Saturday, May 12, 2018

Happy Mothers Day

I was chatting with the family sitting across from my jumpseat, coming from a holiday cruise. They were telling me about their vacation, and how much fun their 15 year old daughter had, returning home with many new numbers (mostly guys) in her cell phone and sadness at leaving her new friends. The dad (we'll call him Mike) mentioned that his parents were returning from an extended stay in Costa Rica the following Tuesday. "I'm working that flight!" I said. "They are in First Class and they're in their late 80's and their names are -----------------, Mike said. I promised to look them up and went on with my duties. As has become a quite annoying habit lately, I forgot all about this incident until about 15 minutes before landing on the flight Mike's parents were on. I walked up to the front of the airplane and quickly figured out who Mike's parents were. They were sitting quietly holding hands watching the airplane descend through the clouds. I introduced myself and explained that I had met their son and his family on another flight several days prior. "Mom's" face lit up, and as we talked about their vacation, her son's vacation, her grandchildren and I said "I have to tell you something." When Mike and his family boarded the plane and settled in, they noticed an older woman struggling with her baggage. Mike jumped up, and without any prompting, followed this woman to the back of the plane simply to help her stow her luggage. He, of course, got stuck at the back of the plane, and when he finally returned I thanked him over and over for what he had done. He didn't understand why I was making such a big deal about it, until I explained that I see so much bad behavior, that I am really touched when I see good, kind, giving behavior. Mike said, "That's what I was taught growing up by my mother."

So, here's the really cool part of the story. I got to tell Mike's mother, a perfect stranger, something lovely her son had done, and even though he was 55 years old and the lessons she had taught him were a long time ago, her smile turned even bigger and she just shook her head and said "That's Mike. That sounds just like him." And she got tears in her eyes, and I got tears in my eyes, and I knew that I would never forget that moment.

For my boys: You make me proud to be your mother. And you always will.

And for my mother: You left us too soon. I miss you everyday. and I love you, to the moon and back.

