Well, folks, we made it. And having only been in the States for about five hours, I’d already bought myself a Zac Posen for Target dress, which I think has to be a personal best for me in the shopping stakes. I normally wait at least 24 hours, and, I mean, we only went in there for some groceries. Whoops. I don’t think Terry was quite convinced that what we’d really gone out for was bread, milk, and a Zac Posen dress, but, you know, those are the basics in life, no? Isn’t grocery shopping fun these days?
Here’s the wonderful and amazing thing about Florida for me, though: it feels so much like coming home. Much more than actually coming home does, say. And as I stood there in that same Target changing room that I always seem to end up in when I come here, with my mum struggling to yank the dress over my head (it’s one of those double layered things. I got the two layers twisted, somehow, got stuck, and had to call in reinforcements. Which just goes to prove that changing continents doesn’t make me any cleverer, sadly.), it was hard to believe that earlier that day I’d been at Glasgow airport, or waking up at home, getting ready to leave. It already feels like I’ve been here forever, and I love that. It’s like coming home.
On the plane on the way over I sat across the aisle from an elderly man, who seemed to be on his own. Being slightly emotional at the time (I welled up when we touched down and the pilot said “Welcome to Florida”…), I just couldn’t get this man out of my mind. I imagined him waking up on his own, travelling to the airport and sitting there waiting for his flight, with no one to share a few words with, or even just to sit in companionable silence with. And now here he was, still alone, and for some reason it made me feel maudlin to think of him travelling all the way across the Atlantic without a kind word from anyone other than the cabin crew, if he was lucky, and I wanted to try and reach out to him somehow, but I didn’t know what to say so I had to settle for a few friendly smiles in his direction, which probably made the poor guy think I was a lunatic.
I hope someone was waiting for him at the other end. I hope he was actually completely happy in his solitude, or that his wife, or friend or whatever was just sitting in another part of the cabin, because ever since we landed, that old man’s been on my mind. I feel so lucky to be here, in my favourite place in the world, and to have my family here with me. (I also feel a bit teary and introspective, like someone who hasn’t slept properly for three days, and who has drunk a bit too much coffee to make up for it. Note to self: stop doing that.) And I’m going to try and enjoy every single second of this trip, as much as I possibly can, because, well, you never know how long next winter will be.. .
I’m also going to probably buy some more shoes and dresses. But I guess you already knew that…
(Terry really needs to eat a sandwich, doesn’t he?)