The day my brain fell out of my head
So I realize I haven't talked a ton about the whole "life reboot" thing. I will soon, I promise. Right now, though, I am flying to a fairly big interview, which, if the getting-there is any indication, should be a spectacular success ... I mean, disaster. (Background: I had a bad morning. I was not at my finest, there were tears, it all apparently resulted in me going about the rest of my day behaving as if someone suctioned every last particle of brain matter out of my ears.)
So I go to the airport. I walk in and go straight to the self-service kiosk at the United counter. I throw my suitcase up on the scale, type in my confirmation number with one hand and pull out my driver's license with the other hand like the skilled, experienced traveler that I am. Nothing. I type in the confirmation number again. Nothing. I exit out of the system and try swiping my credit card. Nope. Finally, several tries later, I stop being stubborn and hit the "Ask for assistance" button. It tells me to pick up the phone next to the screen (because, clearly, asking the person standing behind the counter, waiting to give me my luggage claim ticket, makes too much sense). I give the person who answers the phone my flight number and departure city and ...
Did I say I was at the United counter? Apparently I'm flying US Airways.
I run away before a live and in-the-flesh person can see what an idiot I am and head over to the US Airways counter. I pull up my reservation and am informed by the computer that I must now swipe my credit card to pay a $15 fee for my SINGLE CHECKED BAG. I had heard this filthy, nasty rumor, this scary little urban legend, and now it is staring me smack-dab in the face. I'm sorry, I'm a girl. There is no possible way on God's green earth I can pack a single carry-on bag for a 48-hour trip. I use hair products! I like to smell good! And just because an outfit looks good today doesn't mean it will look good tomorrow! I need backups! Like six of them!
I want to put my hand on my hip and give US Airways a piece of my mind, but somehow I get the impression the computer screen will remain unfazed. "Does this mean you won't LOSE MY BAG?" I want to ask. "Does this extra 15 dollars mean my lotion isn't going to wind up all over the inside of my suitcase after some overzealous security officer forgets to close it after rifling through my underwear looking for a bomb?"
I seriously think at the very least I shouldn't have to wheel it over to the X-ray machine myself, but of course that is not the case.
I buy a USA Today and sit down at my gate. Good, I think, the flight's not going to be too crowded. Maybe I'll even get my own row! I call my friend while I open the paper and ...
Me: What the HELL! No Life section?!
Me: I just got a freaking USA Today and there's no freaking Life section. What, I'm supposed to read the Money section? This day SUCKS. I HATE this day.
Friend: Actually, the Life section's IN the Money section this week. Because of the Olympics.
Me: It's ... (page through Money section until I see the pretty purple "Life" bar). Oh.
Friend: So when are you leaving?
Me: I don't know, soon. I think it boards in like 15 minutes or something.
I hang up. I spread out my Life section and start reading about Gossip Girl fashion when ...
"Paging passenger Swishy (garbled, can't hear it, blah blah blah), paging passenger Swishy ..."
Shit, I think. Did my wallet fall out of my bag? I check, and it's there. My phone? No ... still holding it. Did someone DIE?! I wonder. I get up and go to the counter: "Hi ... I think I just got paged and I'm not sure why."
The two girls start cracking up. "You were just sitting over there?"
"Um ... yeah ..."
"Everyone boarded already. Like, awhile ago." The girl giggles. "You are so funny!"
Oh, yes. I am soooo hilarious. That's what I always tell myself when I act like a complete moron in public. I throw my boarding pass at them and race down the jetway. It's a small plane, so I have to literally, like, go down the narrow little steps and walk over to the plane. I'm all flustered and trying to hurry so, naturally, I walk over to the wrong side and almost crash into the nose of the plane before being steered in the right direction by one of those orange-stick-waving guys.
And then I get on the plane (I promise, there was very nearly applause), reach up to turn off the air and totally tear off a nail. Not as in "I broke a nail." More like a "I think someone just cut off my finger and HOLY SHIT THIS HURTS, I'M GOING TO BE MAIMED FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, PLEASE SOMEONE JUST HIT ME OVER THE HEAD AND PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY BECAUSE SUCKING ON MY FINGER LIKE AMY WINEHOUSE ON A CRACK PIPE ISN'T WORKING" kind of thing.
Now we're getting ready to take off. (By the way, complete non-sequitur, but it costs two bucks now to get a drink? Of WATER, even? I don't even get a drink half the time because I firmly refuse to use airplane bathrooms, but it's the PRINCIPLE. I can go to 7-11 and get a Big Gulp for 99 cents but I can't get WATER on an AIRPLANE? What kind of country are we LIVING in?)
Anyway. So, yes, I'm on the plane. The guy in front of me is IMing a girl named Laura on his BlackBerry. Laura works with a total bitch who is completely threatened by everyone around her. I get the sense the bitch in question is her boss. Behind me, there is a little love affair blooming. He works in banking. She's worked at the Animal Kingdom at Disney World for 25 years. If anyone can make it work, I think, it's these two crazy kids. As long as they survive the stupid, silly girl sitting in front of them, that is.