Asking MetaFilter Ladies (and romantic gents): need inspiration for an awesome airport welcome!
April 29, 2010 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Asking MetaFilter Ladies (and romantic gents): need inspiration for an awesome airport welcome!

So I started dating this girl recently, and things have just been incredible. She's in Seattle right now, and I'm picking her up from the airport on Monday night, and want to do something cool/romantic/unique for her return.

More context: I've been just nailing the dates so far. No simple dinner dates; lots of adventures and just fun times. It's been awesome. Her friends are wondering how long I can possibly keep it up, and I'm trying to rise to the challenge :)

Anyway, I was thinking about what I want when I get off a long flight at night. They include:
1) Home
2) Food
3) Relaxation

Along those lines, I've got a few ideas of my own, but nothing particularly inspired just yet. Any ideas? What was the most awesome way you were ever greeted at the airport?

Thanks in advance!!!
posted by kryptonik to Human Relations (30 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Call for delivery on the way home? Not super awesome or romantic, but after a long flight I certainly don't look great and wouldn't feel comfortable going out for dinner.

I would be happy if you took over luggage duty, or at least shared it. Wheeling all my stuff through airports is a terrible task.
posted by amicamentis at 7:44 AM on April 29, 2010

If it's a long flight, she'll be hungry for sure. I would be thrilled to be greeted with a suite of delicious snacks upon my return—pastries and fresh fruit would especially do the trick, but you could also box up one of her favorite meals so she can eat it on the way home in the car or something. Alternately, have an awesome spread of food that she likes ready and waiting at your house if she's coming back there with you. If you don't know yet what her tastes are, even better! Talk to her on the phone sometime before then, and casually work a discussion about favorite snacks into the conversation—then use the information and score points.

You're going in the right direction in favoring something low-key and relaxing. I doubt anyone wants a grand production when they get in late after a long flight. Depending how late it is, maybe she has a favorite stupid movie she likes to watch? I would be very happy indeed if I came home to awesome snacks, a warm blanket, and, say, Shaun of the Dead.

Good luck! And keep let us know how it goes.
posted by cirripede at 7:52 AM on April 29, 2010

Here's what would be perfect to me if you were my boyfriend: help me with my luggage, hire a cab so I could snuggle with you in the backseat, have dinner ready (whether you made it or ordered it) when we get home, after dinner drinks, and then a backrub before bed.

Not very unusual or exciting, but boy, does that sound good to me.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:52 AM on April 29, 2010 [9 favorites]

I'm sure you will, but definitely tell her how much you missed her and how beautiful she is. Also, if I were her, I'd like a pair of slippers for the ride home, and maybe a snack you've made to tide me over. Good luck!
posted by cucumberfresh at 7:58 AM on April 29, 2010

There was a great thread on this very topic a couple of years ago, but I can't seem to search it up. It was from the reverse gender situation, but still very valid - IIRC the consensus seemed to be "flowers, a kiss, get her home immediately, have food and/or chinese takeout waiting, then sleep."
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:01 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

I agree about the snacks, and food waiting at home, but also be sure to have a bottle of water/beverage of choice with you when you pick her up! I am always really thirsty after a flight, 3.1oz in my Freedom Bag don't really cut it, and I'm too cheap to buy a bottle of water in the airport.
posted by teragram at 8:05 AM on April 29, 2010

Get a friend to dress up as a limousine driver (One she doesn't know is preferable, but one she knows will allow her to be in on the joke. A variation is you can dress as the limousine driver). Have him greet her with a sign with her name as though he was picking up a very important person. Then he will escort her to a vehicle that is decidedly not a limousine. (If you want to keep it simple and have her in the know, it can be your car.) When the chauffeur opens the back door for her to get in, you are there with flowers. Proceed to dinner date or whatever.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:05 AM on April 29, 2010 [4 favorites]

