I give up thinking there is an easy and seamless way to get ready for a trip. I should have it down to a science, but I don’t. The unexpected and unplanned always happen and I end up overwhelmed wishing I could just stay at home. Years ago Jill said to me, “Mom, stop kvetching! You’ll be glad when you are on the plane.” She was 12. Where did that burst of wisdom come from?
She was right and now every time I get in a dither balancing suitcase weight and making sure nothing is over 3 ounces in my quart size Ziploc baggie, I stop to consider how glad I’ll be when I’m on the plane. And the plane is so much closer than before since we now have the only privately owned public airport in the country 15 minutes from our house.
My neighbor Bob dropped me off at the curb looking like I was off on a month long safari. I chose to pack an extra bag and pay the $25.00 additional luggage fee rather than risk the $49.00 over weight limit charge. The girl at the counter explained since I was paying the $25.00 anyway for four extra dollars I could upgrade to business class. I had to think about it for a minute because it felt like a trick question.
I was assigned row one aisle seat and since business class boards first, I felt like a Walmart greeter smiling at the passengers as they filed by. As I bobbed and weaved dodging backpacks and huge carry-ons, my friend Carissa, my dentist, and Jimmy Osmond passed by. One girl struggling with her bags said to her friend, “Someday I’m going to fly business class. That would be so nice.”
I wanted to tell her it only cost me $4.00 and if she does, be sure to ask for a window seat.
The flight attendant asked if I would like something to drink. “A Coke please,” I said feeling guilty because other people were still trying to get on the plane.
“A regular Coke,” he asked, like Diet Coke would have been a better choice.
“Yes, please. Regular,” I smiled.
“OK”, he answered slowly giving me a chance to change my mind. “And you sir,” he asked the man in a suit sitting next to me?
“Vodka and cranberry juice,” He answered. “Really,” I thought. It was 10:45 in the morning. I was trying hard not to judge him, because some folks are nervous flying.
I passed on a refill, but my seat mate had another. And another, and another and another. He must have been really scared. I was starting to be. I hoped we wouldn’t hit turbulence that might cause him to get sick.
I started to kvetch. Then I thought of how glad I would be when I got off the plane