It has come to my attention (quite rapidly) that not all people cry every time they go to the airport.
My mother has told me innumerable times that I am too emotionally attached to inanimate objects. She says I’m too sensitive, but she never says it in a derogatory way though. She is the same way, and so was her mother before her. Each sudden and abrupt cry is followed just seconds later by a smiling face and laughter.
For a long time, I have been exploring the concept of girlhood without feeling as though I’ve completely entered the world. A spectator from the outside, looking in as if I don’t belong even though I am the perfect demographic to fit in. During my time in Madrid, I’ve begun putting myself into the equation. I am learning how to do makeup, I’m making big fashion mistakes, and I even had an online dating profile (active for approximately three weeks, but that is more than zero weeks). Above all, I am crying in public spaces for girlhood reasons.
The most recent of which – my trip to Paris.
To get the best possible price, I chose a different airline that I usually use. That meant instead of checking my bag, it would now be carried on. Although I knew this fact, I suppose I didn’t fully and consciously register it. My wannabe carry-on bag set off every alarm possible going through security. I was so used to checking my bag that I had thrown in full-size bottles of lotion, face moisturizer, and perfume. When the security woman opened my bag to investigate, she found an expectant teddy bear I won in fifth grade sitting right on top. It seemed as though this sight only increased her annoyance as she pulled out one 400ml bottle after another.
Not wanting to throw away these necessities, I left the security line to explore other options. Alas, my $50 plane ticket did not come with a free checked bag, but instead a $100 fee. I called my mother on the verge of tears and told her I didn’t want to throw away my perfume, I couldn’t get it anywhere else.
She told me to just check the bag, but I didn’t want to spend that kind of money on a stupid mistake. I still have this emotional connection to these inanimate objects though, and the thought of leaving them in a trashcan in the Madrid airport made me cry.
I’ve always had this kind of problem. When I was a little kid and we would be in the car stopped at a red light, I would talk to the trees next to us and imagine them talking back. We would form a connection, and then the light would turn green, we would drive away, and the tree would stay. It broke my heart every time.
In an attempt to appeal to this flaw in my system’s programming, my mom said she would just buy the perfume on Amazon so it would be delivered to my apartment in Madrid upon my return. I told her once again that the perfume isn’t being sold anymore, but she was adamant about being able to find it.
When I revealed that the liquid gold I was not wanting to throw away was the perfume I had bought at Walmart for $5 when I was 8 years old, she burst out laughing. By this point, I had locked myself in the bathroom utilized for changing babies, and I truly had tears rolling down my face as I told her to stop laughing at me. I suppose I hadn’t realized the bottles I was refusing to throw out probably only added up to $10. Admittedly, I was already quite emotional from school stressors to think very clearly.
She told me I was about to be in the fashion capital of the world and to just buy new perfume there. I told her Paris has nothing on Walmart.
I barely stopped crying when I made it to my gate and started checking emails from the hostel I had booked. I found an unopened email that said if I didn’t send my credit card information within 48 hours, my reservation would be canceled. That was a month ago.
Panicking, I sent the email to my dad to see what he could find as everyone was now lining up at the gate. Right as my plane was starting its engines to take off, he informed me that the hostel had canceled my reservation because we hadn’t sent in the credit card information. It looked as if I might spend the night with Remy and the rats on the street. He told me to not worry about it, that this wasn’t Paris’ big tourist season and he would find me something by the time I landed.
As we flew through the sky, I attempted to cease my tears by watching the Taylor Swift documentary I had downloaded for the plane. There is no sentence more worthy to be stamped with a ‘girlhood’ marker than that.
As I watched the international icon travel from city to city for her grand Reputation tour, I did find myself ceasing to cry. Smile, even. Because like Taylor, I too hope to travel prolifically for work in the near future. Will I ever be a well-oiled management consultant able to travel without her teddy bear, or will Mr. Blueberry always be expectantly waiting right on top?
Upon landing, it felt as though I was finally going to have a relaxing vacation. Even though my reservation was canceled, there was another room available that I acquired. Paris did not want me but Paris did not get a choice.
The next 15 hours of my time in Paris went off without any major problems other than learning the area around my hostel was not safe at night. However those glorious 15 hours had to end at some point and of course, it happened at one of the most iconic places in Paris.
I was standing right outside The Louvre’s glass pyramid when I realized I had bought my museum ticket for the wrong day. Despite my pleading, the security would not let me into the exhibit with my friends. If there’s one thing about me, it’s that if I want something I’m going to get it. Oftentimes I ponder whether this is a strength or a weakness, and have come to the conclusion it depends on the goal in mind. In this case, it’s a strength. The Louvre did not want me but The Louvre did not get a choice.
I would never say that I lied a lot as a child, but I did learn from a very young age that I was beyond adequate when it came to lying. For an entire year, I was convinced I was supposed to be an Oscar-winning actress because of how well I could lie. So as I walked up to the Ticket Information desk, I mustered up that 8th-grade confidence.
My story of needing to meet my parents inside, buying the wrong ticket, and how mad they were going to be with me was only substantiated by the all too real tears welling in my eyes. Once again here I was, crying in a public place to a woman that comes into the same building every day to do a mundane job. I believe that when she handed me a new ticket for the correct day, she just did it to get the crying girl out of her ticket window.
Three years ago I would have been absolutely disgusted with myself for crying in the middle of very public places two days in a row. I might have even gone to my parents to claim something was detrimental wrong with me.
However, three years ago I also was not in Paris, France staring in admiration at The Wedding at Cana in The Louvre. I guess things are always changing.
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