Love, Actually

‘Tis the season to view this insta-classic from the turn of the century at least once a week.  I’m not bragging, but I watched it twice in 18 hours a couple of weeks ago.

I cried both times.

At different points.

‘Tis also the season of ice storms in Portland, so a couple of interesting things happened.  Second, my Max train got stuck on a hill and stranded during my commute home from work – on my day off – so I’ve got some time to think about this.  I work at Portland International Airport, so that folds nicely into the theme of Love, Actually since the movie’s opening and final scenes take place at Heathrow.  That brings me to my first point – and the reason I worked on my day off (this time) – the freezing rain over the last day has had flights being cancelled left and right in and out of PDX.

It was low key mayhem.  If that’s a thing.

Sidebar:  since I started working at PDX, I’ve noticed how quickly an average human being goes from functional member of society to a hopeless homeless person in the event of the slightest delay in their travel.  I really wanted to snap some pics of travelers and flight crews lounging in despair as flights were delayed and ultimately cancelled over the last 24 hours.

It only takes seconds.

Someone will be standing in front of the departures board one moment, looking for their flight status and see that it’s delayed and the next moment they are laying on the ground with their bags of belongings piled around them, coat completely covering their face and completely checked out of civilization.  And it doesn’t just happen during snowmageddon, either.  I see this every day.  It’s just that during the snowpocalypse I walk by airline boarding gates and lounges that are filled with people in varying states of social decay over the delays.  I see entire families, practically eyeing one another, silently deciding which one they’ll eat first.

It’s all so Roanoake meets Lord of the Flies.

Here’s the thing, Hugh Grant’s voiceover at the start of the movie is so true!  He talks about going to the arrivals gates at Heathrow airport and watching people greet their friends and loved ones as they deplane.  Sure, things have changed since 9/11, but if you know where to go, you still get the rush of humanity displaying its best self.

So, whenever I’m having a bad day at work, I go up to the concourses.  Well, sometimes.

I’ll actually do one of two things:

I’ll either stalk the exit lanes from the concourses to watch people’s faces as their eyes land on whoever is meeting them; 


I’ll walk out of the concourse with a group that has deplaned and is surging toward baggage claim.

That ones a little trickier.  You have to hang back and let the road warrior type travelers get ahead of you.  It’s not that hard, they want to beat everyone else to baggage claim.  It’s like there’s a prize I don’t know about for being the first person waiting for bags that don’t show up for 15 minutes.  The group to be with is the folks who are being picked up, they want to take their time and savor the reunion, without being knocked out of the way by someone that’s alone and in a hurry to wait for their bags.

The thing you get with these folks is being surrounded by people hugging their hellos and the warm words of greeting and laughter as the Brain releases its happy little reunion chemicals into everyone’s blood stream.  It’s the right kind of contagious.  What ya gotta be careful of – and I’m good at bracing myself for this, so don’t worry – is the realization that no one is actually there for me

But it’s ok, I’ll take the emotional contact high and get on with my day!

PS:  still on that stuck Max train.  🙄🙄🙄

Love, Actually

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