A cornball thing I did to greet my wife after a long trip was standing with a sign with her name on it like a commercial driver (a real driver commiserated with me about our long wait -- I was actually passing.) Then the flowers and chocolate came out. I had water and real food waiting, too.
posted by Zed at 8:08 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Basically, taking care of all the little things so she can just relax is the most important thing, but I've always had a soft spot for cheesy signs at the airport. When you see someone holding a posterboard with a name and hearts and tissue paper flowers all over it in baggage claim, you know that somebody is going home, and that's always the sweetest. Big productions that you have to react to or jokes that you have to get can sometimes just be too damn much after the purgatory of air travel, but someone visually labeling themselves with a big sign of affection for you is never going to be misinterpreted or unwelcome.
posted by Mizu at 8:16 AM on April 29, 2010

You could also make her a mix CD and have it playing in the car on the way home -- or just play a CD you know she loves.
posted by spinto at 8:18 AM on April 29, 2010

If someone showed up at the airport with a mint-oreo milkshake for me, I'd probably french 'em like crazy.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:20 AM on April 29, 2010 [6 favorites]

I don't think anything too epic or "inspired" will be necessary. You're right to concentrate on home, food, and relaxation. The key will be to incorporate things you know she likes - that will be where you get your points.
posted by amethysts at 8:39 AM on April 29, 2010

I travel a lot and the one thing that I suggest you budget in, whatever you decide to do, is time for her to take a long shower before any romancing happens. I always feel gross when I get off a plane and, while I'm dying to do nothing but eat and make out with my boyfriend, I just need to clean up first or I can't relax.

On a similar note, nicest thing my boyfriend's done for me after a flight was very understated. I took a cab home from the airport, walked into my room to open the window and air it out and I could smell the sweetest flower scent. I was puzzled and intrigued, turned around, and saw the most amazing bunch of flowers on my dresser with a post it note attached. He'd snuck in (he has a key, so it might not work for you) and left it there after work. I then had about an hour before we'd planned on dinner together to freshen up, so I had privacy and didn't feel rushed, but felt so loved and coddled because he'd left the flowers for me to find. It was perfect.
posted by lydhre at 8:43 AM on April 29, 2010 [4 favorites]

Hire a town car. It's luxurious, it will be stocked with food/water (plus you can bring your own), they'll get her settled into the car & deal with getting out of the airport quickly. The quiet, air cushioned ride in a town car after the chaos of a flight is decadent and so comforting. You two will be able to chat & decide what she's in the mood for since you won't be trying to negotiate traffic and whatnot. Plus it's some nice cuddle time right away!
posted by macadamiaranch at 8:54 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Now may be the time to DO something simple and homey. I am not a Lady but if I just came off a cross-country flight and be met by my Man, I'd like this:

Meet at airport with a small snack - cause the food on planes, ugh.
Have car waiting, help with luggage, etc. Have say, a small bottle of champagne waiting in the car. Let me close my eyes and unwind after the flight.

If she's staying at your place, have the showet set up for a nice long soak-wash-dear god I need to moisturize session. Flowers in the bathroom, candles would be nice, maybe the scents or products she enjoys?

Then, just suit up in something nice and have a dinner someplace with tablecloths. Quiet. Low-key, think "recovery".
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 AM on April 29, 2010

that being said sitting on the couch in a blanket watching "Ghostbusters" would also make me happy.
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 AM on April 29, 2010

There are a lot of good ideas here -- I'll tell you that the time my husband met me with flowers is still memorable, and there is little as lovely as a Town Car ride home, a chance to shower and change and drop off luggage, and then a good dinner --

but I'd bring balloons along with your corny sign and flowers to meet her. It is hard to miss balloons, they are incredibly festive, and you can find some very cool shapes and added sentiments.
posted by bearwife at 9:09 AM on April 29, 2010

Aw. My husband and I fell in love while he was living in Washington and I was on the East Coast. He came to pick me up at Sea-Tac with some mochi -- yummy red bean cakes I had never tried before. I always associate these with that happy time now. Then he drove me three hours to his house and I fell asleep. I remember that week we laid on our backs and watched the stars (visible stars! I was living in the city so this was simple and awesome), went for walks, went camping, and what we did most of the time I won't even get into but it left little time for 'dates.' I guess what made it special was that it just was. There was no need for well-planned excursions and the like. We enjoyed each other so thoroughly that what we were doing was an afterthought.
posted by stinker at 9:43 AM on April 29, 2010

Hmmm. When I read your question, I was struck by its exuberance. How to say this delicately...I think sometimes in new relationships the guy goes a bit overboard in trying to impress and something about your post feels that way to me.

