Who needs sleep?

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Flying, for some reason, makes me inexplicably crave Taco Bell. Perhaps this is my body's fond memory of landing in Denver at 10pm only to be told that my connecting flight was canceled and I would be spending the night in a hotel. Night, here, of course, was generous. The flight they got me on left Denver at 6 the next morning, so I ended up having something like four hours of sleep after being shuttled to the hotel and getting berated by the Delta customer service representative who claimed that, without a confirmation number, there was no way in the world to make sure I was booked on the early flight. But, before leaving the airport, my stomach demanded food and I ended up eating Taco Bell. Thus, perhaps, boarding a jet triggers some Pavlovian response.

I discovered this craving pattern recently on the airplane rides between Zion and Newark. I was flying out to visit some friends of mine, a married couple who have been living for the past two years in that area and are slated to move to California at the end of the summer. I know it's cliché to talk about conversations picking up right where you left them with friends, even after long periods apart. But, this too was re-discovered for me this weekend. Before the trip, I was a little bit nervous that things would be awkward or at least stilted. Compound this with my inherent panic about demanding too much of someone's hospitality and you can imagine how uptight I was when we touched down.

But, my fears were totally unfounded. The trip went smoothly. My friends and I did, in fact, pick up right where we left off. Even after over a year of not interacting in person, there's still this unbelievable comfort in each other's company. And I was overwhelmed, as I generally am, how these incredible, smart, funny, and generally awesome folks deign to put up with me.

As the trip for me was mostly to see these two, it was a rousing success. Though, it didn't hurt being adjacent to New York City and re-sampling some of things she has to offer. However, a trip based on lengthy conversations and shared jokes, doesn't offer a lot to report on what I actually did.

There is one story, however, worth sharing. As part of his role as trek pa, my friend R. had grown a beard. Apparently his ward is not so cool that he has, in fact, kept it on post-experience. On Sunday, we went to church. In priesthood opening exercises, during visitor introduction, Twirl & I (he sports a goatee and burns, me a full beard) stood up. Following us, another ward member introduced his son, who also wears a beard. He said, "This is my son, visiting from Salt Lake. As you can see the hairstyles out there are quite a bit different." So now, this ward is clearly under the impression that beards are making a comeback out west. I can just imagine the articles in style-forward, Mormon-centeric hot spots, arguing for a return to the gentility of days of Brigham with full beards on every cheek. Though, alongside ads for KneeShorts, these urgings might not make many strides. Oh, plus, there's the whole sticking point about the BYU Honor Code being, oddly, some form of starting point for appropriate displays in matters of appearance.

At any rate, the trip? I was for it. Now, when can I go somewhere again? Montreal, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Omaha, I'm looking in your direction. Any time you want to start wooing me and convince me to come see you, I'll be glad to entertain the idea.

6 comments:

Petra said...

Um, what about California? Can I woo you to California? Maybe in September?

alea said...

Hmm...you might be able to. No, no, it's in the plans. I've even already set aside the money so, if I should be jobless then, I'll still have the funds to make it out.

H.W.3 said...

You forgot the guy from Denver who had just moved into the ward also sporting a full beard. Also, maybe be less paranoid about hospitality and instead just offer your own hospitality should the occasion arise?I never felt I had to "put up" with you once on the whole excursion by the way. You make for very enjoyable, even comforting company. Finally I think we should set up shop publishing a mormon fashion magazine, full of horrific hairstyles and men's facial hair suggestions. Just a thought.

Shaun R. said...

I'll put in a vote for California too.

alea said...

H: the issue isn't about offering my own hospitality (which I like to think I do), it's about a. feeling like I don't deserve hospitality and b. hating more than anything else inconveniencing others.

Oneup said...

I'm not convinced you are willing to entertain the idea....

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