Leaving on a jet plane
So I'm going out of town for a couple of days. I get on the plane and head for a window seat in an empty row on the right (as usual), and am immediately joined by a Louis Vuitton-toting mom and her highly energetic young son. This is sort of the reason I log on to Southwest.com the day before and refresh the page like a maniac to get an "A" pass, to avoid these types of situations, but you know, whatever, I like kids well enough, it could be someone whose underarms smell worse than a bucket full of catfish left to rot in the sun all day, this is definitely a workable situation.
And then the little kid, who's sitting next to me and has the swingiest arms ever (I mean, he's practically doing the butterfly stroke), gets a marker in his hot little hands. I'm wearing a light-colored sweater. What this equals: Definite potential for disaster. I start bobbing and weaving like Ali in his heyday. I wear him down, and he passes out five minutes into the flight. Crisis averted!
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I am pretty sure one of the flight attendants is a little drunk. It starts off harmlessly enough: A woman comes on with a McDonald’s bag: "Oh, you brought me a cheeseburger!" she says. A guy throws away his Diet Dr Pepper bottle: "Oh, I can’t believe you didn’t save me any!" But then she goes up to the three debonair businessmen lined up in the row behind me and completely loses her shit. “You’re in exit seats,” she says, ready to give them the exit-row spiel, but that’s all she can get out. Instead, she starts giggling uncontrollably. And then she scootches into the row--ostensibly to let someone by, but she’s practically on the one guy’s lap. “So,” she giggles, “are you sitting on me or am I sitting on you?”
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I am getting old. This means two things: In some ways, I am vastly more patient than I used to be ... and in others, I am so incredibly NOT. Like this baggage issue, for example. The whole fee situation when you check bags has resulted in a nation of people who carry ridiculously oversized bags onto the plane. Which, though I would never do myself (too many liquid products in my high-maintenance repertoire, thank you!), I sort of get. What I don’t get is doing it on Southwest, where there are no baggage fees. I also don’t get hauling a bag on the plane that is big enough to hold an average-sized dead body. Yet that is exactly what the woman next to me on the way home is trying to do. She’s trying to squish it under the chair in front of her IN THE MIDDLE SEAT. It’s literally like watching an army of Sumo wrestlers trying to cram into a clown car. I should be amused, I should maybe even offer to help, but instead I feel myself wanting to shake her shoulders and ask her if she is 10 shades of insane because she’s acting like a complete lunatic with this bag. She--I kid you not, are you ready for this--GETS ON TOP OF THE BAG AND STARTS JUMPING ON IT. IN THE MIDDLE SEAT NEXT TO ME. It lodges in there enough for her to prop her feet on top and I spend the next 45 minutes pissed at her based on the whole principle of the thing. Because, as we've established, I'm cranky and curmudgeonly and things like people lugging overstuffed bags onto planes is enough to make me rant about the state of our union for two hours (or 200 words).
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I overhear the guy behind me talking about how he travels a lot. He travels so much, it turns out, he hit 2 million miles and is now a member of Southwest’s platinum club. He’s totally George Clooney! This is totally Up in the Air! I turn around, ready to assume my rightful role in the real-life Up in the Air sequel with our knockoff George Clooney. Turns out he’s really not that much like George Clooney. Like, at all. He DOES have a fancy platinum tag, though.
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(I had a really great girls weekend and not one single actual travel issue, just ones I like to pretend are issues. Hope you all had a great weekend too!)
(P.S. Oh! Golden Globes! I almost forgot! Yes, we must discuss, and we will. Oh, WE WILL.)