Dear Passenger in 26C: The Rest of the Story

Trust me on this, my dear readers, I was a model passenger all day yesterday, smiling as I dealt with delays and cancellations, ground stops and last minute gate changes that sent me scrambling across two terminals at the sprawling Dallas/Ft. Worth airport not once, not twice, but three times.

By the time I thought I was finally going to make the final leg of my journey from Dallas to Tallahassee my smile was beginning to look like something one would find on a paranoid schizophrenic in the psych ward. I might have snapped.

The day began perfectly. Saint Helen and I left her house in Hereford around 7:30, stopped for breakfast at Waffle House, then she dropped me off at the airport in Amarillo by 9:15 a.m. I breezed through check-in and then through security and was at my gate by 9:20 for my 10:30 flight. Then Tropical Storm Bill decided to get involved. 

Just between you and me, Bill is an asshat. 

First a delay of my flight was announced due to a ground stop in Dallas. Then at 11:00 a.m. the stop was lifted. I boarded the flight. The ground stop was activated. I deplaned. The gate was changed. In Amarillo that isn’t a big deal–one terminal, only five gates. Then it was changed back. I ate lunch and chatted with fellow travelers. 

One elderly Japanese man headed to Tokyo had me speak to his daughter on the phone. She decided to pick him up and have him try another day rather than risk the possibility of him spending a night alone in Dallas. So I helped him communicate his needs to the gate agent who couldn’t understand what his daughter was saying. I was still smiling.

My flight didn’t depart from Amarillo until 2:30 p.m., arriving at Dallas/Ft. Worth airport at 3:30 p.m. Immediately upon arriving I went to the gate agent and asked about the status of my connecting flight, specifically, asking if I needed to rebook. She assured me I was still on the flight. It, too, had been delayed and at that time was scheduled to depart at 4:25 from gate B19. I headed to the gate and found a spot to read and recharge my phone. Still smiling.

Someone behind me mentioned that their gate had been changed, so I thought it prudent to check mine even though no announcements had been made. Sure enough my flight was now scheduled to depart from B29 at 5:45. Still smiling I went in search of the gate deducing, incorrectly, that it would be within easy walking distance of B19. Both Bs, right? But no. One must first go up a set of escalators, hop a tram, and then go down a set of escalators before locating that gate. I hate escalators. Especially down escalators.

I arrived at B29 only to learn that my flight had been moved again. Back to B19. Escalator, tram, escalator. The departure time had been changed again, now to 6:30. Still smiling. Barely.

Since I had over an hour to spare, a food break seemed appropriate at this time. At an airport Chili’s I had a glass of wine and a grilled chicken and spinach dinner with a side of mozzarella and tomatoes. Good decision. My mood lifted until I looked down and realized I’d dipped my right boob in my plate and now had a big brown splotch on my nice white blouse. Quickly I dabbed my napkin in a glass of water and swiped at the boob blob. Now I had a wet blouse. It looked for all the world as if I were a middle aged nursing mom in need of her infant. I still managed to smile somewhat ruefully.

Outside of Chili’s I looked at the departure board. Sure enough my gate had changed again. Escalator, tram, escalator. This time when I reached my gate the flight details for Tallahassee were up on the monitor. I deemed that a very good sign. I sat where I could have an unobstructed view and awaited the announcement to board. When that time arrived I gathered my carry on and stood in line. 

The gate agent scanned my boarding pass. She frowned and began typing furiously; tiny figures appearing on her screen. 

“I can’t find your record,” she snarled. “Stand over here.”

Soon two other travelers joined me in the ‘stand over here’ space. The three of us compared our boarding passes. All had the appropriate flight numbers. We waited patiently until the agent began calling standby passengers. 

“Hold on a minute,” I broke in. “What about us?”

“You aren’t on this flight. You’ll need to take a later one,” she barked, continuing to board standby passengers.

I could feel my smile going wonky.

“With all due respect, ma’am, I am booked on this flight,” I insisted.

My compadres, a middle-aged biker dude and a teenager, chimed in their agreement. I caught the eye of an airline employee at the gate adjacent to ours and he waved us over. Giving him a quick rundown of the situation he found all three of us in the system and went to intervene with the gate agent. She still didn’t want to let us board. She had boarded all of the standby passengers and wanted to close the flight. Thank goodness the gentleman had seniority. He calmly told the woman to step aside and escorted us to our seats–the same seat numbers indicated on our boarding passes. I was the last to board.

Because of a bag delay I had time to utilize the bathroom. That’s when I encountered Miss 29C, one of the standby passengers.

