepping off the plane I had to keep practicing with my breathing exercises as I walked towards baggage claim. Breath. Relax. Stop melting. Hold it together.Breath. Breath. I called. I was in. He was on his way.

No. This wasn’t happening, He wasn’t going to be there. I was going to be sitting at baggage claim alone all evening. I never should have cancelled Dad.

Then his car came around the bend. I didn’t know what to look for because it was new. He found me. He got out. We embraced. We smiled. He said, I am glad you are back.

We got in the car and sped off down 494 towards the Galleria (always my first stop post-flight). We went to Starbucks. He ate a sandwich on a pretzel roll, I drank green Zen tea. It was magical.

The relationship (and I) crumbled soon after, but I allow that day and that memory to stand alone—independent of anything that came later—in it’s own special place where every once in a while I take it out and have a look, just for old time’s sake.


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