So, I'm sitting in a bar in the George Bush International Airport in Houston, midway to Nashville to see Katie and start our epic road trip across the country. I'm eating a chicken Caesar and drinking an extra-spicy bloody mary, marveling at how positively nice everyone is. I mean, I thought people were nice in California, but this is something in a league of its own. I've been on the ground for one hour and I've been called "honey" no fewer than three times. When I gave the very pregnant (and age 20, tops) hostess my name when I walked into the bar, she said, "Oh, my isn't that just the prettiest name! I've been having the hardest time thinking of a name for my little bun in the oven. My husband likes Elizabeth, but I just don't know. But Gabrielle is pretty! If he's a boy, he'll be named Hayden. Hayden James Walter Frank. James is my grandpa's name and Walter is my husband's father's name, so we thought we'd give him two middle names. Isn't that just a hoot!?"
I didn't know what else to say other than, "Yes! Totally a hoot! Oh look, a seat at the bar opened up! I think I'll take it. Thanks!"
Every time I look up from my netbook, I see smiling strangers. Not in a creepy "I'm-watching-you" kind of way, but more in a "Oh, hello there!" way.
I'm sure there are just as many sketch-balls in this airport bar as in every other airport bar, but the friendliness makes me feel like I'm at the barbeque of an old friend...and that friend is really, really friendly.