After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost.
— Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” (via awelltraveledwoman)
“Robert’s correspondence throbbed with first-draft sloppiness; I had to read his letters multiple times to decoct their meaning. His sudden shifts from the elevated diction of his profession to informal and meandering non-sequiturs made his correspondence sound like it had been written by a Yale 1L on peyote. I feel sorry for his clients.”
Introducing Splitsider Presents and The Exquisite Corpse Project: we’re now selling full-length movies directly for only $5! Our first release is the amazing, hilarious and totally unique Exquisite Corpse Project. Check out the trailer and then go buy the damned thing! It’s so cheap, come on.
I saw this last night for $0 and I will buy it again for $5!!! LOTS OF LAUGHS. (and also one scene of a dude talking on a beach that i can’t stop thinking about.)
Lots of people in my personal life have been (affectionately) hassling me about my devotion to the television show Game of Thrones. Dadbro calls it “Game of Nerds” and threatens to take my lunch money and use it to buy beer, and last night BFF NVC sent me an email that just said “DID YOU WATCH…
i didn’t know i felt the exact same way but i totally feel the exact same way
Son, before we go to Church for Easter Mass, I need to tell you something. You are now old enough to know that the Easter Bunny isn’t real. It’s all make-believe. Remember a few months ago I explained that Santa Claus isn’t real? And then a few weeks after that I let you in on the secret…
Is there anything more gratuitous in the whole wide universe than Robin Thicke? This video is actually the business. There are models and there is a lamb and I think some sausage links and Pharrell and great shoes and translucent Vinyl clothing and, um, lemme think, hashtags! (#THICKE) some feet a double-decker bike a little bit of butt-slapping (I apprx. 40% do not approve) and some dumb lyrics, so basically, this video is just a bunch of ingredients for a cake.
“We take a look at the economic situation out there, and we objectively know it’s pretty bad, but we internalize it as our own fault and second, because it’s our own fault, we’re pretty sure that there’s someone out there whose got the answer.”
— A [ridiculously informative] Conversation [about personal finance] with [money journalist] Helaine Olen, via The Billfold (via laurenspendsmoney)
Attention Americans of the United States: there is an epidemic in this country. Worse than the obesity epidemic and the longreads-analyzing-Lena-Dunham epidemic. Worse even than people who put ketchup on eggs.
Every day, in every state, in every city, even the BEST CITY, hundreds of regular people leave their homes, completely unaware that the pleats and slits in the fabric of their coats and skirts are SEWN TOGETHER FOR MERCHANDISING PURPOSES AND ARE SUPPOSED TO BE UN-TACKED UPON WEARING BUT AREN’T BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID AND WEREN’T RAISED WELL.
Just this morning on my commute to work I saw THREE. SEPARATE. INSTANCES. OF TACKED COAT HEMS. THREE! One was a nice looking girl, a sweet person probably, wearing a wool coat with 5 kick pleats in the back, and each one was tacked! The coat is LITERALLY completely different for this girl than it was meant to be by the designer and she has NO IDEA. There should be beautiful pleat movement but there is only stillness and sadness. I feel. So bad. For that girl.
Anyway the list goes on. Pompous-looking jerk dudes wearing expensive stupid coats on the subway acting like they invented water checking their stupid phones every 30 seconds like they’ve got places to be, with their stupid COAT HEMS TACKED STILL. Women dressed like catalog spreads, trying to make it in the big city, barely able to scale the stairs at Grand Central because their pencil skirt back slits are still sewn together and their legs can barely move. So? Sad?
There should be a PSA about this. The “X”-shaped threading in the back of your coat or skirt is NOT DECORATIVE. IT ISN’T SOME COOL AWESOME LOGO. IT’S NOT GOING TO ADD TO YOUR STREET STYLE. IT WILL ONLY MAKE YOU LOOK CLUELESS AND IT WILL ONLY RESTRICT YOUR RANGE OF MOTION!!!!!!!!!
Possible slogans for The National Coalition for Temporary Fabric Tacking Awareness: