Tuesday October 9, 2012

I want to share details of an interaction I had today that is not uncommon in our “new normal”.

I’m at O’Hare waiting for my connection, sipping on a bold at Starbucks sitting at a communal table with just a seat between me and the cutest family of four.  When you are out on business you can spot leisure travelers from a mile away.  I try not to be bitter but deep down I wish I was them.

Eventually, I strike up a conversation with the mom and the two daughters who are decked out in Chicago touristy gear – their dad had just run Chicago Marathon and they were returning home to Palmer, Alaska.  The girls were super cute, engaged in our conversation, not shy and not at all inappropriate in sharing stories about their dad’s limping from the race.

It was like I was talking to Shannon and Erin two years ago.  Sure enough, the oldest is 11 and the younger daughter is 9.

Invariable, the conversation turns to me and my girls and I just seized up when Mom (Leslie) asked how old my kids were.  I stumbled and stammered before lying and telling them my girls were 11 and 13.  “Just a stage ahead of your girls”, I told Leslie.   To use Erin’s words, it was totally awk.

Why couldn’t I just tell the truth?  Well, they were really happy and I didn’t feel like buzz killing their fun. And they only had another 20 minutes before their flight boarded.  But why didn’t I just say; “I have an 11-year old daughter named Erin”?  IDK.

So that’s how it goes out here sometimes.