Tuesday, March 24, 2015

fly the unfriendly skies

my entire adult life, when i flew, i studiously avoided interaction with my fellow passengers. hoodie. sunglasses. book. headphones. ipad. resting bitch face. sometimes all of the above. the ideal was to prevent someone from sitting next to me at all, but at the very least, to escape 4 hours of painful small talk. and yet i never failed to land the chatty cathy, or verdrunken vince, or suuuuuper friendly young military guy who obviously didn't realize i'm almost twice his age. this whole time, i was missing the one accessory guaranteed to ward off other travelers like the plague: children.

and i get that. but we just traveled cross country with our kids and they were solid. the way out was pretty painless, oh yeah, except for the part where it was 5 hours of white-knuckle rodeo, sweet mary mother of god. there was a pilot sitting next to us and he said it was the worst, most consistent turbulence he had ever experienced, including 17 years in the air force! i was putting on an-Oscar-worthy performance by not sobbing and screaming bloody murder, and the kids thought it was all fun and games, at least until little Colby jean started turning green :(

anyway. at the end of the flight, the guy behind me said to Colby: "wow! you are such a good traveler! i thought the seat in front of me was empty you were so quiet!" translation: i thought your mother was a total nutcase, animatedly reading stories, playing legos and paper dolls, and singing "let it go" to herself.

on the flight back we were delayed 2 hours - in the plane on the tarmac - for maintenance of vague origin. then a FIVE AND A HALF hour flight. SO FAR. the kids handled it though. it helped that there was a baby and a six-year-old in the row ahead of us that were pretty out of control. that kid was a piece of work. the mom's hollerin' at him to STOP EATING YOUR BOOGERS. i almost died. then he launched into a charming little ditty made up of the words fart, poop, butt, pee, and booger-snot. he was droppin' some BOMBS, too, boy. smells like that should not emanate from a six year old. yeeew. i shouldn't judge though. children who have ingested near their body weight in Persian Kotlet also make for pungent passengers.

[OMG. DM just informed me that this kid kept reaching back between the seats and grabbing stuff out of their seat-back pockets, and DM was like, okay, whatever, but then he reached back and locked his boogery little hands on to Colby's legs! WTF? if i had been sitting there, you would have seen some "community parenting" in action. i mean, really???]

i do love a good crying baby though, when it's not mine. i'm not talking nuclear meltdown. just a slow, steady, category II cry. really takes the pressure off. i tell you what, though, if my kid falls asleep, all bets are off. if that crying wakes up this sleeping, you, sir, are going to have one or two additional angry minis on your lap.

speaking of sleeping babies. we hit some turbulence and the captain illuminated the fasten-your-seatbelt sign and came over the PA and instructed us to double check to make sure our seat-belts were fastened. i checked. mine wasn't. but there was a sweet angel boy asleep on my lap, and here is the honest truth: in that moment, i would rather die in a plane than wake up my sleeping child. (don't worry. his belt was securely fastened and his seat back and tray table were in the full, upright and locked position.)

BTW, here are some observations about flying:

if it requires mixed martial arts to cram your luggage into the overhead bin, just CHECK the fucking thing.

spilled apple juice smells like pee. or maybe all apple juice does, i don't know.

question: what the f*ck us up with US Airways? does their job application read: "Are you a miserable person? Well then, we have got the career for you! As a flight attendant on US Airways, not only will you be able to wallow in your own misery, you will be able to spread that misery to hundreds of strangers every, single, day!" okay. i'm not being fair. there are probably plenty of perfectly nice flight attendants on that airline. i just have yet to encounter one. well, that's actually not true. there was a really nice guy on our flight Tuesday. aggressively friendly, i would say. he kept throwing things at Jack's head. jack would look up with his initial "what the fuck?" face, then see it was this guy pulling his leg, and smile. that in and of itself is a testament to how far this boy of mine has come. two years ago, that would have ruined 7+ hours of 157 people's lives. anyway, i guess i can't really blame the grumpy ones. held captive 30,000 above the earth with a bunch of impatient, adult-sized toddlers can't be fun.

then, finally, that feeling. after seven goddamn hours stranded on this hunk of metal hurtling through the air, when the plane starts its descent? i swear i can hear a Baptist gospel choir starting up behind me. can i get an AMEN?!

we didn't get home until midnight California time (which was 3am by our recalibrated east coast clocks). i was mentally patting us all on the back and thinking, wow, we made it, that wasn't so bad... but then mommy had a meltdown. it had dawned on me about halfway through our flight that i couldn't just crawl in bed when i got home. i had to bake birthday muffins (remember, no cupcakes allowed!), and go to walgreen's to pick up photos of The Colbs at every year of her life for the preschool birthday song and dance that was happening at 9am the next day (wtf was I thinking? i do not know.) walgreens closes at 10pm, by the way. you should have heard me in the car when i pulled up to the darkened store. ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME?! EXAMINE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL, ASSHOLES!!! "Walgreens. On the corner of Happy and Healthy." MY ASS. How about on the corner of ... STUPID... AND... CLOSED, goddammit." ha. classy. thank GOD and everything holy, DM, my lord and savior, said he would put the kids to bed, bake birthday muffins, AND make the kids' lunches. talk about mom porn.

ANYWAY. thanks to my amazing husband, i felt like things were maybe going to be okay. then i walked into the garage-slash-laundry-room, and realized that an enormous ball of sheets and towels had been sitting in the dryer for a week (and were not even remotely dry), and due to some feat of physics, had tied themselves into a moldy Gordian knot of epic proportions. honestly, it would be impossible for a human to configure linens in such an inextricable cluster of fuck. i briefly contemplated getting my phone to take a picture because there is no way anything but photographic evidence would do it justice, but instead, i just sat down on the ground with an enormous, thirty-pound, mildewy pile of wet laundry on my lap, and started crying like a baby.

ah, "vacation" ;)

oh yeah, and, just to let you know, we've now been back 7 days and everyone in the family is still, apparently, recovering from jet lag and grandparent hangover. but it's totally worth it! ;)

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1 comment :

  1. I have seen the magical Houdini-esque mangle of sheets myself and it made me cry when it happened to me too. I cannot imagine if it happened at the end of a day of traveling which I often consider to be one of the 7 rings of hell. Glad you got through it though. At least you have a kick ass husband.