“You!” She spat. “You were trying to keep me off this plane. And now you’re delaying us.”

“I wasn’t upset with you,” I explained. “I was booked on this flight and should have been given priority over a standby.”

“I bought this ticket. I had just as much right as you.”

I patted her on the head. Still can’t believe I did that, and said something about it having been a long day. 

“Bitch,” she muttered.

I just smiled. And then I blogged.

Peace, people.

My Father Mended Me

Beautiful words from redswrap.wordpress.com

Red's Wrap

1940 Roy with Majorie in background at Chrystal Lake MI _002

I’ll leave it to other people to talk about how swell their dads were, how their dads taught them to fish and play ball and inspired them to be honest and hardworking. I have a different story to tell. It’s a story of how my father mended me, how he stitched up an old, tiny oozing wound, how he held open the screen door after ten years and told me to sit down while he finished making dinner for me and my family.

I sat down in the chair I’d always sat in and I watched him put a bowl of instant mashed potatoes in the microwave and take a turkey loaf out of the oven. One of those cheesecakes out of a box with cherry pie filling on top sat on the counter. He had gone all out.

We ate dinner. After ten years of not seeing or speaking…

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Those Were the Days

  

Not anymore, but there was a time

When laundry piled up in baskets

And toys cluttered the floors.

Our mornings were hectic

Nothing ever in its place.

Keys always missing and 

Lunch money dispersed.

Backpacks with homework,

Field trip permission forms, and

Last minute projects forgotten til 8.

Life was chaotic, messy; an adventure.

Airport Musings

Gate changes and delays
harried young mother
wearing infant son
towing another;
frazzled.

Distraught debutante clicking
three-inch louboutins;
furious glimpses of
red against gray
tiled floors.

Hawaiian-shirted tourist
clutching camera close
strap flapping on
printed purple
hibiscus.

Hipster dude in black framed
glasses, reading kerouac
while moving his lips
to the pure beat of
a lost generation.

Elderly passenger, bound
for Tokyo; cancelled
flight, long missed
connection results
in frantic call.

  

Things to do When Your Flight is Delayed

  1. Play Words With Friends
  2. Find hidden patterns in the carpet and follow them until you reach a wall
  3. Make up stories about your fellow passengers
  4. Eat
  5. Eavesdrop
  6. Read every sign backwards
  7. Read every sign in pig Latin
  8. Check your email
  9. Eat
  10. Read a book
  11. Count ceiling tiles
  12. Trace the alphabet with your foot
  13. Begin thinking in a British accent
  14. Eat
  15. Decide the man sitting beside you is an escaped convict. Move to another chair.
  16. Count designer handbags
  17. Google “escaped convicts”
  18. Google yourself
  19. Create a Venn diagram of escaped convicts and delayed airline passengers
  20. Eat
  21. Read a book
  22. Start a new game with a random person on Words With Friends
  23. Play “Dumb Ways to Die”
  24. Play repeatedly without improving
  25. Make a stupid list 
    ansfer-tray

Diary of a Guilty Wife

Laugh out loud funny! Read more on Rachelwhims.wordpress.com

because BECAUSE is not an answer!

I heard Steven messing around in the kitchen. Dishes were clinking and water was splashing and then he was yelling, “What’s wrong with the sink?”

I yelled back, “I don’t know. What’s wrong with it?”

“It’s not draining!”

“It was fine a minute ago.”

“Well it ain’t fine now!”

I thought for a second and offered, “Is something covering the hole?”

I hear him sigh. It was an annoyed sigh that says, ‘of course nothing is covering the hole. The first thing I did was check the damn hole. I’m not an idiot.’

“No.”

Removing food and God-only-knows what from the hole is about the extent of my plumber-knowledge, so I say nothing back. After a few more minutes he yells again.

“I bet those kids put something down the garbage disposal again!”

“Yeah, probably!”

The kids are constantly shoving large quantities of food down the drain. I don’t know…

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Autumn on Tap

Written in response to the Daily Post’s daily prompt: Turn, Turn, Turn. Which season do you look forward to most?

Serve me a large mug of Autumn:
Oranges, golds, yellows, and
Browns
Fires on crisp October
Evenings.
Sweaters, hoodies, woolen
Socks
Broken-in blue jeans and a
Soft blue barn coat–
Flannel lined.
High school football,
After game party
Hay rack rides
S’mores cooked to perfection.
Delicious chill in the air
Tailor-made for cuddling.
Trick-or-treating and
Jack-o’lanterns
Hot apple ciders and chocolate
With marshmallows.
Fill my mug again.