Monday, April 9, 2018

She Got Away

One of my favorite reasons for working the long flight to Hawaii, is well, it is Hawaii.  To me, even a short layover of 20 hours in Hawaii is worth it.  Seeing a glimpse of the beach, of the sun, of all the beauty that Hawaii entails can help get me through a long winter.  Another big reason I love these flights is that people are generally happy to be on the plane, often having realized that long awaited, long planned for goal of a family trip to the beautiful islands.  When the flight attendants are happy, and the passengers are happy, it's a really good combination.  Eight or ten hours together and six or seven services is also enough time to really get to talk to people.  I LOVE getting to talk to people.  I love hearing their stories.  I love hearing how they have been planning these trips for many, many years.  I love sharing with them all of my restaurant recommendations and fun things to do on their vacation.  I love sharing my love of Hawaii with them.
A couple of months ago, a flight to my "happy place" became even more special.  A large family of six people all boarded in "Make A Wish" t-shirts.  We all know what that means.  Someone in the group has a very serious illness, and more than likely this trip is their wish come true.  It gives me goosebumps just to think about this, because most often the recipients of these trips are children.  Children that have gone through things that no child should ever have to go through.  Someone once explained it better than I ever could.  Children get to live in a bubble for awhile before they grow up, but for these children, their bubble burst long before it should have.
As the family got settled in their seats, I introduced myself and offered any help I could give.  The family consisted of Mom and Dad, twin sisters and two brothers.  One of the twin sisters was very talkative, and the other was quieter.  The more talkative sister, June, said, "I just had my 8th Birthday. I had cancer. But I'm better now and my hair is growing back and we are going to Hawaii!  We got up this morning at four o'clock and left our house in our pajamas, but I changed in the car, because I can't wear my pajamas to Hawaii!"  I was in love with this child before she finished her sentence.  Not only was she adorable and sweet and a survivor, she was decked out from head to toe in jewels, glitter and all things pink.  Be still my heart.  As the long flight went on and on, and June got tired of her movies and her snacks and her family, she came back to visit me in the galley.  I had her practice sitting on the jump seat like we do for take-off and landing, then showed her around the galley--the ovens, the drinks, the snacks.  Back on the jump seat, she sat on my lap (jump seats are the smallest seats in the whole world) and started to look at all my jewelry, because to be honest, I'm a jewelry freak, too.  I'm usually covered in far more jewels than I am supposed to be wearing while at work.  She would touch my bracelet, and want the story on it  --where it came from, when I got it, why did I like it.  I would do the same to her.  The same with earrings and necklaces.  By this time she had figured out I was a kindred spirit, a girly girl who loved all things well, girly.  But then we got to rings.  June said, "I just painted my nails last night for the trip! I bet you did, too!  Let me see your nails!"  And I remembered I had not taken the time to paint my nails, and not only that, I hadn't even thought about my nails for a while and they looked like it.  I tried to hide my nails, but she wouldn't have it and the look on her face when she saw my "nails" was classic.  "You didn't do your nails for the trip to Hawaii?  Why not?  How could you go to Hawaii and not do your nails?"  I knew telling her I went to Hawaii almost every week wasn't going to be a good enough answer, so I just fessed up and said, "I forgot to do my nails last night and it was too late this morning and I was too rushed," and June looked at me like the teacher used to do in school when I was chatting with my neighbor and said, "Promise me you won't ever do that again, ever."  And I did.  I promised my new friend June that for her, I would always check to make sure that my nails were done before I went to Hawaii, or on any plane.  Every single time.
June went back to her seat and I went back to work.  Every time I passed by June, she looked up and smiled at me like we had a secret.  (We did.)  But in the craziness of getting to Hawaii, people rushing off the plane to get to their long awaited vacations, June disappeared.  Not just June, but her whole family.  I was devastated.  My new girlfriend was gone.  As I deplaned I looked for her everywhere, hoping that she had not gotten away from me.  But she had.  She got away.  I had come up with an idea that we would be pen pals, and that I would send her jewels and postcards from far away destinations, and I would know that she was OK, that she truly had put her cancer battle behind her for good.  But that didn't happen.  She got away.
But part of her will always be with me.  If you see me on a plane working,  please check my nails.  Because I promised June that I would always take the time to paint my nails.  You never know if the lovely Miss June will cross my path again.  But I have to be ready for her if she does.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Boarding

