While sitting in the Las Vegas airport attempting not to gamble and fill up on over-priced and over-caloric iced coffee beverages, I took notes on the interesting travelers sitting around me. I love to people watch and make up stories about their lives and hypothesize about the whys of their actions. These strangers, so close to talk to, yet only observed.
Here are their stories, at least my version.
The mother is sitting at the end of a row. She looks prematurely weary and frazzled. In her lap, she holds her pink yarn and needles, squinting and pushing her overgrown bangs behind her ear as she works. An elderly woman sitting in front of her asks her what she’s making and the mother makes polite conversation back and replies that it’s a blanket. Several times as she’s chatting with the elderly woman, she has to stop her knitting to glare and point at the seat where her two obviously bored young sons are supposed to be sitting while waiting for their plane to take off. The boys father is sitting on the opposite side of the them, but is deep in conversation on his cell phone while silently cursing the lack of Wi-fi. Occasionally he offers a terse “shh” to the boys.
I wonder if the mother of the boys is as irritated as I am that her husband is paying no attention to the boys and completely unable to let go of work now that they’re finally on vacation. I especially wonder why she’s knitting a pink blanket.
The elderly woman reminds me of a spy. She is wearing very mod white plastic sunglasses and is oddly proficient with her cell phone. After taking her seat four down from my own, she makes her first call, speaking in a thick accent. All I hear her say is, “I can’t talk long, but…”
It was an odd couple walking swiftly out of the food court area. She, tall and statuesque, dressed in obviously expensive clothes reminded me of a model. Her hair was perfectly colored and styled, along with her nails. Along side her walked her husband. Perched atop two bird legs, his large round belly rested. He was short and bald, yet strutted like a cowboy, proud.
Speaking of cowboys, why were there so many men wearing cowboy hats in the Las Vegas airport. Were they all traveling to a cowboy convention? A rodeo? A renowned large belt-buckle maker? A Wrangler’s jeans museum?
Across the aisle and with their backs to me, sat two menopausal women fanning themselves with copies of their itineraries. They were chatting back and forth about this year’s cherry harvest. Each one had a better story as to what farmers’ market they’d gotten their prized purchases. One woman told the other she needn’t worry about going in the heat to the year’s remaining farmers’ markets because Carla’s husband was the produce manager at Kroger. He could “hook her up.”
The preteen girl desperately tried to look cool and disappear all at the same time. Her pimply face was covered in shine, and when she smiled, you could only see a mouthful of braces.
The other preteen girl had a blue mohawk and skeleton appliques on her jean jacket with it’s arms purposely cut off and frayed.
In front of me, two Asian women and a man sat facing me. Each woman was dressed oddly. One had white crocheted biker gloves, black panty hose, pristine white tennis shoes, a wide brimmed plastic visor, and a sequined (silver) Calvin Klein shirt. The man had wiry salt-and-pepper hair and he wore wrinkled khaki pants and a blue oxford shirt with it’s sleeves rolled up to his elbows. They sat and ate their lunches, bite by bite, in silence.