And we’re back! Sorry, I had pre-written entries for while I was gone, but for some reason they didn’t appear everyday. I dunno, this blogging system is a little wonky, mostly because my server is so clamped down with security that the software is not allowed to do a lot of the things it wants to do.
So, let’s start with some complaints — the raison d’être for this blog, of course.
It was raining in San Francisco on Thursday, so naturally all the flights were delayed. Then a power failure crashed the computers, so the gate agents made announcements along the lines of “We think the plane has left Phoenix, but without the computers we can’t tell.” Scary, really — I mean, couldn’t they use a telephone?
So, my flight left an hour late. And my layover in Charlotte was — you guessed it — an hour. This meant that I made a very gay spectacle of myself running through the Charlotte airport like a drag queen wearing stillettos. Because true to form, my flight came in at gate C15, the last gate at the very end of one of those piers off a hub-and-spoke airport. My connection was leaving from, yes, B15, the last gate at the end of another pier. I ran all the way up the pier, into the airport, then down another pier, just in time to catch my next flight.
But that’s nothing compared to the distance I had to run for my flight back.
I booked these flights back in June online. I’ve had the printout for my itinerary on my fridge since then. So, it was somewhat of a surprise when I went online a week ago to confirm the times and was greeted with a message: no such flight. Calling the airline revealed that three of my flights had been changed, a fact that I was seemingly not notified of.
Well, I wrote down the new flight information and all was well. Until yesterday, when I showed up at Dulles airport for my flight home and was once again greeted with no such flight.
That’s because I was at the wrong airport.
My outgoing flight was departing from National.
One cab ride and $60 later, I made it to National with time to spare — this, people, is why I am obsessive about arriving at the airport with plenty of time.
For the first leg of the journey, I was sitting in front of conservative pundit George Will and his family. I couldn’t decide whether to lambast him for his right wing commentary, or congratulate him for his criticism of George Bush. In the end, I let him start his family vacation in peace while I read the Sky Mall magazine and marveled at how people will pay such ridiculous prices.
On the second plane (funny how you can’t get a direct flight anymore, but still the flight crew announces each leg as “non-stop” — “Welcome aboard our non-stop service to Charlotte.”) the entire first class compartment was jumbled up. There were 3 couples who were not sitting together. I switched seats with one man so he could sit next to his wife; then the flight attendant came by and asked if I could do it again so another couple could be together. No problem, doesn’t bother me in the least. Except that once the moves were made, I was sitting in front of a middle-aged Jewish grandmother, who could have stepped right out of a New York sitcom. She was very sweet and lovely, but talked incessantly. About nothing. Nothing. And despite the fact that I was wearing my headphones and the cabin was filled with that white noise from the jets, she could still be clearly heard all over — but especially right behind my head. I can now understand the cliche of the stoic Jewish husband. The constant yammering — “See that? Over there? Look! There, to the right. Look over there. That’s the America West plane, I think. Well, it says America West. They merged. America West. See the plane? Right next to us. Hmm, that plane is a different color than this one. America West, it says.”
In conclusion, I wish my iPod volume was louder.
So, here I am at home. I’ve realized that my home is very important to me, and it doesn’t matter where it is. It is my little refuge where I can be alone. My dad’s house is chaos, someone is awake in that house almost every hour of the day. On top of that, it is hard for me to sleep anywhere other than home, in my own bed.
I had a disconcerting realization this weekend, as well: I am the only one in the family (except my parents) to have my own home. I’m not just talking about owning a house, I’m talking about a separate existence. My brother lives in his in-laws’ house with his wife and three kids. His sister-in-law also lives there with her daughter. My other brother lives at home. My sister and her fiance live there as well. Heck, my friend Eric and his wife live with his parents, as does his sister and her son. Is this a throwback to an earlier time when families all lived together? Or is it an indictment of the high cost of housing and too much debt?
I think I will stay home today, in my little bungalow, have a sandwich and enjoy the solitude.