Saturday, January 12, 2008

Frequent Flyer

I became uncharacteristically emotional in the airport today.

My emotional state was not helped by the fact that I was already exhausted from yet another month of travel while lugging two, very full bags, a heavy purse thing and a laptop on top of a heavy winter coat and scarf that was heating me up in ways most closely reminiscent of my pre-pubescent winter snow days in Virginia, where getting "bundled up" to "play" in the snow made me cry from the sheer frustration of not being able to move my limbs, hence my life-long loathing of any temperature below 60 degrees and sunny. And I was wearing my glasses. To some people, the wearing of one's glasses in public space is not a big deal. For me, wearing glasses is a public spectacle--an indicator that my contact lenses are now so dirty that I am left without a choice but to put the eye-sight contraption on my face that most always assures me a very severe headache.

Wearing my glasses outside of a library makes me want to cry. Heaving heavy luggage can do it, too. Combine the two and toss in a little bit of standing in line only to be told that my flight is not actually on USAirways but on stand in another line that was clear across the airport and subsequently miss said that will make me cry. Too.

Of course, I was really only crying on the inside when I knew that I missed the flight. No big deal. Be patient. Practice breathing. Take another flight. You get there when you get there. There is nothing to freak out about. People miss their flights every day.

No. I actually really only cried when the heavier bag I was carrying fell back when I let go of the metal pully thing and hit the old woman in a wheelchair who was in line behind me. The handlebar pully-thingy slammed right into the old woman's knee. She started crying first. It was the kind of old lady sob that erupts from a place of pain that I am assured I have only begun to store within my soul. Oh, it was horrible. Without really being able to gather myself through a blubbering apology, I started crying because I was already crying on the inside.

It was quite a scene.

Fortunately, the United airline worker behind the re-booking counter witnessed the whole ordeal, and readily booked me on a direct flight back across the country. Nice man.

Of course, the lesson is that things always eventually work themselves out. The old lady is ok. I got back in one piece. Life is really not that bad.

On other hand, my episodic emotional fits on my direct flight that took me back across the United States of America today came as a sharp reminder that life isn't always so...straightforward. Most ironically, one of the male flight attendants kept paying extra attention to me as I sat in my aisle seat with my glasses on. While I feverishly attempted to focus on reading and soduko puzzles to numb my state of agitation, he kept coming by to check on my puzzle progress and complement my dorky reading glasses. Maybe the coke-bottle effect of the glasses hide the puffiness of my eye tissue? He even went so far as to follow me to the baggage claim and ask if I had plans for the evening.

Life is far too strange. I am making peace with limbo. Well, attempting to do this. As gracefully as possible....



I-66 said...

Hm... you in glasses. I cannot envision.

Probably because it would be humanly impossible for one to look smarter than you are already.

VJ said...

There's an evil thought, get better attention and move to the head of the line by kneecapping the oldsters in the wheelchairs. Just brilliant. But seriously, it's even more of a pain to travel anywhere by air while incapacitated or handicapped. Just damn near impossible now, given all the extra checks & jostling. So the old lady was probably at her wits end too. Seeing you tear up probably helped her a bit to realize that yes, everyone's in this miserable mess together.

I now hate to travel by air, and the wife takes the extra precautionary step of booking us in 1st class whenever possible, and even that does not help matters much. I've gradually learned to pack lighter, but I'd be lost without my regular 'pack mule' spouse! I'd highly recommend it for you too. Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'

Guy From the Bus said...

What? You? Cry? No bloody way! My money says that you come out without a scratch and still dazzling. Am I right?

Jessica said...

Book your next flight directly to Las Vegas and don't bring any bags...