Then I read your question from eight months ago asking for counseling recomendations for you and your wife. If this is your first dating encounter after your split with your wife, I can understand why you're particularly excited about being out there again after a difficult time. But it's not a contest, you don't need to rise to the "challenge" created by her friends, it's not necessary to be over the top each time you see her. Sometimes the "simple dinners" you've been avoiding are just the right thing, especially after a long flight. The last thing I'd want after being locked down in an airplane for hours is someone going all out and organizing an adventure. Therefore, I think the comments suggesting something simple like luggage help, a waiting snack, and a simple dinner ready at home are right on target.
posted by December at 9:44 AM on April 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

@December, I don't think this his wife.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:16 AM on April 29, 2010

If it were for me, my wife showing up with the makings of a gin and tonic for the way home (a LARGE gin and tonic) and then a picnic, inside, already set up.
posted by TheBones at 10:20 AM on April 29, 2010

@roomthreeseventeen: I know this isn't his wife. My thinking is he's so excited to be in a new relationship with a new girlfriend that he's perhaps trying a bit too hard when simplicity might be best here.
posted by December at 10:31 AM on April 29, 2010

@December: definitely not the wife, but also definitely not the first dating experience since all that went south, just the first that I'm excited about. It's somebody I've known for a while, actually, so I'm not too worried about being too exuberant, though the point on caution is well-made.
posted by kryptonik at 10:35 AM on April 29, 2010

@kryptonik - Excellent news. Given that you've known her for a while, I have less trepidation then since you know her style. Along those lines, do you two have any harmless inside jokes you could work into her arrival? *Not* practical jokes, but something innocuous like wearing the Hawaiian shirt that makes her roll her eyes, something along those lines?
posted by December at 10:58 AM on April 29, 2010

Love the suggestions. Let me add yet another possibilty - a nice hot bath to relax in might be nice too (for her alone or together). I know those long flights always make my muscles ache and the hot water makes it easier to go to bed early if I'm in a jet lag situation.
posted by getmetoSF at 11:05 AM on April 29, 2010

Set up a picnic in your car, with a basket, a checkered blanket to sit on, and maybe some forsythia branches or local greenery to make it look like the outdoors if you really want to go over the top. Bring a selection of fresh food so she can eat however much she wants, and save the rest to eat later. Bring her home to a sparkling clean shower/bath that smells lovely and has her favorite bath products, or just luxurious ones if you don't know her taste. Set up battery powered tea lights (so you can do it in advance) and rose petals for extra effect.
posted by fermezporte at 11:34 AM on April 29, 2010

@cmonkey: confused.
posted by kryptonik at 11:51 AM on April 29, 2010

Her friends are wondering how long I can possibly keep it up, and I'm trying to rise to the challenge

Just remember the old adage: if you give a girl flowers every week before you're married, you still have to keep getting her flowers every week after.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:19 PM on April 29, 2010

@Civil_Disobedient: good advice. Makes me think of When Harry Met Sally, "You never take a girl to the airport at the beginning of a relationship." :)
posted by kryptonik at 12:54 PM on April 29, 2010

I'm late to this, but I always offer a shower or a bath to people when they come in- so even if she's not wanting one right away, she has the option of freshening up. I did this with my now-husband when he first came to see me, and he still says it was great to immediately be able to feel clean again so he felt at his best with me.
posted by questionsandanchors at 8:15 AM on April 30, 2010

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