No, I’m Not Ready; I Have No Makeup On… But Things Are Getting Better!

5 Aug
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Little Edie Beale reading my blog. Obviously.

Oh, hi! Thank Heaven you’re here. Mother wanted me to blog in a kimono, so we had quite a fight. Do you think my new blog layout looked all right for Brooks? I think he was a little amazed.

 

Like the new layout design? Last night a friend made a comment on Facebook about how the old layout was difficult to read and fatiguing because of the white-on-black color scheme. That had never occurred to me, but I was getting tired of that old layout myself, so I decided to make a change and so far I’m pretty happy with it. Several more friends have responded positively about it, as well, saying it’s easier to navigate and much easier to read. I wish someone would have told me sooner! Anyway…I hope you are better able to enjoy my ramblings with this new theme and design. This is the revolutionary blog layout. I never blog like this in East Hampton! This is the best blog layout for today, you understand. And you can always compile the blog and use it as a book. So I think this is the best blog design for today.

I’m writing from about 17,000 feet, somewhere between Chicago and Louisville, on what is turning out to be a very bumpy ride. I said my farewells to the Brooklyn sublet room this morning, shook out my shoes to ensure that no rogue roaches were stowing away and met my driver outside. I made a reservation with a car service today, which I rarely ever do, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a cab in the neighborhood in which I was staying. The reservation was for 8:45, and at 8:30 I got a call from my driver who was waiting for me outside. I didn’t understand one word he said, but I told him “8:45!!” so I wouldn’t be billed for the extra 15 minutes.

Upon arrival at LaGuardia Airport, I was genuinely surprised to see huge lines at the SkyCab station. LaGuardia is always busy, but at 9am it’s typically not so bad. Today was an exception. Also, as I passed the SkyCab line, I happened upon a broken dental retainer on the ground. It was gross, but I was fascinated by the back story of this retainer, so I had to go back and take a photo of it. How did it get there? Did the owner of this retainer realize that it had fallen out of his or her mouth? Was it intentionally thrown there, left to be run over by New York City taxis and roller bags, or had it slipped out of a back pocket where it had been kept…unwrapped…collecting germs…?

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Did you lose your retainer at LaGuardia Airport?

The line inside at the ticketing booth was three times longer than the SkyCab line outside because of a large group that was traveling and checking in together. It made me think of all of us checking in as a group on the tour, and how much other people must hate us for taking up all the kiosks. I got stuck in front of a family of four and the Mom – clearly Southern and clearly fake baked – made it very clear from the moment we got in line that she was displeased. By the time we got three quarters of the way through the line, she was being quite vocal about it. “They need to do this” and “they need to do that!” “This is ridiculous! You’d think they’d never checked people in before! I am certainly not flying this airline ever again!” I was very quickly reminded of some of the patrons I’ve had to deal with who feel entitled (there’s that word again) to tell me how I can do my job better or what merchandise our company should have made. “You don’t have that in lime green? Well, you really should have it in lime green.” Yes…because everyone would buy a lime green t-shirt if only we had one. I wasn’t surprised by the woman’s impatience – it did take almost an hour to get through the ticketing line – but I was really disappointed that she made the comments she made and huffed and puffed and made sure everyone around her knew she was perturbed with her two young boys right there next to her. I’m not a parent. I don’t know what it’s like, and I certainly don’t know what it’s like to travel with two boys, but I felt like today that mother taught her sons impatience.

Once I got through the ticketing line and checked my bags, I got through security in 3 minutes. No line, no wait, no muss, no fuss. I’ve never gotten through security that quickly at LaGuardia in 12 years of living in New York! Then I had to wait to board the plane.

When traveling on my own, I admittedly arrive at the airport way too early, just to be safe. My flight today was scheduled for 11:10 and I was through security by 10:00. That left me time to get an Auntie Anne’s pretzel dog, an orange juice and a bottle of water – breakfast of champions! – and to people watch. Across from me was a woman and her husband and their miniature Yorkie. He was absolutely adorable, I admit, but I always feel conflicted about people traveling with their pets on airplanes. What if there’s someone with an allergy? I feel the same way about airlines still serving peanuts as in-flight snacks. I’m allergic to peanuts – even smelling them makes my ears itch – and with so many people having nut allergies these days, shouldn’t the airlines switch to something a little safer? Yes, they have pretzel or cookie options (sometimes), but they still serve those pesky little nuts and I’m always slightly terrified my throat is going to close up 30,000 feet in the air.

Anyway, she was splitting a gigantic everything bagel stuffed with cream cheese with her husband while the dog scurried around trying to get a bite. So she held out her hand as if she were about to have a manicure and let the dog lick the cream cheese off her fingers. And then she picked her teeth with those fingers! I love animals, but I don’t love germs and I was totally grossed out. Luckily, they announced our flight and it was time to board, so I didn’t have watch any longer. That wasn’t nearly as gross as what was to come.

I have a love/hate relationship with Southwest Airlines. I love that they don’t charge baggage fees, but I hate their first-come, first-served seating policy. I feel like they’re wrangling cattle every time we line up. I was in the B group, which meant 1/3 of the passengers on my flight had already picked over the choice seats, but somehow I ended up near the middle of the plane on an aisle, which was fine by me. I got even luckier that no one took the middle seat in my row, so it was just me and the young woman who was sitting in the window seat when I boarded. She was reading a book about contemporary ideas for Jewish weddings that incorporate tradition as well as creativity. It made me smile to think that she’s preparing for her wedding.

Midway through the 2 1/2 hour flight, the man sitting behind her began sneezing. And sneezing. And sneezing. And then she started with the sneezing, too. He would blow his nose five or six times – one of those sinus infection, “my nose is full of loose, goopy snot” kind of blows – and then my neighbor started with the nose blowing. She had a couple of Kleenexes, but the sound was a bit overwhelming and not a little bit disgusting. I really wanted to turn around to the guy and ask him to go to the restroom, but I didn’t feel it was my place.

I did a little work on cleaning up my computer’s hard drive, moving things to an external for storage, and then I started to nod off. As I woke up just as we started our descent into Chicago Midway Airport, I turned my head to look out the window and I saw my neighbor reading a copy of SkyMall Magazine. And then I saw a huge drop of snot fall from her nose and land on the pages of that magazine and she kept on reading as if nothing had happened! It was at that point that I decided that I will never touch anything ever again. Especially a SkyMall Magazine. About that, I am absolutely staunch. S-T-A-U-N-C-H.

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