Friday afternoon my flight was at 3:30. Arrived at National at 2:30 and was checked in and ready within ten minutes. Was "randomly" chosen to be searched at the gate and after putting my shoes back on, walked out the gate door only to walk right onto a shuttle bus that was taking us, much to my surprise, to a *propeller* plane waiting on the tarmac. I was the second to last person who managed to squeeze onto the non-ventilated diesel bus, and after driving us all of twenty feet to the airplane, we stop and wait because our stewardess is late and we for some reason cannot board until she is there. Fifteen stodgy minutes later, I'm off the shuttle and run into an old friend from college working as a traffic director on the runway. What are the odds.
Arrived in North Carolina with little fanfare, but I will say, for a place that people tend to use their cell phones rather frequently, you'd think they'd put a Sprint tower close enough to Raleigh-Durham International Airport so that a signal could come through there. Mom and I head east to Wrightsville Beach and stop at what she has learned is the last exit for over an hour that has any restaurant other than a McDonalds for dinner. There was a thirty-minute wait for the Cracker Barrel, so we went across the street to the mysterious Smithfield's Chicken and Barbeque, and were pleasantly surprised by the quality cooking we were served.
She and I stopped at the Food Lion to pick up some Bartles and James' and stuff for the next morning's breakfast. She and I wandered around the store, picking up snacks and bottles of water and made our way to the checkout line. Mom says "so...you want to get some trashy magazines?" I say sure, and we pick up a People and an Us. I start unloading our stuff onto the conveyor belt and mom says "so..." and sheepishly looks down and starts picking at her fingers "...you wanna get some cigarettes?"
My mother. Cigarettes. I have smoked in varying frequency since I was about sixteen and have hid it from her with 90% success since. She smoked when I was around eleven and at the time I used to draw skulls and crossbones on her cigarettes just like the kids on sitcoms and stuff. Then I became a teenager and whenever I came home reeking of smoke (it was *soo* smoky in that pool hall, mom. You could see the cloud hanging from the ceiling), she'd say, "I would think the girl who used to campaign against me smoking would know better." Suddenly, mom wants a pack of smokes. And she was specific about it too: she wanted Marlboro Lights 100's. Apparently, she was hanging out with some of her friends and one of them is a smoker and she, like many of us, was reacquainted with the reality that drinking is better when you smoke. First the Osbournes, now this. She amazes me every time.