The dreaded word "Boarding" comes over the intercom.  We look at each other and sigh, and wonder if today we'll need our hard hats, our suite of armour, the patience of a saint.  We will.  "Boarding" is almost always the hardest part of any flight.  People line up outside in the gate area, getting into position, staking their claim--sometimes an hour before the flight even leaves. When it is finally time to board, they rush on with arms full of bags, coats, coffee, etc.  Then the battle for the overhead space begins.  Some people know the drill and put the roller bags in wheels first, handle out, leaving more space for others bags.  Others believe that they should stow their bag in the first bin they see, even if that is row 1 and they are sitting in row 45. No. Others believe that the place they get to stow their bag is only right above their head, and get angry if I move it to make more space.  Others take so long to decide where to stow their bags that a very long line forms behind them.  Oblivious to the chaos they are causing, they wonder "Does the white bag fit better here?  Where should my coat go?  Did the Dodgers play today? Wonder if the person sitting next to me is normal?" I watched a man get on and put his bag away, then closed the bin with a big space left in it.  Another passenger came on and opened the bin and started to put his bag in there.  The first passenger stood up and said, "No, you can't use that bin.  I saved a spot for my wife's bag in that bin." I clear my throat.  "Actually, you don't get to save a spot for your wife's bag.  First come, first serve." I say.  Score:  One happy passenger, One really pissed off passenger--make it two, his wife will be pissed off too when she finally gets on. 
Our job, the crew's, is to try to get a handle on all the craziness.  "Miss, someone is already in my seat."  (Sir, that's your boarding pass for your next flight, not this one.)  " "Can I have a glass of water?  I need to take a pill."  "I have a connection in (arrival city)--are we going to be on time?"  (Geez-we haven't even left yet and you are already worried about being late)?  "Is there anywhere to put this painting/lampshade/flower arrangement/parakeet?"  Without a doubt, this is the hardest part of our job, but we don't get paid for this.  I don't know why.  No one has ever given me a good answer for this.  It annoys me to high heaven.  Besides all this, there is a huge push to be on time, to make sure everything is taken care of 10 minutes before we are supposed to leave.  Because on time ratings are very important to our airline, to our reputation.  But, very often, the plane has just landed from another city, taken 20-30 minutes to deplane, needs cleaned and catered, and maybe 20 minutes has been reserved for this.  And then 150 new passengers, bags, and problems come on and we need to make it all "OK" in minutes.  I get really crabby during this process, which is bad because this is my first interaction with the passengers.  Add to this, overhead bins have been reconstructed to fit more bags in the bins.  Now, one bin can hold 120+ pounds.  We have to lift this!  It's really heavy!  I've already had to go to Physical Therapy off and on for 10 years to deal with the effects of these bins. They say I should do stretches to prepare for lifting these bins.  Really?  When?  In the 5 minutes before some passengers get off and more get on?  When I could eat?  Or go to the bathroom?
No thanks.  I think I'll take a minute to myself, check my phone and my lipstick and go head to head with the overhead bin when the time comes. Another day, another physical therapy appointment.   

Monday, April 2, 2018

Emotional Support Animals?

It's been in the news a lot lately.  People can now bring dogs, cats, pigs, even miniature horses on an airplane.  For free.  All you have to do is go on the Internet and basically buy a certificate that states your "animal" is an emotional support animal.  The information I found on the Internet says:  "Any animal can be an emotional support animal.  Federal law does not require these animals to have any training.  You do not have to be disabled to have an Emotional Support Animals.  These animals are for people with mild anxiety or depression. "  Now, I have absolutely no issue with an animal that is on an airplane with a passenger and is necessary to this passenger's well-being. I always (used) to call any animal on board my favorite passenger.  Service animals (definition:  service animals must perform a task for an owner with a disability or medical condition) are amazing.  Not to repeat myself, but they are the best behaved passenger on the airplane. They don't get mad when we run out of space for their bags.  They don't care if we're 2 hours late. They behave.  They do. They are trained to  They can't misbehave if they try.  It's in their DNA.
  Not so with these new, "I bought a certificate for my animal from the Internet to avoid the outrageous airplane fees those thieves want to charge me" types.  In the past year, I've had Emotional Support Animals that bark.  A lot.  Lay on empty seats or onto other's passengers body parts, lay spread out into the aisle so that I've had to step over them every time I walk by. They snarl at everybody.  They whine.  They have diarrhea.  (If you think a baby's soiled diaper is a bad smell in a tight space, times that by 10).  They steal food from the passenger beside them.  They beg for food from the passenger beside them. You get the idea.  So after a flight with 3 very large males (people) and 2 very large dogs and 2 cats (not in cages) all in one very small row with 150 other people, I went to my manager and complained.  She agreed. " This is something that has gotten completely out of hand. Is it likely to stop?"  I ask. "No" she says.  "But I can one up you" she says to me.  "This morning, in our home town, they had to board an emotional support chicken."  A chicken.  Spend some time imagining having your seatmate on your next flight be a chicken.  Support?  No.  Complete and utter nonsense?  Yes. . 

