That Airport Moment


Salvatore Vuono

The last few days my thoughts have repeatedly turned to that wished for and dreaded moment that every couple in a long distance relationship imagines… The Airport Moment. I’ve heard others call it this as well. Even my own son, as he prepared to visit his girlfriend in Sydney for the first time! So much for originality.

We’ve spent hour after hour, for months on end, eighteen months already, talking and sharing online. We’ve played games, watched movies, watched shows, shared stories, we’ve laughed and we’ve cried. We’ve become best friends. We’ve become important to each other’s lives. The one thing we haven’t done yet is meet in person.

No relationship should stay as it is, whether it’s a long distance relationship (LDR) or not. In exactly the same way that we grow and evolve, so should our relationship evolve. This relationship has become a journey for us. The LDR is the shared journey that we have both agreed to make. The dream we share is to lose the LD in the LDR. As part of our journey, making a commitment to meet has been vital for the health of our relationship. I can imagine my boyfriend rolling his eyes as he reads these words, considering how hard he worked to get me to make this commitment, but that’s a story for another time. I see our relationship as a journey with meeting one of the stops on the way. The commitment that I had trouble with, was the commitment to make the journey my priority.

Soooo, at times the mind leaves the present, wandering off into the future and I begin to picture that moment at the airport. Eyes searching frantically through the crowd. The moment of stillness as our eyes meet, as our surroundings begin to fade. Knowing that in just a few moments hands will reach out and meet… flesh. I’ve had dreams of that moment that I just wanted to go straight back to sleep for… “OMG! You woke me up because the cat did what??!! You mean the house isn’t burning down??!!”

That first meeting is almost always perfectly formed in my mind. What I’d be wearing, well likely wearing since that might not be my favourite skirt by then and I’m sure I’ll find something just perfect to go with the boots I know I want to wear. Of course, the weather might be too hot for boots, so maybe I should think white instead, or go for a bright splash of colour. Okay, it’s as perfectly formed as my Gemini mind allows. I’d be nervous, but clean and fresh from a shower, not a hair out-of-place. Hmm, maybe one tendril flowing loose, maybe two… or should my hair be completely hanging loose? Anyway, confident of my choice on the day. He of course would be straight off the plane and perfect in my eyes no matter how stiff and tired he might be feeling, or how much he wants a shower. The one constant each time is that moment when our eyes meet and knowing that in just a few moments we will touch for the first time. That is The Airport Moment.

It’s been perfect, until now. My perfect Airport Moment has crept towards the realm of nightmares. I’ll be going to the US first.

Oh my! Visions of myself on my only previous overseas trip flood my mind… arriving in Helsinki, not finding my aunt and in some crazy, sleep deprived stupor finding my way across the city to her apartment building with suitcases in tow and only my very rusty Finnish to help me. By then the relatives had made numerous calls to Australia in a panic to make sure I actually got on the plane. Talk had turned to the unthinkable… reporting me missing somewhere between Brisbane and Helsinki. Oops. Yes, I made the flight. No, it didn’t even cross my jet lagged mind that someone besides my aunt would be at the airport if she had to work. Seriously, it didn’t! A weekend nursing a migraine followed.

Even worse are the memories of returning home and shuffling through the airport in Brisbane, feet sore and swollen. Okay, I know I shouldn’t have drunk all that wine coming home *blush* Sleeping for 16 hours before I became coherent, from the jet lag not the alcohol, agreeing to some strange sign painting to the front of the property. I did! I think I did. There’s a misty, almost memory of talking to someone at the door and I do remember the word paint mentioned. I really shouldn’t have been so surprised when a week later a truck arrives, painters on board. Anyway, all that says is the newly home traveller should have signs on their front door, “The seriously jet lagged should not be spoken to! Ever!”. It also means that alcohol is off-limits on the plane.

Putting the past aside, my perfect Airport Moment needs some work since it now includes visions of me weighed down with luggage, me stiff and tired from the flight and the whispered words from my love ” let’s get you back to the hotel so you can shower and freshen up”. Sigh. I want my Airport Moment back!

To be honest the memories and worry leave me in giggles. Although, I have made a note to keep away from the alcohol on the plane and try to find the equivalent of “The Idiot’s Guide to Arriving Fresh” before my US visit.

My boyfriend’s response to my Airport Moment concern? “… perfect in my eyes no matter how stiff and tired she might be feeling”. My own words straight back at me. So sweet.

Image: Salvatore Vuono /


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