By Dom Cioffi
It’s spring break season, which means that millions of people across the country either head to the mountains or the beaches for fun and frivolity. My family opted for the mountains this year – the Rocky Mountains, to be exact.
Of course, any vacation week requires travel, but when everyone travels during the same time week, you’re bound to hit major congestion issues. And boy did we hit congestion issues.
On the Saturday of spring break week, we headed to the airport early to catch our flight to Denver. Once in Denver, we would pick up a rental car and drive nearly four hours to Steamboat Springs. That doesn’t sound like much, but with the two-hour time change and stress of traveling, it generally means utter exhaustion.
After we parked our car and made our way to the airport terminal, we were hit with a mass of people. It was almost overwhelming. The reality of so many people clamoring together immediately raised my stress level.
I made a bee-line to the check-in area, which was overwrought with travelers, then quickly found a line that looked manageable and began to wait.
While I waited, I reviewed my travel info, making sure I had everything in order. I then checked the time and scanned and rescanned the area. Suddenly I started to question my timing. The lines we not moving fast and I still had to make my way through the security checkpoint. I had foolishly miscalculated the timing and now I was concerned about getting to our gate on time.
Again my anxiety level bumped up a notch.
It was at this point that I struck up a conversation with the woman in front of me in line. She turned to me and made a reference to the crowds and we were off and running.
She too was concerned about missing her flight but she seemed fairly calm about it. And the more I talked to her, the more relaxed I got.
She was a bit younger than I and, as I learned, a yoga instructor. She talked about the art of finding peace amid chaos and gave me a quick primer on how certain yoga poses helped relieve tension.
I was genuinely taken in by this woman and her unique approach to stress management and was almost sad to have our conversation end when it was her turn to sign into the next available kiosk.
I bid her good luck and stood there for another couple minutes until a different kiosk opened up, at which time I went though the check-in process for me and my family.
I was about halfway through checking us in when I began to hear voices heating up nearby. I paid little attention initially, but after a second minor verbal eruption, I looked up to see what was happening.
Admittedly, I was shocked to see the woman I had just been talking with engaging in a heated debate with an airline employee. I couldn’t make out what the issue was, but as I finished up and grabbed my tickets, I saw the calm yoga instructor forcibly slam her carry-on bag into the kiosk, at which time the ticket agent called over a security guard.
I wanted to come to the woman’s aid, but thought better of it since I had only known her for fifteen minutes.
As I grabbed my wife and son and exited the area, I looked back one more time to see the woman with an absolute red face and in tears, pleading with the agent and security guard to “PLEASE EXERCISE RESTRAINT!”
I’ll never know what transpired with that woman, but my short interaction with her had me convinced she was a good person. And I’m certain the ticket agent and security guard were also good people. The truth is, they were all good people obviously dealing with a bad situation.
This week’s film, “Batman v Superman,” also features two good people who are forced into dealing with a terrible situation, except in their case, the future of humanity is at stake.
DC Comics put everything they had into making this film pay off big at the box office. And while it has broken records during its opening weekend (greatest opening weekend ever for a superhero movie; fourth greatest opening in film history), “Batman v Superman” has been heavily panned by critics.
Personally I ended up liking the movie more than I expected (but my expectations were really, really low). I was especially impressed with Ben Affleck’s portrayal and thought the storyline was thoughtfully complex. However, there is no doubt that the film was a half hour too long and much too heavy on the fight scenes during the second half. I also thought that it unnecessarily involved too many outside agents, which ultimately convoluted the story.
Check this one out if you’re a fan of the genre, just don’t expect a revolutionary piece of filmmaking.
An innately good “C+” for “Batman v Superman.”
Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at [email protected].