I flew home to Chicago last weekend for the little Pot Pie’s birthday, and my own flight was massively delayed. (A delay? Into O’Hare? I’m shocked, SHOCKED!) I hunkered down at the bar of an establishment that claimed it was an Irish pub, but was barely passable as such save for its name (I didn’t even order a Guinness because they had it in can only. I mean, come on now.), all the while cursing BWI for not having free wi-fi (are there any airports that DO have free wi-fi? I know Anchorage does in the Chili’s, at least. And who doesn’t love an awesome blossom and four Corona’s before flying to the lower 48?). I left after one beer and headed to The Green Turtle to grab some food, time ticking slowly down until I could board.
The bar was packed, and I squeezed in between two women, one of who teasingly chastised me, saying, “No laptops allowed on the bar!” and the other, named Rebecca, who started talking to me immediately, giving me advice on what to order from her vegetarian perspective. Informing her that I don’t eat fish or seafood, she moved on to the topic of work. She asked me what I did.
“I work for a healthcare association,” I replied. “I’m an editor and a writer.”
“Cool,” she nodded. “My work just grinds me to the bone,” she offered. I never quite understood what it is she does, exactly, but I figured out eventually that it also had something to do with healthcare, and contractors, and Medicaid. At which point my eyes glazed over a bit, because I hear Part A, Part B, and you get even remotely into the alphabet soup that is Medicare and Medicaid and I can’t control the glazing. She may as well have been speaking Farsi for all I understand.
“I work with all guys, and they’re all mustachioed,” Rebecca suddenly exclaimed. “And it is proven, there are studies, that mustachioed men stress women out more.”
I thought about this for a minute. Clearly, Rebecca was about three-quarters of a bottle of shiraz in. But clearly, she kind of had a point.
“Makes sense,” I said diplomatically. “Mustachioed men look a little devious. That can stress people out.”
“Exactly!” Rebecca yelped. “Think about it! Devious! Case in point: Stalin! Hitler! Jafar from Aladdin! Tom Selleck!”
“Actually,” I interrupted, “Tom Selleck is often seen as very dashing.”
“What about Roosevelt?” the guy on the other side of Rebecca suddenly piped up.
“Which one?” she asked, before interrupting the answer to tell us, “One time this guy told me I looked very Rooseveltian.”
I’m still not sure what that means, and Rebecca didn’t give us time to find out.
“Do you have a Milwaukee connection?” she turned to me.
“Hmm,” I replied. “How do you mean? I really like Milwaukee, if that counts.”
“Everyone who has sat on either of these stools tonight—“ she gestured to the stools to her immediate left and right, “—have had some sort of Milwaukee connection.”
“Huh,” I said, thinking. “Well, I once threw a bachelorette party in Milwaukee, does that count? It was a really good time.”
“That counts,” Rebecca said seriously. She turned to the man next to her to discover that his Milwaukee connection was that he had two employees based there.
“See? Milwaukee connection!” she exclaimed.
“Yeah, that definitely counts,” I said to the guy, leaning around Rebecca.
Turns out that guy worked in healthcare, too, and he and Rebecca were off on the alphabet soup talk again, about prescription drugs, and I took that as my chance to settle up and head back to the terminal to see if anything had miraculously changed regarding my flight status. (Spoiler alert: It hadn’t.)
“It was nice to meet you, Rebecca,” I said, and she nodded the same to me.
“I’m sure I’ll see you here again!” she said cheerily.
I don’t often fly out of BWI, but you know, next time I do, I hope Rebecca is right. But Tom Selleck, if you’re listening, you might want to keep your business at National.