Friday, August 7, 2009

life lessons in the airport.

i am in phoenix.

it is hot.

i am staring at my suitcase, that is still packed.

i am listening to my baby learn how to put herself back to sleep, even though i thought this lesson had already been learned. however, in the last less than 24 hours, she apparently got the impression that she no longer needed to do this.

i am tired.

and am bummed.

pause for a moment, while i go comfort the little lady...

i'm back.

(she is still crying, but now knows that i love her. isn't that why i do that? remind her she's not alone, that she can do this? that i believe in her? or does it just send her the message that i care, but not enough to pick her up, like she really wants me to? i go back and forth between this.)


in an attempt for this to not become a whining-like-a-spoiled-brat posting, i will summarize:

--months ago, our friend dave (who works for southwest) mailed me some stand-by tickets, with a note to encourage me to go have some fun, whether it was with ben and the kids, or just on my own. i was elated!
--ben & i work it all out, and i call my lovely friend and old roommate from college, lindsay, who lives in seattle, to see if i can visit her.

pause again...she's asleep! (well that didn't last too long. she does know i love her. yay.)

--ben takes off work, and i pack my bags.
--only to realize that flying stand-by is much more difficult than i thought it would be. that is, if you don't want to get stuck in an unfamiliar city with just a smile on your face and the lastest trashy magazine in your hand. which i didn't.
--i left last night, didn't get on the first flight to seattle, but was able to get to salt lake and told that i would "certainly" get on the flight in the morning. (thanks to my dad who picked me up at 1am)
--got about 3 hours of sleep, only to call and be told that the morning flights were full, and to try the next one.
--arrive at the airport ready to roll. only to not get on the next flight and told that i could go to boise instead? no thank you. boise is nice, but lindsay doesn't live there. and at this point, i know i'm going to have to fly back on sunday and hope to get on flights back to AZ.
--i asked when the next flight to phoenix was and was told that there was one boarding immediately. so with slumping shoulders, and dragging my trashy magazine (okay, truth? by this time, i had 3 magazines. that jon gosselin is SUCH a DB.) with me, i flew back.

when i called ben to ask him to pick me back up, his cheery and upbeat voice on the other end said,

"well, think of it this got a night away from the kids!"

and even though i know he said that with the intention of it making me feel better,

it didn't.

so now, i will attempt to pull myself out of my being bummed-ness, and talk about the airport. it's a fantastic place to people watch, which i love to do. it's also a great place to realize many important things, such as:

#1--if you pack only two pairs of shoes, one for exercising and the other for wearing to church and looking less height-deficient, don't be a botard and wear the church shoes around the airport.

my SIL carrie is under the impression that you "dress up" for the airport? shows just how much she knows. i realize now that if i were people watching myself, i would think,

who is that stupid girl wearing high heeled sandals looking frustrated and in pain?

lesson learned.

#2--if you decide to sit down and eat a salad and read one of your magazines, and a man with a wedding ring on his finger in a business suit makes eye contact with you, don't acknowledge him.

because it will spark a conversation that will end in his request to pay for a hotel room for you, if you don't make the flight connection.

lesson learned.

#3--buy earplugs.

because not only do you know that you don't like to hear your own kids whining and screaming during an entire flight, but you like to hear others' kids even less. either that or, pack toys for other peoples' children. seriously, what is the mom thinking? let's just hope that by letting your kids stare out the window at the endless row of clouds, they will continue to be entertained?

i've traveled with kids...and am about to do so again in 4 days. i know that it's difficult and they can just be rotten no matter what you do. but i watched 2 moms with absolutely nothing to entertain their children except the vomit bags and the sounds of themselves screaming. that's when i get a little bugged.

lesson learned.

#4--why oh why is the 80's coming back?? haven't we learned anything?? why did i see a 40 something woman sporting black stirrup pants, gold flat shoes and jelly bracelets? this is human cruelty in its truest form. so the lesson for this is, don't go back to the 80's!

lesson learned.

#5--just because you are a couple, and in love, and we're on an airplane where you think it's private enough to make out during the entire flight, you're wrong.

your lip smacking, incessant giggling and ooh's and ahh's are now neck and neck with the screaming children in the race for the worst noises possible on an airplane. 2nd runner up? hearing the pilot say to you, "well, we're just going to sit here for a bit and see if this weather clears up."

and you realize that you're in for 45 minutes more of enduring the torturous noises.

lesson learned.

#6--now sit up and pay attention here, because this is the most important lesson of them all:

never, ever plan a weekend getaway on stand-by tickets.

because you'll probably spend two days in airports like me, and then just end up coming home (in a very sarcastic mood, if you couldn't tell). either that, or if you decide to chance it, make a pit stop to the ATM first. because you're going to have to bring a wad of cash with you to throw at someone in a desperate attempt to get them to give you their seat.


Nicole said...

I feel your pain. I have been there multiple times. Sometimes it works out well, but disasters have happened often enough that I usually don't tell people I'm coming until I successfully get on the plane. Since I usually fly with Rosie, we've been bumped from a lot of flights because she can't ride in the exit row (and those seats are usually last to be released to standbys). I think it's most frustrating when they give you a boarding pass, you get seated, and they gate agent comes and pulls you off the plane because someone with higher seniority wants to be on that flight.

I always have worse luck coming home. Last September, it took me from Sunday at 6am till Tuesday at 5pm to get on a flight. In April, I was stranded in Portland...bumped from seven flights. But when you're stranded, sometimes it's fun to do some exploring.

One time, in trying to get from Detroit to SLC, I had to layover in Minneapolis. I woke up at 4 am, and arrived at the Detroit airport by 5 am for the 6 am flight. Rosie and I made it easily to MSP by 8 am. We'd hoped to get on a 9 am flight to SLC. The gate agent checked loads, and said there was absolutely NO way we'd get on any of the flights for the next 9 hours. Rosie's DVD player battery soon died, and she'd forgotten the charger. We walked around the airport for about an hour, and realized that they had lockers there (Most airports do not have them anymore) We stashed our bags and took the lightrail to Mall of America. After about 4 hours, we'd seen what we wanted to see and decided to walk across the parking lot to IKEA. It was February...and we'd packed for SLC winter weather. We were not prepared to walk through -35 degree weather (plus who knows how much colder with windchill?) Both of us got really bad windburn on our faces. We got back to the airport around 5 pm, and made it on the evening flight.

Most of the time, I just think "I'm just happy to be here, even if it means being in the middle seat of the last row of the plane"

Francis and Fawn Becker said...

Lynsey- My first and only rule in life is to ALWAYS, ALWAYS wear flip flops during all travling car, plane, train, tugboat, whale (a la Jonah) etc. Learn and live it :) Also, I have gold flats...should I not wear them with my newly DI purchased stir ups??

Lindsay Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay Jane said...

I'm still so sad it did not work out. I guess it's my turn now, but I still think we need a ladies weekend in Seattle. Miss ya and a HUGE THANKS for trying to make it work.

Rachel H. said...

Oh man! I am so sorry your weekend getaway didn't work out. WHAT A BUMMER. I can only imagine how FRUSTRATING it was to get partway there and not ever finish what you started. I HOPE YOU GET TO SOMEHOW make this work another deserve that!

Joel and Carrie said...

I think those points should be in the bible! Oh Lynsey how I love you so. I also love how I can tell people that I have a friend that lived in an airport. :) p.s. I can not believe you want me of all people to take pictures. Seriously? Seriously.