The worst things a passenger ever said to a flight attendant


It is normal to get stressed out when you are flying.  The security, the rules, the weather--sometimes it all seems to conspire to ruin your travel plans.  You get angry, and you take it out on your family, your fellow passengers and mostly your flight attendant crew.  Because, we control the weather, don't you know?? It really is our fault that your were late leaving your office, therefore late to the airport, therefore you didn't get the window seat you wanted.  It is our fault that a screaming baby is sitting right next to you, with a mother who orders a glass of wine and pulls out a Cosmopolitan magazine and wants to forget she has a child for a couple of hours.  It really is our fault that there is a huge snowstorm coming because we really like to be stuck on an airplane for many long, extra hours that we most likely are not getting paid for, and that will force us to miss putting our children to bed.  A 3 hour flight turning into a 6 hour flight?  Bring it on.  An 8 hour flight turned into a 12 hour flight, and oh, an unscheduled stop somewhere just for the fun of it?  My idea of a good time.
Each of us flight attendants has a war story, or many, of the worst things ever said to them.  For years, mine was of a guy who blamed me for him missing his Christmas with his family.  It was my first Christmas after having my child, and I was missing that as well, but no sympathy for me from him.  But a couple of years ago, I got another story.  It was my first flight of the day, a decent hour of the day, I had slept well the night before.  A man and his wife got on and came to the back of the plane where I was standing, between the two bathrooms.  (It's the only place to go).  I smiled and welcomed them on board.  Pretty quickly, the man said "Are you ok?"  "Yes, why?" I replied.  He thought for a moment and then said " You look haggard".  I went into my self-protective mode.  "Haggard?  Not just tired, but haggard?"   I answered in a very calm voice. (Right).  His wife gave him a look like "what are you thinking" and with the biggest, brightest most un-haggard smile I could muster I said "Please don't say that ever again to anyone" and walked off to dazzle the rest of the crowd with my haggard old self.
During debriefing that night, ( a fancy name for happy hour) I was telling my story.  The floodgates opened.  My co-workers shared their horror stories with me.  "I had a passenger who told me there was no way I was as important as she is."  "I had a first class passenger that said he paid a lot of money to sit up there and be an asshole."  "I had a passenger ask me why my airline is hiring so many ugly flight attendants."  "I had a passenger tell me it's a good thing we aren't monitored for weight anymore."  "I had a passenger call me a faggot when he was deplaning (in front of his children)."  But this next one made each of us gasp.  "I had a passenger tell me he hoped our airline was obliterated from the face of the earth."  This charming statement was made because said passenger had missed his connection due to weather.  Each of us sighed, and knew that being haggard, fat or ugly was nothing compared to being obliterated from the face of the earth.  I'll take haggard any day.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Prince


