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The Problem with Our Problems

I've heard the word 'Baconator' 11 times in the last four minutes as I wait to order my own next to gate 71 in the San Francisco airport. With this sole piece of information you might determine my life is pretty great right now (which it most definitely is). In fact we could come to the same conclusion regarding anyone in my exact situation, right? Wrong. On two fronts.

The first way we're wrong is demonstrated by the fuming lady two chicken-fry-loving people behind me who was on my flight and was also supposed to be on the flight to Portland with me. Due to some mechanical issues, neither of us made that flight to PDX. The difference between her and I is that she is making it apparent to everyone within a fifty foot radius that she is NOT doing great, despite the sweet aroma of fry grease combined with the family bathroom across from us.

The second way we'd be wrong about everyone being near baconators being great is that we have no idea what is going on in the lives of those around us. And that is precisely why I take such an issue with cranky crocs (yeah she's actually wearing crocs) behind me.

We were both informed at the same time by our exhausted customer service reps that we'd be flying out tomorrow and seemed to react very differently. I'm not saying I'm better than her by any means, just that I expected the outcome, tempering my emotions to reflect as much. With her the 'ing' was removed leaving only her temper. I can understand being upset at a delay, but I cannot fathom how someone can take an issue that justappeared in their own life and make it agonizingly louder than the hidden issues being hosted by everyone around them. An airport the size of SFO sees thousands of individuals every single day. Human beings boarding flights for all kinds of reasons, 99.9% of which we will never know. Some are for happy reasons like going to a wedding or seeing family. Some flights are to attend to a consequence caused by those issues we'll never know about... court dates, job terminations, funerals. The world is simply too big and we are simply too small for us to make our issues more important than other people's. Especially when those issues out of our control.

Half an hour has passed now and my croc wearing friend and I are individually enjoying our burgers together while settling in for a long night on strangely patterned carpet. The heat of the circumstances have passed, but they've been quickly replaced by a sadness that doesn't usually follow anger unless there's something else there. Something deeper. Something bigger. That's the problem with our problems, isn't it? Maybe her problems arebigger than those around her. Maybe it was me who just didn't know?

In fact, I don't know what she's dealing with. There's a 99.9% chance I never will.


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