Tuesday, June 12, 2007

When I'm Sixty-four

She was sitting at the airport at Ground Transportation waiting for her hotel shuttle. She was on her cellphone.

When I first pulled up to the curb, I saw her sitting on the stone bench. She had blonde hair and wore a short white dress which seemed to fit in just the way to get a guy like me to pay attention. I try to go about my life treating all women with respect and doing all I can to never see them only as objects of potential desire. But then, that's with cleavage like hers notwithstanding. No guests approached my shuttle and so I was able to wait with the doors open and eavesdrop on this beautiful woman as she talked to someone on her phone.

Her hair was pulled back except for a small bit carefully left to fall down across her forehead. She would flick it to the side, out of her way, from time to time, seemingly at peace with the knowledge that it was just going to fall back in front of her eye again. Every gesture just seemed to be an extension of her look -- a part of the package if you will. She wasn't quite skinny and it's my opinion that she was trying to lose 10 pounds or so. I guess that's true of most people though.

I sat at my wheel, enjoying a minute or so of peace, and politely studying this stranger. Where was she from? What was she doing in Nashville? Business or pleasure? Was her career soaring but her personal life was challenging her right now? Or was it the other way around? I could have been all wrong about her and there's nothing wrong with that. She was just a beautiful woman who had captured my attention for a bit.

It's funny how hearing a snippet of her phone conversation affected me:
"I should be there soon. We just landed and I'm waiting for the shuttle now."

"What do they have?"

"Order me a grilled chicken salad and an iced tea. When I get there, I'll store my bags and meet you in the restaurant."

"I love you, Mommy. I can't wait to see you and Daddy. Bye-bye"

And all of a sudden, I was sixty-four years old and thinking about my own daughter. It was a random Friday night and I had my epiphany. I've always tried to be pretty lackadaisical about my place in this world and its overall meaning. I love my life and I enjoy it as best as I can, but I've never seen the point in getting too worked up regarding issues that many get red in the face about. What's the meaning of life? What's my purpose? What's it all about? I don't know and I don't care. (Well, maybe I care a little, but not enough to tell you that I'm right and you're wrong. Who knows anyway?)

But hearing that beautiful woman tell her mom and dad that she'd be there soon to have dinner with them really got to me. I saw my daughter calling her mom and asking her to order her food for her and telling us that she'd be right there. "I love you, Mommy. I can't wait to see you and Daddy." Right now, it's all about being weened off of her pacifier and holding her ground when her brother tries to take one of her toys from her. The milestones ahead are many. All I can do is guide her the best I can and hope that we all raise her well. Let her never doubt the love we all have for her. Let her know that we are always proud of her as she goes through life doing the best she can. And let me be around long enough for my wife and I to buy her dinner at a fancy hotel, just like this woman's parents were doing for her.

But if any wise hotel shuttle driver dares to look at her in a way that is less than respectful, he better hope I don't find out about it. I'm just sayin.


Snow White said...

This one brought tears to my eyes. In one post you managed to remind me of my (now) 20 year old as a tot (I remember the weekend we "lost" her pacifier, and in the years to come. Nice job!

Ginger said...

You slay me. What a touching post. :)

Finn said...

Such a sweet post, I was intriqued from the first sentence.

introverted one said...

Well written. It brought tears to the eyes of this father of a daughter.

Lynnster said...

Love this. Love it, love it, love it. And tears, too.

Bekah said...

Great post!
I love your writing.
I love your pictures.
You are da man!


Milla said...

This stuff is why I keep reading your blog, even from the other side of the world.... :)

'Coma said...