Sunday, January 21, 2007

Always a Travel Bridesmaid

Well, next Friday I have to take my kids to the Indianapolis airport so they can jet off to Puerto Rico where they will board their ship for a leisurely cruise to various exotic ports of call on the Caribbean Sea.
When it comes to delivering people to airports, I am "always a bridesmaid and never a bride". I slog through snow storms in order to enable others to gamble in Las Vegas. I face driving rains so that friends can spend lazy hours lying in the sun on the beach in Florida. I gaily wave them off as they board to visit their kids in Oregon, a place I've never been. I get up at 3:00 a.m. to get people to the airport in time for their 6:00 a.m. flights or cruise home in the middle of the night, with the window open, to keep my sleepy eyes from drifting shut. I have hauled suitcases, dogs, sewing machines and grandkids. I've carried bags, so heavy, they felt as if they contained concrete blocks, (but for what perverted purpose would anyone be taking concrete blocks to Cancun?)
In the same way, on their return, I've read 300-page books waiting at the airport for their delayed flights to finally land. I've spent money I did not have to spend for magazines, expensive airport coffee and Bath and Body Works candles, just to kill time. I've bought $9 a pack airport cigarettes and I've frozen or roasted going outdoors to smoke, all so my friends could be off having a great time. There was a spell when I knew the Indianapolis Airport as intimately as the Wabash Walmart (although I do almost always miss my turn when I leave and end up shooting down Highway 70 instead of being on 465, where I want to be).
And I can't say my friends aren't appreciative. They buy my gas and usually lunch or dinner. Especially generous ones bring me back goodies from their travels. I've gotten pelicans from Blythe, Oregon butter and cheese from Tim and Pam and commemorative grand opening tokens from Las Vegas casinos from Jan.
But listening vicariously to their adventures just isn't the same as having an adventure yourself. Just once, I'd like to be the one being taken to the airport to jet off to some place fun! Maybe after the kids get back from Bimini, it will be my turn. Hmmm, I just looked at my after-Christmas credit card balance. I wonder how much it costs to fly from Fort Wayne to Mexico - Mexico, Indiana, that is?