I never had Prince as a passenger.  As a flight attendant for his hometown airline, it seemed like all of my co-workers and friends did.  The story was always the same.  He boarded after everyone else up the outside stairs.  He slipped quietly on the plane into 1A, his bodyguard next to him at 1B.  He was gracious and kind but didn't usually speak to anyone.  His bodyguard ordered him a ginger ale, no ice, with a straw.  He rarely ate any food from the plane.  He always had purple on, and high heels.  He was so short that he could put his feet on the bulkhead in front of him and his legs were stick straight.  After arriving at the gate, he and his bodyguard slipped off as easily and quickly as they had slipped on, and were met by an airline employee who escorted them down the outside stairs into a waiting limousine.  At that point, some of the other passengers had a glimpse of him, and the rumor mill started--"That looked like Prince, did you see him?" and they would ask the crew and the crew would smile and confirm that he had indeed been on the same plane as they had. 
I always hoped that I would have him as a passenger.  Now, that will never happen.  But I do have a Prince moment of my very own.  2003 was one of the hardest years of my life.  A diagnosis in February of Breast Cancer. A double mastectomy weeks later.  6 months of chemotherapy. Hair loss. Doctor's visits after doctors visits.  No work, and no energy to do much other than sit at home.  An unexpected weight gain from the chemo.  (Who knew?)  Depression.  But by the end of the chemo cycle, an unexpected gift came my way.  A friend had box seats for a Prince concert, and invited me!  I dressed up for the first time in a long time.  We listened to Prince in the car on the way to the concert.  By the time he started playing, we were excited beyond belief.  We danced and sang and danced until we couldn't dance any more.  He was our hometown hero, and the huge crowd treated him as such.  He was ours, and each song cemented that.  "Purple Rain" brought Minneapolis and Prince into the country's consciousness.  "1999" came out and seemed so far away, until it was 1999 and it was the only song played at midnight anywhere in the world.  "When Doves Cry" was heartfelt and sad and hopeful, all at the same time. "Let's Go Crazy" was a perennial party song, and was a particular favorite of mine during that difficult year.
Waking up the next day, still excited over what had happened the night before, the same group of friends headed out to our sons soccer game.  As we went over and over every moment from the night before, I tried to ignore the growing pain in my chest. Soon it became obvious to others that I was in pain, and very soon my husband decided I should go the emergency room.  The Doctor did all the normal tests, read through my recent medical history, and nothing was showing up.  He asked what I had done the night before.  I'm sure I lit up through all the pain, and said "I was at the Prince concert!  I danced for hours!".  He smiled.  "I'm quite sure you pulled a muscle."  "How?" I asked. He asked if I had been physically active the past couple months.  I confirmed that I had not been.  He smiled again.  "You pulled a muscle dancing all night at the Prince concert. Rest and the pain will diminish within the week." 
When we went to pick up our son, I sheepishly had to tell the truth to everyone.  It has become a story that  has been repeated and enjoyed many times by our group of friends and family.  I was the butt of the joke.  It bothered me at first.  But now, I think back and know that that night, with Prince and my friends and family, I was happy and free and forgot I was sick, and I danced so much that I pulled a muscle.  And that is my Prince story.  He gave me great joy and happiness at a very difficult time, and even though I never had him on a flight, every time one of his songs play, I feel that same hopefulness and joy I felt that night at a very low point in my life
  "Dearly beloved, we are here to get through this thing called life."  --Prince

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Clueless in Dayton


Normally on this blog I am "outing" rude, obnoxious or just generally clueless behavior in airports and airplanes.  Today, I am "coming out" as the "ONE", the clueless one, the one not paying attention to her surroundings, the one who drives everyone else crazy.  This isn't easy.  But it must be done.

As an employee, I travel free.  That is THE perk, the Holy Grail, the benefit that our jobs offer that gets the most attention, and the most envy.  And it is wonderful.  Mostly.  But we have to fly standby.  We can't book seats ahead of time.  We can look at flight loads, and try to determine the best flights to take.  But it is a gamble, and one has to be extremely patient, flexible and focused.  Enter me.  After a 3 day conference in Dayton, Ohio, the Erma Bombeck Humor Writers Conference, I find myself burned out:  too much fun, too much laughter, too many early mornings and late nights, too much wine, too many desserts, etc..... too much of everything.  (Not to mention the convention of drum majors in our hotel that combined hundreds of young, male party animals with an all night party so crazy in the lobby that the staff of the hotel took the furniture out of the lobby to give them more room to party.  Really.)

So, after seeing that there's not a chance in Hell of getting out of Dayton that day (too many Ermaites and drum majors, I fear)  I hitch a ride with a new friend to her hometown of Indianapolis where possibilities look better for a seat on a flight.  We have a rough start, spending an hour getting out of Dayton, while her GPS sends us into the depths of the city, where we are sure that we 1) We won't make it out of there alive and 2) We will never make it to Indianapolis.  (It turns out that we both have direction dyslexia, and 2 of us in one car with a misbehaving GPS, well, that's just not smart.)
But with her husband's help, we get the heck out of Dayton.  We dissect the conference, day by day, class by class, person by person, until before we know it we are there.  We hug and say goodbye as only people who have been in the trenches can, new BFF's who have shared something impossible to explain to anyone who wasn't there. 

