Hi jet-setting ladies!
Happy mid-week! Today, I’m in Seattle!!! My husband had an executive meeting, so I tagged along. I had never been to Seattle and had heard great things, so I decided why not? Life is short.
My husband cracks up because every time he invites me along on one of his trips, I have to go online and check out the hotel first. If it’s a 4-star hotel, preferably with a spa, then I’m there. I don’t mean to sound snobby, but if I am going to endure air travel, then it better be to a destination where I can decompress from the horrors witnessed getting there.
Speaking of air travel…
There is no experience that exhibits human imperfection more than that of air travel. My short and painful experience yesterday has scarred me for some time. I hate TSA. There, I said it. Low-paid, unskilled labor that can’t do its job for shit. There is nothing scarier than giving some power to a stupid person. I arrived at the Long Beach airport at 6 a.m. in relative peace. No traffic, and I was still foggy from the fact that it was the crack of dawn. Long Beach airport is very cute. It’s a postage stamp sized airport that seems to have to been stuck in time, like the Land of the Lost.
I checked in. Fine. Paid $20 for my bag to be checked. Whatever. I am only going to Seattle for 2 days but I am a girl, and that means that I must have my lotions and potions so to the bag check I go. As I am going through security, I look to my right and see an old gentleman, gripping the side of a counter, leaning up out of his wheelchair, as a TSA agent frisks him. The old man had his pants down around his knees. It was so degrading, I almost screamed right there. I could not believe how disgusting this was, to treat a human so unkindly, publicly humiliating him like that. But what can we do?
The TSA has us by the balls. We can’t complain for fear of not being allowed on our plane or worse, for being forever Scarlet lettered and put on their Naughty list, red-flagged to be tortured for every flight in our future. But how can we stop this injustice?
I seriously was sick to my stomach, as I sat there waiting for my plane and thinking of how awful that elderly gentleman must feel. How could they possibly think this man was a threat? Who is giving these people their training on who to look for – a sick and twisted comedian? As I sat there trying to shake the ick off of me, I noticed that I didn’t have a seat number! My boarding pass said to go see the agent at gate for seat assignment. So begrudgingly, up I went. As I waited, the woman in front of me was trying to reassign her seats so she could sit with her party. The small, troll-like man behind the counter appeared to have the emotional capabilities of a piece of lint. He just looked at her and said that it was HER fault that she didn’t try to change her seats at check-in. The woman said “So you expect my 5-year old is expected to sit alone?” Geez. That’s got to be stressful. What must she be feeling as a mother who is supposed to watch over and protect her child and can’t do anything about it. The man just stared at her stone-faced. She turned to walk away and I said “I’m sure someone will change seats with you.” She looked at me warily and said “I hope so.” Man, what a day and it’s only 7 a.m.!!
At the airport, one sees a lot of obese people. I don’t mean chubby or overweight, I mean f*ckin’ fat! It is so depressing and also leaves me in disbelief how people get to that size. I just don’t understand. I’m not a size 4 and I constantly work at my weight. It is something you must do in order to be healthy and feel good about yourself. I can understand putting on an extra 10, maybe 20 pounds, but an extra 80? Come on!
I saw a woman who was very large, even her black outfit which is supposed to be slimming, could not help hide her extreme girth. She sat with her Dean & Deluca bag. I scoffed. I’m sure it was more Hostess and McDonald’s, not Dean & Deluca who helped her achieve maximum capacity. I prayed to the heavens that she would not be seated next to me. Dear lord, please no.
As I finally lined up to board the plane, I saw the model that shows the dimensions of your carry-on with strict signage of how the bag cannot be larger than this size. Well, where’s the model for the people?? Sure, you hear about how they ask obese people to buy an extra seat, but let me tell you, here is where I don’t think they are strict enough. A large person takes up more space, and those Lilliputian seats on the plane are not equipped to handle large asses. That’s just a fact. I wish there was a telephone booth size model that made people squeeze in and if they didn’t fit, then buy a new seat. Sorry to sound harsh, but I have rights too as a plane-jockey and why should someone else’s weight problem be mine?
I got to my seat and guess what? Yup. A big ol’ fat lady next to me. Oh boy. Karma is a bitch. I was just thinking how awful these fat people are and here’s one next to me. Oh joy. She is also scary looking. Hippie-esque with long stringy hair that doesn’t look like it has been washed in weeks. I am totally skeeved out. Plus, the plane has an overall funky smell that is not appreciated at 7 a.m. (or any hour for that matter).
I try to keep to myself on planes. I read my book, I watch a movie, I cover all limbs – there is no way in hell my bare skin is touching those seats! I don’t know how people can wear shorts on the plane. Gross. The drink service comes around and my lovely rotund neighbor orders white wine. It is 8 in the morning. Are you f*ing kidding me?! And you know what? The stewardess gives it to her! So let me get this straight – they almost throw you in jail for having your seat back down or tray table at the wrong times, but they will let you drink at inappropriate times? Can someone PLEASE rework this system?!
My neighbor gets another glass of wine at the second drink service and it takes everything in me not to turn to her and say “So are you in vacation or just a lush?” But I don’t. It is experiences like this that make me hate the GP.
We landed in Seattle and thank the Lord, I got to get off that airbus. Sure, I have to get on another one in 2 days to go home, but I am going to try to shake off the experience and enjoy Seattle.
Till then, my ladies. Put on a brave face when you travel. It’s brutal out there!