Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

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?!
Friend: What?
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.

30 Comments:

At 2:55 AM, Blogger JenKneeBee said...

I almost couldn't get through the entire post because it was so awful. You've just described what I think hell will be like. *Shudder*

 
At 7:31 AM, Blogger Mary Ann said...

I agree, it was so awful. And so great. I love reading about your adventures.

I hope it went up from there?? Please say it's so!

 
At 8:57 AM, Blogger Monnik said...

oh, man... you have the best traveling stories ever, even when the traveling sucks.

Hope the trip goes well!!!!

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Irene said...

I hope you continue with this story, I am riveted. You do have a way...

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger Bina said...

Holy Cow. Can it GET any worse? I'm just wondering!

PLEASE tell me they didn't loose your luggage, or let your lotion spill all over your panties.

 
At 12:40 PM, Blogger Tamara said...

Now that you got all of the bad stuff out of the way, you'll do great on the big interview. Good luck--my fingers are crossed for you!

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Trish Ryan said...

Whatever city you're in right now? Find out if they have martinis, and order one. You've earned it.

As your friend, I'm sorry stuff like this happens to you...but as a blog reader? It's priceless :)

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger Candy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger The Franchise said...

If you are in NY I am going to be angry/sad...

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger Vanessa said...

I hope the day got better from there. If you're in Dallas, call me, first drink is on me.

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger The Gang's All Here! said...

Okay, I'm sorry for your pain and all, but I am so glad crazy things like this happen to someone else out there other than me. No plane or boarding pass for me today, but lots of the same diddly crap everywhere I turned. I was starting to feel like that Jim Carey character that finds out he's being watched and manipulated by that god-awful producer for his whole life. Good reading here, just crappy that you had to live it to tell it!

Find a choco-tini and bottoms up, girl!

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger Andie said...

gah. that sounds awful.

 
At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Ree said...

I want to fly with you. We'd drink $5 beers together.

 
At 10:45 PM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

You CRACK MY ASS UP!!!

I just told Mr. Manic that I miss you so much tonight!

And btw, Animal Kingdom at Disney has only been open 10 years. I know this because when I was a famous working perSON, I was invited to the grand opening events. ANd YOU JUST GOT ON IM SO I AM GOING TO TALK TO YOU NOW IN REAL CYBER SPACE TIME AND EVERYONE WILL BE JEALOUS WHO CAN ONLY LEAVE A FUNNY COMMENT CUZ I CAN ACTUALLY CHAT WITH YOU!!

xoxoxo

 
At 9:29 AM, Blogger Melek said...

wow, i'm glad i don't have your travel karma...i mean, not getting a LIFE section in your paper? :)

i flew USAir on Thursday/Monday and they didn't charge me for my bag. i thought only AA was doing that. they did however try to sell drinks for $2. what a scam. of course, first class still got their free wine and chocolate chip cookie. oh, no blankets/pillows either, and no in-flight magazine on the small plane. AND no jacket for my ticket. i mean come on ppl. if you want to save money, all you have to do is quit sending me those stupid mailers that i don't even bother to open. do you know how expensive it is to print, address, and mail so many of those stupid things that go directly into the trash??? i'd certainly forgo the junk mail for a free glass of water.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger Beth said...

oh swish.....to travel with you would be Heaven!!! and you always describe everythng so perfectly...I feel like I'm right there with ya!
xoxox

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Elle Charlie said...

I hope your interview went well despite the crap beginning. Traveling for interviews always adds another possibility for disaster. Anyone who travels should get extra points over the other candidates who didn't.

Finally, I think I've figured out how to sign in as ElleCharlie so it doesn't just come up as a comment from Laura... what good is a code name if you can't use it half the time?

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger Eileen said...

See- I HATE flying now and this is why.

And I wasn't laughing at you- I was laughing with you

 
At 11:40 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Oooo I've done that checking in with the wrong airline before. And let me tell you that in O'Hare that's a problem because UAL is in Terminal 1 and American... is not.

And yep, I've had the gate move on me before and not realized it until I'm wondering why I haven't boarded yet. No one was nice enough to page me though!

Fortunately, I rarely have them all happen at the same time! Here's hoping the rest of your day improved and that the interview went well! Ditto with the return trip.

 
At 12:28 AM, Blogger shopgirl said...

OMG sister! You are hilarious!! I'm sorry you had such a bad day - but thanks for giving us such a funny blog to read!!

And, as a fellow Frequent Traveler myself, isn't the $15 bag fee RE-G.Damn - DICULOUS?? Seriously - if you (airline co.) don't want me to have baggage - then let me bring my hair products (ie gels/spray and lotions) onto the plane!!!!

Hopefully your flight home was better.

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger kim said...

I thought of you last week when I got pulled over (and ticketed!) for non-registration, and again this week for the same thing.

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger KATE said...

Wow girl, I hate to even ask... Did the trip get better? I really freakin' hope so!
Sorry it was such a crap fest, but it was fun to read about!

 
At 10:56 AM, Blogger Jenster said...

Well! I certainly hope things got better from there.

I'm sorry about your nail. Really, really sorry.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Elle Charlie said...

It is from Target, good eye!!! I love it too - they have a bunch of cool rugs.

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger DeeMarie said...

Swishy!! I gave you an award!! Jump over to my blog to check it out and feel free to share the love!! :)

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger Patti said...

swishy has the best entries! that should help some....

 
At 9:08 PM, Blogger CruiserMel said...

Hiya Swisy! OMG, what an awful day! Hopefully, all your troubles resulted in a new job offer?????

 
At 12:40 AM, Blogger Golightly said...

hilarious. i also tend to read/easedrop on people texting - hee hee. are you serious? $2 water, that is insane. i'd be embarrassed to be the stewardess asking telling people its $2 for water. ridic.

 
At 3:33 AM, Blogger Swishy said...

Thank you guys :) It wasn't toooo bad after that ... and I THINK the interviews went OK. I think!

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger Kristabella said...

That right there? You just described all my worst nightmares ROLLED INTO ONE!

Hope everything went OK!

 

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