January 12th, 2014, a Sunday.
San Francisco International airport, approximately 4:15 pm local time.
Currently aboard United airlines flight 16something. Sandwiched between me and my mother is one of those moms who desperately wishes they were still 30 but are quite clearly over 50. The type with badly bleached hair, a small bald spot on the crown of her head, and too-tight bedazzled-pocketed light-wash jeans. She talks ear piercingly loud to her (assumedly) adult daughter on the phone; "Remember sweetie. You're most important... And then butter." ... Paula Deen, is that you?! "I know hun. It's very sad that I'll never see him that way again." That sounds pretty personal to be talking this loudly about on an almost-full flight, I thought to myself. "I mean, next time I see you he's not going to be a puppy anymore." Oh. "Make sure you 'instagram me' lots of pictures of him so I can watch him grow up. Yes. Haha. Make a Butter-blog." I have concluded that Butter is the name of the dog. Unsurprisingly American. My mom reaches over the lady's lap to pass me my turkey wrap with a good 8 inches to go before she would even skim her spray-tanned nose with her hand. The lady dramatically dodges my mom's distant fist by forcefully pushing her head into her headrest, pausing on the phone as if to emphasize how much of a minor inconvenience we were to her, resulting in a beautifully unflattering triple-chin. A physical hyperbole. To my delight, my chapstick was somewhere in my mom's purse, which means I got to see that triple chin three times. That's a satisfying 9 chins in less than 10 minutes! "Okay honey, happy birthday. I love you. And Butter." Minutes later she pulls out her 2014 planner. Last Thursday's slot has "Butter = Everything better" written in it. Today's has "Angela's Birthday", as if she might forget. I then had the pleasure of watching her angrily tap every square inch of her iPhone screen BUT the on switch as she tried to turn on airplane mode, before giving up and powering down. Dog people.