Monday, July 17, 2006

sunday scribblings: with baggage.

My district manager sent me an email that said,
"Bring only a carry on bag. There is a strike at
one of the airports and we don't want anyone
to have to pick up their luggage."

Of course, I was late for my flight.

Once there, I realized the little plane was
already full of passengers and I was the last one.
Having never flown before, I was uncertain
of the procedures, the routines, the rules
and regulations. I was scared and sad and
not wanting to leave my husband and kids
for a week.

They said I could not take my "carry on".
It was too big. I argued with them. They
insisted it was too big. I tried to tell them
that damn it, my district manager sent me
an email and said I had to take my bag on
the plane...I had to!

They brought out the machine that
was supposed to show me that my bag
was, in fact, too big. I cried and snapped,
"Take the damn bag, take it, take it...
if I can't get it at the airport, I will just
attend all the manager meetings in the
clothes I have on!"

The girl in the security room asked me
to put my bag on the conveyer.

I broke down. "Bag? What bag?
I don't have a bag! Your people took
my bag because they said it was too
big! Even though my district manager
sent me an e-..." "Your purse."
"oh."

I could see my husband through
the glass, through my tears of fear
and frustration. He looked sad and
helpless. They ushered me through the
gate and onto the plane.

PART TWO

I had made it.

I flew on the first plane unscathed.

I easily and quickly retreived
my "carry on" even though the airport
was on strike. I tearfully explained
to my district manager the predicament
I had put myself in and she laughed.
During the rest of the manager meetings,
she was known to ask if anyone had seen me,
was I in some state of flux, crying in the corner
somewhere? I took it as a sign that she
liked me.

PART THREE
(in which, we fly home)

I get on the plane, confident and unconcerned.
I am a seasoned flier now. I am early and
prepared. I stop at my row. I check my
ticket.

There is a man sitting in my seat.

There is a man sitting in my seat
who is pointedly ignoring me.

I continue to stand, looking up at row numbers,
looking down at my ticket, up at row numbers,
down at my ticket.

A woman in the next row tries to help me out.
The man sitting in my seat finally looks over
and asks if I would mind switching my seat for his
because his legs are longer than mine
and my seat was next to the door.

Fine.

The stewardess comes along and goes
through all of the rules and expectations
that come along with the responsibility
of sitting by the door.

The man reads a magazine during this.

When the stewardess walks away, I turn
to the man and say, "Do you make a habit
of that?"

"Of what?" He is obviously confused.

"When someone is giving you pertinent
information that involves everyone on this
airplane, you choose to ignore it, and read
a magazine!"

He looks a little surprised. And sheepish.

He assures me that he knows how to open
the door, that he has flown before. He
thinks that I do not believe him so he
repeats all of what the stewardess has
just told me and I know that he is right,
because I had taken notes, as she was talking.

I calm down.

And realize that I have swallowed
the gum that was supposed to stop my
ears from hurting.

I want to go home.

15 comments:

la vie en rose said...

you took notes!!! that's too cute! oh girl, what a terrible 1st flying experience. i hope it got better after this one...

Deb R said...

Oh my. What a way to jump into the world of flying - during a strike, no less. Yikes!

Glad you made it home safely.

sundaycynce said...

You are definitely the kind of person I want sitting by the escape door when I fly: consciencious! I mean that sincerely---one that takes notes!

January said...

Traveling can be tough. Glad you made it through with a great story to tell :)

DuhhhBlond said...

cute story :)

even after flying 8 or 9 times, I still can't get all the rules & regulations down!

~Kathryn~ said...

ohh as a 'nervous' flyer i can imagine all this ... my first time in a door seat had me in a panic !!

acumamakiki said...

What a great story! I loved this and I adore that you asked that man your question. It's very nervy to begin with, that he assumed you'd switch seats to begin with. If he's got a problem with his long legs, than he should make certain for an aisle seat.

Letha Sandison said...

You are too cute!! What a charming and funny story!! I loved reading this and needed the chuckle today.

XO

zingtrial said...

Hi what a trip,He!He!He!
Wish you well,
liked reading through it
zt
http://zingtrial.blogsome.com/

Colorsonmymind said...

Oh-I could feel the tears-when they wouldn't let you take your bag-and then you saw your husband. What is it that makes the tears flow when we see them and are upset? Love I guess.

Then I giggled at your managers comments and your new seasoned feelings

Then I cheered when you spoke up to the man about following directions
only then to feel the longing to get home.

Terrific sweetie.

mariannealice said...

Dorothy had it right with those ruby red slippers...gotta get me a pair and skip the flying thing altogether.Just click your heels together three times and repeat after me ...There's no place like home...there's no place like home....

GreenishLady said...

That was so well-done. Airports, and all those regulations can be scary. You capture the whole thing really well. I thought you might ask that man if he makes a habit of just assuming someone will facilitate him! Cheek! But your question was even better! Well done.

Sarah e.Smith said...

This is a fabulous story...well, i am sure it wasn't fabulous at the time...but it is beautifully written. I hope flying for you now is not quite so traumatic :)

Qalballah said...

PMSLOL. On my first flight I thought the plane taxi-ing down the runway was the plane flying!! LOL.

Nice blog.

Frankie said...

Aww what a trying experience for you! But a good story it certainly makes...Hope the flights to follow were/are a little better!!