The flight I want to take is at Gate A7.  I make it there, settle in, and call my sister to tell her all about the weekend.  I watch the plane pull in, passengers disembark, crew get on, and boarding commence.  I finally hear my name called, and I go to the podium.  I repeat my name, that I got paged.  The confused gate agent says "I didn't page your name."  And then I see it.  The destination on the podium.  Atlanta.  "Are you going to Atlanta?" she said.  I admit it .  I said "Shit!" in front of her and many other passengers and I probably can get fired for that.  "NO!  Denver!"  I said.  "That's across the hall at A8" she says,  and while she calls Gate A8 to tell them I'm on my way, I run through people and wheelchairs and around a electric sidewalk and pant my way to A8, and I say "I'm the one Gate A7 just called you about" and she says "I already gave your seat away because you weren't here" and I know I have just become them:  the ones I write about, the ones that drive me crazy, the clueless ones.   But this angel of a gate agent sees that I'm at my wit's end, and she gets me a seat.  Not a real one, but a jump seat, which only other Flight Attendants can ride, and with lots of other rules, but she gives me one and I think I hugged her and ran down the jetway.

One of our brilliant speakers this weekend, Judy Carter, did a bit about flying.  How by the time we get to the plane, we have given pieces of our mind away.  To the TSA guy, who drones on about liquids and computers.  To the gate agent, who has changed our aisle window exit seat to a middle seat next to a screaming baby.  To the flight attendant, who snarls when we ask for 2 bags of peanuts.  We give all these people (at least in our heads) pieces of our mind and by the time we get to baggage claim and see our bags going around in a circle, we are completely out of our minds and don't even know which of 100's of black bags are ours, and I know at this moment I am this person.  And I have made fun of this person so many times.  So, as I often do, I give this person (me) a name. Clueless in Dayton.  Welcome on board.  Enjoy your flight.  Do you have any idea where you are? 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Top Ten Dumbest Questions to ask your Flight Attendant

1)  "Where are we?"  There's a reason I'm in the back of the plane, serving you.  I don't know where we are.  I almost never know where we are.  It's not my job to know where we are.  Be grateful for that.  I'm direction dyslexic.  I can't find my way out of a paper bag. 
2)  "When's the next flight to .....?"  I 'd have to be a genius to know that.  We have literally thousands of flights per day.  If I had them all memorized, well, that would just be a massive waste of brain space. 
3)      "Where is Row 1?"  Seriously. 
4)      "Can I use the bathroom on the ground?"  Yes.  The year is 2014.  What you do in the bathroom doesn't end up on the tarmac.  Thankfully. 
5)      Question from me:  "What would you like to drink?"  Passenger:  "What do you have?"  O.K.  This is totally annoying.   Because, 1) The choices have been announced over the P.A.  2)  The choices are listed in the in fight magazine  3)  The choices have been the same for years and years.  At least give me a category:  soft drinks, alcohol, etc.  And while we're at it, please take your headphones off for that brief minute or two we're talking to you.  Repeating ourselves over and over makes us very cranky. 
6)  "Why don't you open this exit for me so I can make my connection?"  Well, I would be happy to.  With certain conditions.  If you can pay  my salary for the rest of my career, you got it.   Because I will very likely be fired.  And I'm not cheap. 
7)  "Can you hold my connection?"  No.  On time departures are one of the most important rankings in the industry, and the airline will leave you behind in a heartbeat to get that very important statistic.   We would love for that not to be the case, but it is. 
8)  "Smile!"  This is not really a question, but more of a command.  First of all, YOU smile on command.  YOU smile for 14 hours straight.  YOU smile when people tell you to smile.  Doesn't work. 
9)  "Can you  1) upgrade me to first class for free,  2)  take other people's bags out of the bins so I can put mine in, or 3)  Bring me a steak, medium rare?   Again, no.  There are many, many of you.  Some days many more than usual.  While we care about each of you, it is in all of our best interests if we treat you all the same.  People get jealous.  And they write letters to our company when they perceive they are not being treated as well as others.  When we finally get home, we don't want to be on the phone with our managers. 
10)  No, we don't serve steak.  No, we don' t have magazines.  No, we don't have pillows.  Yes, it's been that way  for many, many years.  We don't make the decisions.  We just have to enforce them.  Yes, please let the company know how unhappy you are.  And while you're at it, let them know how unhappy we are too.  We liked it better in the old days, too. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

