Thursday, September 15, 2005

The strange and unnecessary steps to a happy ending - a slice of life in seven acts

I. The Flight: It was a full flight. I had a window seat, exit row. No problem except for the guy in the middle who of course thought those arm rests were his, all his. That's a minor thing but I think that most of us know how direct-to-the-piss-me-off-nerves that it resides. Mid-way through the flight, I had to get up so I look at him, say Excuse me. He takes his pretzel bag and soda off his tray table. And that's it. I look at him. He looks at me. I roll my eyes and lift his tray table FOR HIM and go about my way. When I get back, we repeat the same routine. When he reaches out to put the tray table back, I pounce on the opportunity and put my arm on the back half of the arm rest. And since I'm so mature, I do not move my arm until it's time to land and I have to put my seatbelt back on. Small victories.

II. The Arrival: We've landed, people are getting their bags from above, the doors are open and first class is moving out. I'm standing; he's sitting. He looks at me and says, You don't have to get up yet, it's exactly eight and a half minutes from the time we get to the gate until we can get off the plane, and besides, it's 35 minutes until our baggage will be at the carousel. WHO ARE YOU, RAIN MAN? I tell him that I just want to stand up please. I do not tell him about all the other words that are jumping up and down in my head wanting to be freed.

III. Baggage Claim: I'm not eight feet into the airport when I hear my name being called on the PA system, to please come to Baggage Claim, Carousel One. I'm curious and they have something that I need, so I go. And I'm told by a man with a shame-on-you face that the FAA found your bag to be suspicious and have kept it in Houston. Okay then. I'm told that if nothing is found, it will be arriving on the evening flight and they'll send it to me. We go through some details and I'm on my way. I walk away thinking about suspicious. I know people who travel with suspicious all the time and their bags are never held. Oh well, nothing I can do.

IV. Car Rental: There are about a thousand people in the rental line and only two attendants. I'm trying to see that bright side, you know, like how good it is that I don't have my suitcase to haul with me every two inches we move forward per half hour. Finally it's my turn and we're doing the credit card and license bit. But wait, my license is expired. I cannot rent a car. Damn. It was on my list of things to do, get a new license since it expired on my birthday, oh, two months ago. And the attendant is apologizing to me. I tell her that this one is mine to own, hop the return shuttle and get myself a cab.

V. The Cab: He waves his arms at me because I cannot tell him how to get to Willow Drive. I tell him, firmly, that I AM THE GUEST FROM ANOTHER CITY AND HE IS THE CAB DRIVER FROM THIS CITY. He waves his arm at me again, gets on his radio, figures it out, and delivers me to the right spot. I am seething the entire way and stare holes into the back of his head.

VI. The Hotel: I check in, go to my room and damn if Goldilocks and the Three Bears doesn't come to mind because when I open the door, someone is sleeping in my bed. I look at him, wave my hand in the air, say, no problem, and shut the door quick. I'm insane now and it has all become very funny and I laugh the entire way back to reception.

VII. The Upside: The hotel on the other hand did not find it to be funny at all, so in exchange I'm writing this from an enormous suite on the top floor, with my curtains open to a view overlooking the Rocky Mountains. And since it snowed Tuesday night, they are especially beautiful. Silver lining indeed!

No comments: