On the brighter side!

I was reminded once again that life often comes down to your attitude. I flew back to the East Coast two weeks ago after spending a week with my son helping him drive his car to California. When we arrived at the Las Vegas Airport and I had to leave, I was not in the best of moods. The time flew by and I was not ready to come home. I hugged my son goodbye and walked into the airport in full Oscar the Grouch mode.

First, let me say, I needed a coffee, but that would have to wait.

I quickly made my way to the airline counter and then off to face those dreaded Transportation Security Agents (TSA), the security screening process created in the aftermath of the 9/11 that passengers in the U.S. have to pass to get on an airplane. I soon learned that Sunday is a busy travel day. I was at the airport in plenty of time, but I still felt the pressure building up inside of me. Oh, I’m going to be late. What will happen if I miss my flight? When will I ever get back home? I guess I better text my wife now, hours in advance, that I’m going to be late.

The joys of waiting in line

I watched as the line zigzagged slowly one way then another, cursing myself for not stopping to get a coffee first. The line was a melting pot of unhappiness. One couple, who I assumed had gambled a little more than they had planned, looked like they needed a long nap. If not a nap, then definitely a heart to heart conversation. They did not look happy with each other. A bunch of twentysomethings, with their pants hung low on their wastes and their hats worn backward, kept pushing and shoving each other. I just wanted to get to where I needed to be and be on my way.

Finally, I got to the front of the line. A woman in dark blue pants and a light blue shirt and a headset in her ear waved me ahead to wait in a second line. Oh the joys. A new line. Lucky me. After another wait, I got to the TSA agent, all to be told to wait again that the agents doing the physical screenings, the luggage and metal detecters, were backed up and we needed to give them time.

The straw that broke the camel’s back

I’m not the kind to make small conversation, I usually keep my head down and my thoughts to myself, but my sarcasm broke, “Oh, aren’t you the lucky one to get stuck with me! What happened? Did I break the well-run machine?” My humor must have hit the guy at the right time, because he smiled at first, making sure I was trying to be funny and not a jerk, and broke out into a belly laugh. He shot back, “Yup you broke it, you did it, you may as well turn around and go home, we’re all going to be waiting now.”

He pointed at me to the other passengers waiting in line like they should blame me. The fact that he came back with something other than a stoic, robot like grimace surprised me. Next thing I know we were talking and joking like acquaintances, if not friends. I said the line couldn’t get any longer. He joked that it most certainly could. Finally, I said I flew out of Philadelphia. He had just relocated from Philadelphia. If we weren’t friends before that, we were now.

When another TSA agent came up to tell the people in line right in front of me, that I was waiting to get into, to move, he joked with her to watch out for me, that I was a troublemaker, who wouldn’t listen, and would probably slow them down even more. She laughed and responded she wanted no part of me.

Yes, me a troublemaker. For a few minutes at least, there was a few laughs at the craziness of life. Life can be hard. It can also be easier if we let it. It’s been said before, but it’s true: Look for the good.

Images by Pexels.

25 thoughts on “On the brighter side!

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  1. I felt your stress about the lines and the possibility of missing your flight! And you know what? When you shared the beautiful snippets of your cross-country trip, I thought about the inevitable goodbye that would occur when you needed to fly home…alone. I think those moments with our kids, on the heels of meaningful, extended, precious time ARE Oscar the Grouch inducing – at least for me. I bet your need for caffeine was a mix of a literal, physical need and a yearning for a little sunshine and light. How fun that you found it by cracking a joke about yourself with a fellow traveler. Those little moments mean the most somedays! Thank you, Brian! πŸ₯°

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My last return from Denver was much like that Brian and it helped a lot as Denver seems to be notorious for delays. Gate agent Buck saved the day, for me at least πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peoples behaviors in airports and airplanes has deteriorated quite some over the years. We are herded like cows and told to keep a good attitude. I’m glad yours melted into something to laugh about and tell a story. Some end up in jail. I hate flying because all the hassle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Airports can be stressful places. I’m glad you were able to crack and joke, alleviate some of the tension, and even make a new friend, Brian. This is a great example of how our attitudes can shape our experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I despise going through the TSA lines but if you wanna go home, ya gotta play their game. Blah! Our airport is easy to get through though, I strongly dislike the new name McCarran International was given.


  6. I signed up for Clear and so far so good! I get escorted to the front of the line. You made the best of a dismal situation with your humor. You’re also fortunate the TSA agent had a sense of humor too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh gosh, how funny Brian. My husband who is an Army vet said that their advice from the C.O.’s was “Hurry up and wait!” And honey, his patience is always challenged. Now, we laugh about the things that test our patience quotient when we are waiting for something, even 5:00 traffic that begins at 2:00 in the afternoon on the interstate! UGH!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ€£

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hang in there Brian. I am out of traffic for the time being, and I think I’m going to go to bed now, 5 hours early! LOL πŸ˜‚πŸ˜πŸ€£ How’s that for patience? Have a delightful holiday weekend my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Kudos to you for bringing humor to a few of the many often overworked and underpaid airport employees! When waiting in a long line, when it’s finally my turn, no matter how frustrated I am, I step up and say, “The first thing you can do for me is to take 3 deep breaths and move your head around in a circle to stretch those muscles.” Those few seconds of self-care can make that person feel valued again instead of just a robot there to please people.


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