Airport Sundry Shop Despondency.

posted in: Day In The Life 12
Image & Style magazine's April 2016 cover featuring "Mob Wives" Marissa Jade. Image: Wikipedia.
Image & Style magazine’s April 2016 cover featuring “Mob Wives” Marissa Jade. Image: Wikipedia.


I am at the Raleigh-Durham airport. My flight is delayed at least an hour because the rest of the country is beset by storms, apparently. I left my phone charger at the retreat center, I accidentally packed my computer cord in my luggage, I’ve got a half bag of turkey jerky in my purse and no contact solution to squirt into my dry eyeballs: Welcome to the glamorous life of a sewlebrity.

Aw, it’s fine. I’m just being dramatic. (But there really is turkey jerky in my purse and my computer really is going to die before too long, here.)

The truth is, I’m in a pretty good mood, considering. I spent 36 hours with a group of salt o’ the Earth women down here in North Carolina. It appeared they had a good time and learned things from me; the opposite was true, too.

I had a conversation with two of the ladies on the front porch last night; I won’t soon forget it. We talked politics and it was so good. I rarely ever broach the topic, as you know, but from time to time, the mood is right, and so it was last night. The three of us talked about how we voted, how we feel about how we voted, and how important it is to keep talking to each other across party lines, across our life stages, across our city mouse/country mouse locations. We have to do this if we’re gonna make it. I thanked them last night for the meaningful chat; I thank them both again now.

My hopeful, optimisticky mood took a hit a few hours ago, though, and I blame the newsstand at the sundry shop here at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). My love of magazines and books is no secret: I was the editor of a national magazine for four years; I am currently associate editor of my school’s newsmagazine; I have written two quilting books; I am writing a book of essays. If I got any more in love with magazines and books, why, I’d marry ’em!

But the magazines and books at the RDU sundry shop made my stomach hurt. Here’s what was there and how I felt about what was there:

  • Romance novels — not where my interest lies*
  • Super-crazy expensive business books with titles like, “Who Stole My Pickles?” and “The Accelerator’s Handbook: The Only Business Advice You’ll Ever Need. Ever. Really.” — no way
  • Magazine after magazine with photoshopped models making truly ridiculous fashion faces — this is still a thing
  • Magazine after magazine freaking out about everything — WE GET IT
  • Magazine after magazine about tech or computers — #TylonolPM
  • Magazine after magazine for dudes — gross

And I really needed to get something to read because hello: no phone charger, no computer cord. The clock was ticking, man. I finally found a book worth buying: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg. Thank goodness. This book is at the top of a zillion “Best Of” lists and looks fascinating, so as this computer dies out, I can read instead of watching that kid over there by the water fountain spin around in circles until she falls and bonks her head and cries. Again. Because that’s happened twice. She’s actually pretty cute, but I’m getting dizzy.

Fade to black.


*In the original post, I used the words “Trashy romance novels.” This was offensive to several folks, so I edited it. We regret the faux pas. — The Management

12 Responses

  1. Pam
    | Reply

    I almost ordered that via Kindle yesterday but decided to look for some reviews first. Could a white trash blog appear in the future?

  2. Liz Flaherty
    | Reply

    As a romance novelist who has followed and “you go, girl”ed you since your earliest days on TV with your mom and who thinks your writing is even better than your quilting–I have a wide soft spot for good writing–I am way disappointed that you resorted to the hurtful and inaccurate cliche “trashy romance novels” on your blog. As with any other genre, most of them are not and most of their writers are supportive of others throughout the writing field. I’m sorry you chose not to be.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Woah, woah, woah. I had no intention of insulting anyone, Liz.

      • Liz Flaherty
        | Reply

        I’m sure you didn’t intend insult, but I’m also sure you understand no one really wants the word “trashy” applied to their work. Thank you for removing the phrase from your post. I’m not going anywhere, either–your writing and your quilting are still areas of joy.

  3. Barbara
    | Reply

    I so enjoy reading your writings. Thank you.

  4. Ginger Berkhouse
    | Reply

    I, too, am sorry you felt the need to use the word “trashy* when describing romance novels. Makes me rethink my opinion of you. Have you ever read any?

  5. Kathryn Darnell
    | Reply

    I love a good civil political conversation where ideas are shared and no blood is left on the table. So glad you had that opportunity. The gift stores in airports have some very interesting things but could we just get rid of the trashy covers on the magazines and romance books? Personally, I think it demeans women. Just one woman’s opinion.

  6. Nina Ashworth
    | Reply

    That’s too funny; I was at Nashville International Airport yesterday waiting for a plane to take me home to Rhode Island (via Chicago) after the AQS Paducah show and I had my hands on the same book but didn’t buy it! You’ll have to comment how you like it!

  7. Mags
    | Reply

    Just giving you a wave from Durham, Uk.

  8. Jennifer
    | Reply

    So glad my trips all start at PDX. I<3 Powell's at the airport (and everywhere else.)

  9. Betty
    | Reply

    Had I only known! I live within 10 miles of RDU. I could have brought you a charger, snacks, reading material! (Well, a phone charger, couldn’t help with the laptop cord problem – oh wait, maybe I could have!)

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