All my bags are packed...  

Thursday, October 2 : 4:54 AM : 1 comments :

Here's kind of an underrated but telling indication of how close you are to someone. How far are you willing to go for airport duty? Or how far (or often) are they willing to do it for you? On the surface, airport duty is more about convenience than friendship. Some friends are just available for that kind of stuff. But then you get the experience one of my friends had awhile back and you really have to evaluate your getaway plans -- to/from the airport and to/from your friendship.

This one particular friend asked his roommate -- who's really more of an acquaintance -- to take him to the airport and she basically charged him a tank of gas. A taxi or shuttle might have been cheaper. I'm fine with the charging if it replaces money you would have spent anyway but seriously, what's the deal with charging gas money?

For me, the ultimate sign of how much I'm willing to go out of my way for someone is when they say "I'm flying into LAX, can you pick me up?" Some people don't realize that LAX is a good two hours away from San Diego. I understand that though, I mean, I totally have no sense of geography and suck at knowing what's convenient or not. But there's a very small list of people I'd go pick up in LA, and then immediately turn around to bring them back down south no questions asked. A very small few. Like maybe two. Unless you're dying or just that desperate to see me, I'll just catch you post-airport.

I'm not cold hearted or anything. I just think there are probably better options than someone who lives a hundred miles away. I've got this other friend, a friend whom I consider decently close, who likes to call for an airport pickup when he's like just landed. That's a tough one to pull off. I'll do it when I can but seriously, some forewarning, some foreshadowing, some fore-anything would be nice.

I'm positive people innately understand that "Hey, can you pick me up?" is a seriously loaded question. The mental math that goes into a pickup can occupy a good ten or fifteen minutes, minimum. It's nice to be considerate too. For example, when your friends live in San Francisco, it's much better if you fly into SFO versus Oakland. Flying to New York? Even a good friend should hesitate to drive out to Newark to scoop you up. Traffic, time spent before/during/after, and the cost of pickup just starts to get astronomically high. God forbid a long delay...

Then again, I'm totally not above bitching and complaining when I don't get a proper pick up. I'll let a few of those stories pass since I know I was probably being unreasonable, plus I have some negative karma to pay back. Once we left a few friends chilling at the airport while we sat down to Cheesecake Factory. Two hours later we're like, "We're coming!" I still feel kinda shitty about that one.

My life might have hit a travel low when James and I returned from some trip or other and had to cab it back up to Del Mar. I mean, we're from San Diego, our friends and family are here, we don't have anyone capable of giving us a ride? It's depressing taking a cab back home in your hometown. I had to reevaluate a few things right then and there. First on that list was, "Why are we the only two people who don't have anything to do on a Monday afternoon? Are our lives going the wrong direction?" Followed quickly by, "We should probably never travel together again to ensure we always have an airport buddy. Either you go or I go. We can't both go. We just can't."

As an add-on to all this, do people even park and arrive early for airport duty anymore? Short of maybe a significant other or a parent, is that even something normal people do? I'm all for getting in and out without parking but I remember many times feeling so special that people had actually gotten out of the car and waited. The roses were a bit over the top but I think I liked blushing.

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