THe Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day  written by Judith Viorst was one of my children's favorite books to read when they were little.  It told about a day gone horribly wrong: from not getting a seat by the window in the car, to having to eat lima beans for dinner when he hated lima beans, to having to wear his railroad -train pajamas, when he hated his railroad train pajamas.  I had a day like that last week.  Our airplane was late because of a storm.  Guess where we were trying to go?  Yep, right back where the storm was. Our original plane was an hour late arriving, so we were almost 2 hours late leaving.  The storms made our flight extra long ,and very turbulent.  Our next flight was now 2 and a half hours late, heading back into, yes, the very same weather pattern.  I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that we ended up at our fourth stop of the day, at 2:30 in the morning, exhausted, hungry and feeling like we had been tossed around like a ride at the fair. After bouncing around all day, I lay down on the quiet, still bed in my hotel room and woke up exactly that way in the morning.  Sick.  Because, during the chaos of the day before, I had apparently eaten something that didn't agree with me.  If I didn't take the trip, the crew and all the passengers would be stuck because we don't have replacement flight attendants in this city.  I soldiered on, got dressed and showed up for work.  Well, guess what.  The weather system that had wrecked so much havoc the day before, had now shown up here.  Of course.  A couple of hours later, we finally left.  After one of my many trips out of the bathroom, a passenger stopped me and said "Am I going to make my connection?"  After checking out her intinery, I said "I think you need a Plan B,"  She started to cry, and said "I'm getting married tomorrow morning at 10 o clock in a city 3 hours away from the city I'm connecting to. "  Oh boy.  I thought I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I couldn't say "Why did you book the last possible flight on a Friday night for your very own wedding?  What about the rehearsal?  When will you do your hair? "  I didn't want her flat out losing it on me.  So, as we talked about "Plan B", all I could think of was Alexander, and his really bad day.. Wait until you grow up, kid.   Then you'll know what a bad day really is. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Work on a holiday? Thanks, but no thanks.

Memorial Day, sitting outside with a good book and a cold drink under a sunny sky, I received a somewhat snarky text from my sister. "In your blog, could u explain why a gate is not ready when u land?  And why does it take so long to open the door?  Lovingly, your sis."  Now I agree, she doesn't sound very "loving" at this moment.  And that's my point.  Flying can send even the most rational, calm and seasoned traveler (said sister) into a tailspin.  (She later shares lurid details of a horrendous travel day complete with cancellations, mechanical delays and hordes of holiday travelers, leading to her less than charming text.)

  Sometimes we say people check their common sense with their luggage, but we can't really say that anymore because hardly any one checks their bags nowadays.  (But, that's another story for another day.) I once spilled tomato juice on a priest who was reading his bible.  My first thought, after "****"  (under my breath) was "Thank heavens (!) I spilled on a priest, and not the crazy lady in 4C with her white linen dress and holier than thou attitude." Wrong. The priest, with a big glob of tomato juice on his shoulder, looked up at me and as I was apologizing, getting towels, talking about using club soda to get the stain out, and said nothing.  This, of course, made me talk more.  I heard myself say "Thank heavens (!) you're wearing black.  This should wash out easily.  Where are you headed today?"  Still nothing.  His neighbor finally looked up at me, and with a wink, said, "Young lady, I'll have a Sprite.  Because if you spill it on me, it won't stain, right?" And with that, the priest let out a noise, kind of a combination of a snarl and a hiss, and looked back down at his bible. 

So, the answers to your questions, sis?  I'll get back to you on that.  It's a holiday, and I'm NOT at work. And, there's a reason for that.

And one more thing:  Buh Bye, now.