a few of you asked how my time at home went. while loads of stories come to mind the one least likely to cause familial controversy but still provide a glimpse of my "vacation" is recap a portion of the airport pickup of our 7 italian relatives.
my dad and i were sent on the mission, because my mother decides these things. we arrived on time, me dressed in an outfit selected to demonstrate my wardrobe hasn't devolved into leggings and droopy cardigans since trading rome for l.a., my dad aggressively cultivating his image of professor with style. sartorially, we were ready to kick some italian ass.
thus we settled in at the international arrivals hall of the philadelphia airport. although the hall features mirrors on the ceiling and circular couches, the parallels to austin powers decor end there. otherwise, it's the most unrealized public space in america, all gray and corporate blue. i mainly thought about interior design improvements during this time.
but soon, 30 minutes of waiting turned into 45. we hadn't talked to the italians since the night before their flight. i texted a cousin but didn't hear back. as i requested cash to buy mints, my dad was getting panicky. "where could they be?" he asked rhetorically while searching his pockets for change. then, "i'm going to call the driver!" (we'd hired a van to transport everyone.)
around the one-hour mark we heard from emerging folks that immigration and customs lines for foreigners were enormous. my dad channeled his anxiety by pacing. "their flight was listed on the arrivals board but now it's gone," he noted after a jaunt.
by comparison, i was the zen master perched on the mountaintop. "wull. what else can they say about the flight? it can't stay on the board forever. want a mint?"
"i'm going outside to see where tom's parked! you stay here." (where the hell else would i go?)
by this point we'd hit 1.5 hours of waiting and i'd long tired of standing or sitting upright, so i laid down on a couch and stared at my reflection from the mirrored ceiling. i wondered calmly if they'd missed the flight and forgotten to inform us. were they tucked in their roman beds this very minute? whatever. there's only one exit. we'd find out soon enough.
since it was getting late i called my mom.
"where's your father?"
"oh, you know. marching around, pestering the driver."
"just sitting. they have mirrors on the ceiling."
a pause, then, "JULIA, ARE YOU ON ZANAX??"