Wednesday, July 7, 2010

When I was in the Philadelphia airport not long ago, I watched something very interesting unfold. My flight was delayed so I settled into the gate waiting area with a breve latte and the latest issue of People. It’s my airport version of wise use of time. A college aged girl sat down on the same row of seats not far from me. She very meticulously opened her back pack, pulled off her shoes, shook open her blanket and stretched out on the seats and covered up. I almost asked if she wanted me to tuck her in.

Within five minutes a guy about the age as the sleeping girl sat down on the row across from me and went through the same getting ready for bed routine. I began to wonder if I was sitting in a designated sleep area. Obviously both of the early 20-something sleepers didn’t care what anyone thought.

About twenty minutes later a couple of 70ish women, apparently headed to a beach location, walked by. One had on hot pink Bermuda shorts and an orange, patterned, v neck knit top, two sizes too small. She had on the matching sweater, also two sizes too small. Her friend had on white short shorts and high heeled tennis shoes with a Mary Jane type strap. She had evidently tried to use a spray on tanner to get a head start on her vacation. To finish off her outfit she had on a white tank top and a white floppy brimmed hat. I guess she was trying to show off her new tan. The girls were obviously not concerned with what anyone thought.

Then it dawned on me: both the sleepers and the candidates for What Not To Wear were not bothered one bit with what others thought. They were happy. Here’s my theory: in your late teens and early twenties you’re young enough to get away with it. When you’re in your seventies you act however you want because you can.

Even though I don’t fall into either category, I can learn something from their unbothered attitudes. However, if I wore white short shorts with high heeled tennis shoes and went through a bedtime ritual at the airport, my family might just put me away.

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