Friday, July 11, 2008

Keep Your Adultery Off My Airplane!

Ugh. I really hate flying. I love to travel and wish I had the money to go somewhere new every month. But flying is icky and exhausting. I hate taking off my shoes. Especially flip flops! What could I possibly have hidden in my flip flops? Dynamite? And now I can't bring my own bottle of water. There's all the waiting and uncomfortable seats and someone's always snoring next to me and geez, if I have to sit in the loud-ass back of the plane ever again, I will go deaf.

Yesterday definitely ranks up in the top 3 or 5 worst travel days of my life. Yuck. I was wicked tired, but was making it. I emailed a few friends from the airport, contemplated buying a $7 ready-made turkey sandwich and decided that was too much money for bad food (thank you, recession!) and managed to score a seat near the front of the plane.

It's funny to talk to people on airplanes. I rarely do. Unless there's turbulence, and I force those around me to distract me with conversation. Yesterday I had a middle seat, which meant I would get no armrest because people on airplanes always bully me into giving up my armrests or sometimes, when a rather large person sits next to me, even part of my seat. I get it. I'm small. But that doesn't mean I don't need personal space!

When I got to my row yesterday, the woman near the window immediately asked if I would trade seats. I said, "Oh sure! Are you two together?" because there was a man in the aisle seat. She laughed and said yes, while he told me they just met an hour ago. And they both cracked up. So cute! I felt the good mojo already. I mean, it has to be a good sign if I'm sitting with lovebirds, right? Surely, this is going to be a lovely flight and a lovely welcome home. He even put my big heavy bag up in the bin without me asking for help.

I watched them canoodle and hold hands and giggle. They looked to be about in their 40s so I imagined they'd been married a long time. I did notice that he had a wedding band while she had a pearl ring, but I know people who opted out of the diamond so no big thing there. Then I overhear their conversation and am confused. He's telling her about his family, what his sister is like, where and when they have family reunions. Odd since in my imagination they've been happily married for 15-20 years, but I shrug it away. Maybe it's a second marriage.

And then she says something about killing a bug she found in her apartment. Hmm. Ok. Married couple who don't know each other's family and don't live together. Newlyweds? One of those love at first sight, whirlwind romances? We've already made friends because they're friendly, and I'm friendly, so I ask if they're traveling for business or pleasure. She says he's going for business, and she's just tagging along. Hmm. Ok...Sure, that's a classic affair move, but these people are so nice and in love. They couldn't be...I ask how long they've been together, careful not to say "married," and they look at each other and laugh. He tells me, "Let's see, it's been two hours now." And she says, "Long enough. Awhile."

I am sitting on an airplane next to adulterers. The plane is going down in flames.

I say The Lord's Prayer in my head, like I always do when there's turbulence or when the plane's taking off, because hey, you can never be too careful. Eventually, I decide to listen to my iPod and ignore my hellbound companions. The pilot announces we're making our descent to Atlanta. Hurrah. And then, oh no, he announces we have to circle the airport because of a storm. Then he says the airport is closed so we're going to Greenville to refuel and wait it out. We land at some kind of shipping airport with FedEx planes. I immediately send text messages to everyone I know and make jokes back and forth about how I'm going to read the Passenger's Bill of Rights aloud to the entire plane or get arrested for trying to take a can of coke.

And we sit. And we sit. And we wait. I am starving because the two bites of leftover Thai I had for breakfast sure didn't do the trick. I text my friends that I'm going to eat my shoe. But the adulterers are nice to me, and give me an Oreo. The guy even manages to sweet talk one of the flight attendants into giving him two little bags of pretzels for me. It takes on a whole new meaning now when I say, "Everybody likes me," to know that even cheaters and trollops find me affable.

Finally, we take off, land in Atlanta where my friends and I fight rush-hour traffic (thank you, Atlanta, for welcoming me as only you can), and eat at an Atlanta staple and drink delicious SweetWater beer. I feel this disastrous travel day is certainly a sign I should have stayed in DC. Damn you, Kenny Chesney! Or that I should have flown somewhere awesome for a vacation instead. Or, gee I don't know, maybe it's a sign that you shouldn't cheat on your wife!!


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