Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I spent 5 hours trying to sleep on the floor of the Cinncinnati airport yesterday. As "reparations" for cancelling our flight, the airline gave us each $6 to purchase food. I'm not sure where they expected us to buy a meal for $6 at the airport, but as Ryan and my father pointed out, it was almost insulting.

This was after our trip out, where flight delays resulted in us (long story short) running across the Detroit airport with only a few minutes to spare between us having to stay the night in Detroit and us not having to stay the night in Detroit.

I was running down one of those moving walkways, messenger bag thumping against my back, panting out "excuse me..." to the people I was trying to squeeze past when a man, who had to be asked twice, said to me, "What's the big hurry??"

I didn't stop to answer because, well, being in an airport and all... I was worried about missing my plane.

A similar thing happened in Detroit (again) this time, with a fat, diabetic man on the escalator already annoyed because Ryan had asked him to move his suitcase so that he could get passed (once again, we were short on time) and then when I asked for the same thing he said, "The escalator's not for people who want to move. The stairs are for people who want to move." At this point in the trip, I would like to add, I had reached the end of my tether. Also, we weren't in serious danger of missing our flight, so I had enough time to say to him, "You're wrong and if you'd done this in London, you would have been thrown off the escalator."

I'm not sure when plane travel became so unpleasant. I remember in the 80's, when I was tiny, it was a fun adventure. I don't know if it was because I was small enough to be able to sleep comfortably in the seats then or because air travel was just better than. I am still small enough these days that, if I am flying with Ryan, I can manage to catch a few uncomfortable winks - I turn sideways, tuck my toes under his knees and sleep in a fetal position. I can't sleep without my feet resting on something and they do not touch the floor in most planes. I'm not abnormally short or anything, just run of the mill, average short, but short enough that unless I can rest my feet on my carry-on I am quite uncomfortable. One merciless flight attendant wouldn't allow me to rest my feet on my carry-on for a whole flight across the damn Atlantic, insisting that it had to be under the seat in front of me for the duration (incidentally, she also wouldn't allow me to have a book on my lap during take off and landing)(what a bitch).

I've heard that one doesn't truly remember the pain of childbirth; the reason being that if women remembered how painful it was, they would only do it once. I think that plane travel experience probably results in the same memory loss - why else would we continue to subject ourselves to this misery, this merciless machine, this discomfort on every level - we are forced to sit closer to people than is considered polite, exposed to their breath, gasses and elbows, we sleep on nasty plastic-carpeted floors,

Every time I go through it, I swear, NEVER AGAIN. But then there is another wedding or other thing, far enough in the future that I don't remember how awful it is or I don't want to let my own fear of discomfort take away from enjoying my friends....and here we are. Back sitting behind a shrieking child, avoiding the glare of the stranger next to you and trying to sleep with your toes jammed into the seat pocket in front of you.

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