I’m sure it’s a zen lesson, since I keep repeating variations on the same scenarios, but I have yet to learn it.
Most days, in the privacy of the office in my house, I work away. I emerge from my house as largely anonymous and locally irrelevant. (I’ve written ad nauseum about what makes a woman relevant in my environs.)
But give me 6 hours and a plane ticket to Logan, and I enter a parallel universe, one that satisifies the insecurities, the genuine human needs and some traits that might be better left to starve.
The workplace is wholly welcoming, and vibrant. I feel like running and skipping in the hallway. I think it shows, even beyond my rhythmic thumping. When someone is happy to see you, you can’t help but not be a grouch. (Sounds like I’m a golden retriever, I realize, but trust me on this. It’s really phenomenal. Less slobber, better food.)
My first contact off the plane was the driver taking me home. “You’re 40?”
“Oh god, do I miss that Boston charm.” (I also cracked him up when staties appeared ahead and he thought he’d be waved down. I covered my mouth and said “the dePAHted” as the officer and I made eye contact, but the driver maintained his speed.)
The chef at my favorite restaurant called me at work to see if I was going to make a repeat visit. (I did.) In another office on campus, my name caused no less than six heads to rise above cubicle partitions, not unlike the ad where the people mimic the movements of prairie dogs checking if the coast is clear. And they were happy to see me. The racks of discount clothing in the Basement waved, brushed against me with seductive pricing and provocative sizing (“Sure you can fit, hon!”) Even the TSA guys at Logan were friendly.
So why is it, with all the same flaws and virtues, do I slip through the cleaner air and cedars? On the phone, I said to Himself, “Well, I’ll be back to being nobody soon enough.”
But the nobody and the somebody is the same set of attributes, the doofus and the cynic, the mom and worker. The east coaster.