Observation at O’Hare Airport

As a semi-sociologist, I enjoy watching people and various situations. Usually in airports, I am in a hurry trying to get from one place to another that I miss out on some of the interactions that happen on a daily basis.

Today, I left my wallet in my dad’s car and I had to wait for him to return to the airport. As I was waiting outside in the departure area, I saw two things that made me think.

First of all, there was a man, who was going to leave on a flight (I could tell by his luggage) who ended up hugging this woman (she came out of the driver’s side) for a long time. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. But then the hug lasted for about 10 minutes. Then I started to wonder… was this going to be the last time they were going to see each other?

Then a lady was dropping off a young man. I could tell that it was a mom by the way she was wiping her tears after her son entered into the airport. I was wondering… how much the mother loves her son… was it going to be a long while until they see each other again.

In airports, along with bus stations and train stations, there is a picture of sadness and happiness. Sadness… when we have to say bye to people. Happiness… when we welcome people.

One place… two emotions.