Supergoose Para Uno

24 Aug


Drinking alone and traveling alone – do they go hand-in-hand?

The other week, my flight out of Seattle was delayed by three hours…which meant my connection was obsolete…which meant I needed to find a new flight…which meant I couldn’t leave Seattle until 1am…which meant I had six hours to kill in the airport.

Killing six hours in an airport would have seemed really fun when I was ten. At age ten, my idea of fun was spending time alone at home, watching shows like “Jerry Springer” and “Dawson’s Creek,” and eating copious amounts of hot chocolate powder mixed with milk (a fat kid’s paradise). Given these riveting interests of mine, time spent in an airport would have been a dream!

By now, the thrill of solitary existence has worn off. (But not the thrills of daytime television or hot cocoa powder.) Today, the thrill has been replaced with a fear of “me-time.”

Sure, I’ll spend time alone when I’m driving to and from work, or when I’m using the bathroom, or when my dog’s barking drives me into a closet.

But besides these instances, I’d much prefer to be with people.

So that’s why these six hours were so daunting.

I looked at the vast expanse of the terminal and wondered what I was supposed to do. What did Tom Hanks do in The Terminal? I vaguely remembered a scene in which he brushed his teeth in the restroom and then tried to apply for jobs around the airport. Did my teeth need brushing? Should I also apply for a brief part-time job? Was anyone looking to hire a bedraggled youth with no retail experience but a passion for buying last-minute nick knacks before flying? (If anyone is looking to fill this description, I’m out of the airport, but I’m still open to the job.)

I looked around to get a sense of what other solo travelers were doing. One woman was in the midst of a heated conversation, and was yelling into her phone, “I don’t know who you think you are, but you will NOT be getting my computer information. Who gave you this number? Why are you calling me?”

I’m not sure what constitutes “computer information” (and I’m not sure this woman did, either), but the situation seemed very intense.

There was an attractive guy sitting on the bench across from me, bouncing a little rubber ball and looking playful yet mysterious. I wondered if I looked mysterious…Did people notice me and wonder where I was going and what I was doing?

(Soon after wondering this, someone almost accidentally sat down on top of me. So no, it did not appear that people were noticing me.)

It occurred to me that maybe I should get a bite to eat. Is it weird to eat alone? I thought back to those first few days (months) of college when I would eat lunch alone because I was “swamped with work” (AKA swamped with being a friendless loser).

Maybe I should try to befriend a dinner companion in the airport?

I looked to the woman yelling about her computer and decided she’d probably think I was some sort of hacker. I looked to the mysterious ball bouncer and realized he was gathering his bags and proceeding to his flight.

No, don’t go, I thought. You were my best friend in this airport! We were about to have such a great dinner together! We were going to share a few appetizers and enjoy a few cocktails, and I was going to reach for my wallet but you were going to volunteer to pay and then we were going to be tragically separated, but then I was going to happen to be visiting Missouri and you were going to be in a coffee shop and we were going to reunite and it was going to be magical! You just didn’t know all of this yet!

He was gone.

And I was alone again.

All right, I thought. You can do this.

I started wandering around the airport, looking for a place that would welcome a loner with open arms.

There was a bar called “Togetherness”; an Italian restaurant called “For La Famiglia”; a French bistro called “Tout Le Monde”; a snack shop called “Sharing Size Snacks”; and an American diner called “Full Table.”

I briefly considered chasing after mysterious ball bouncer and begging him to hang out with me.

But then I spotted the perfect little Mexican restaurant: “Fiesta Para Uno.”

Just kidding. I spotted a restaurant that I’m pretty sure was called “Airport Food.” It was just a normal restaurant, but there was a guy sitting alone inside, so I decided that would have to be good enough.

I wheeled my suitcase into the restaurant and plopped myself down at a table.

There was a Seahawks game happening that night, and so people were hunkered down at the bar, wearing Seahawks gear and watching the game intently.

Potential friends??

I felt as if my dad – devoted Boston fan that he is – would somehow find out if I joined these people in watching the game and would change the locks to our house, so I reverted to focusing my attention on the menu.

What do loners drink? What do they eat? All of the “sharing size” options were not options, obviously. No wings or nachos for me! (Being alone is actually probably a great way to stay slim.)

I decided it was appropriate for me to engage in a little bit of solo drinking. It had been a long day and I was tired and my back hurt and…never mind, I don’t have to justify this. I wanted booze.

I ordered a Supergoose beer, which is a Seattle brew whose bottle features a picture of a mongoose wearing a cape. It is also seven percent alcohol content.

If it’s good enough for the mongoose, it’s good enough for me.

“What size do you want?” the waitress asked.

“Um, what sizes do you have?”

“Small,” she said, and created about a two-inch gap between her hand and the table, “and large,” she said, as she measured about a six-inch gap between her hand and the table.

A two-inch tall beer or a six-inch tall beer?? Obviously I’m taking the six-inch, don’t be ridiculous!

I also ordered a Hawaiian quesadilla for one.

When the waitress brought my beer to the table, I swear at least ten people in that lame restaurant spun their heads around, as if to say, “Why is she giving that six-year-old child a half yard of goose beer? STOP IT, STOP IT NOW, YOU’RE GOING TO KILL HER!”

I was just as shocked by the size of the beer as they were, seeing how its height was more of a distant multiple of six inches than six inches. I tried to look responsible and totally in control of my decisions. (An image which I’m sure I replaced with, “look, Ma, it’s my first beer!” after I opened Snapchat and proceeded to send pictures of the beer to all of my friends.)

That beer was potent, let me tell you. It could grow hair on a pre-pubescent boy’s chest. That’s what I was dealing with.

Slowly, being alone started to seem like less of an imposition and more of a fun, exciting way to spend six hours!

Wow, I have so many thoughts! When else can I just sit alone and think all of my amazing thoughts? You know what would be a great invention? A dog collar that holds dog treats. That way, you wouldn’t have to hold the treats in your hands and get that smelly bacon scent all over you. This could revolutionize the canine paraphernalia industry. Maybe I should become an entrepreneur. Is that a French word? It must be. Hot damn, I could go for a croissant right now. I wonder if they sell those here? Wow, look at that guy at the bar. He looks like James Franco’s lesser-known brother. Actually, James Franco does have a lesser-known brother, so maybe that’s a mean thing to say. I would hate to be the lesser-known sibling in a trio of siblings. Shit, maybe I am the lesser-known sibling…how does one determine such things? Should I make a Facebook status about this? No, on second thought, I think I’ll just take a selfie and Instagram it and write, “#Airport #travel #beer #alone #TBT #JK #FBF #BFF #wheninRome #notinRome #FOMO #YOLO #yaaaassss.

Needless to say, things went downhill after the canine paraphernalia epiphany.

You know what’s less fun than being alone? *Accidentally* getting drunk alone.

And that’s how I ended up wandering through the terminals, walking from one store to another, looking for chocolate and caramel popcorn (not hot cocoa powder, but they would do). The hallmarks of solo traveling.

Because if you’re going to Supergoose, you need to be prepared.

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2 Responses to “Supergoose Para Uno”

  1. Nicole August 26, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

    Very well written! I’ve never been drunk when traveling alone, but once a guy sitting next to me on a plane has SIX vodka drinks in a 1.5 hour flight. That must’ve cost $80!

    -Nicole
    Meet Me in Midtown

    • sophpearl August 26, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

      Thank you, Nicole, and thanks for reading! Yikes, that is some aggressive consumption. If you’re going to spend $80, at least check out the in-flight shopping guide!

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