Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fasten Seatbelt While Seated

I hate flying alone.

More accurately, I hate flying economy airlines that make you wait until the last possible second (i.e. 24 hours before scheduled departure) to receive a seat assignment or worse...wait until you're boarding the plane to quick grab the seat of your "choice".

Why, you ask? Because. While I have never been forced to sit in the middle seat, I'm terrified that one day my single number will be called and I will have to bear the unenviable position as sandwich stuffin' on an overbooked flight. I would much rather be mooshed up against a window where I can look out and imagine I am mooshed in cloudy goodness rather than mooshed between two stuffed suits.

I am leaving on a jetplane tomorrow evening at precisely 6:05 p.m. (GMT -7:00) for 8 fun and cupcake-filled days in the streets of Seattle. I've had my plane tickets for 6 months. That's right. 6 anxiety-ridden months of wondering if I was going to be the sandwich stuffin' or lucky. That means my wait is nearly over. At 6:05:01 p.m. (GMT -7:00) tonight online checkin begins. That means that at 6:05:01 p.m. (GMT - 7:00) I will be checking in to receive my seat assignment before (hopefully) anyone else as I will not leave anything to chance. I'm a little neurotic1 that way.

Once I've received my seat assignment, actually gotten on the plane, and ordered my first bloody mary, I'll be good.

In preparation for this vacation, my chin has decided to break out in little smoldering volcanoes of beauty.

Also, this morning, after having gotten a whiff of a co-worker's turkey and mashed potato Lean Cuisine two days ago which set off an intense craving for Thanksgiving dinner, I decided to run to Boston Market for lunch while out doing vacation-type errands2. I had gotten nearly to the door of the restaurant when suddenly I was a non-existent curb.

I'm always the picture of grace and decorum so normally I do not fall down. I'm kind of used to tripping over snakes in the carpet and thin air really but mostly I weeble and wobble without following through to the finish. Not today! Just as an employee was coming out, I went SPLAT flat out in front of him. I have the ginormous band-aid on my elbow to prove it. But what is an ultra-hipster woman to do? I laughed. Gave him permission to laugh. Then I went in and ordered my food and tried not to cry in front of the help3.

Oh yeah. I also tore my brand new shirt from Nordstrom's. Do you think they'll accept it back?

So I'm packing while I'm waiting to online checkin. OK, packing and blogging. But seriously. Why is it I feel it necessary to bring four pairs of shoes for an 8-day stay?

I'll tell you why. First, the sneakers must go because there will be lots of walking and hiking and biking in sandal-unfriendly locales. But there will also be walking in sandal-happy locales in which one will want to look cute. But also? There's the whole I-must-bring-some-kind-of-heeled-shoe-goodness-for-looking-awesomely-cute-and-less-short-legged just in case there's an opportunity for that. That leaves my old man slipper shoes for traveling.

And you may be wondering...why don't I just wear the sneakers on the plane? Because it's called TSA and having to remove the shoes in the security line. I've learned it's hard enough to manage me, my purse, and my laptop case stuffed with stuff and opened for examination without having to worry about getting me, my purse, and my laptop case stuffed with stuff put back together in addition to getting my sneakers back on and tied with double knots4.

So four pairs of shoes it is.

And now that I'm thinking about many skeins of yarn do I need for an 8-day stay? Granted, I like the knitting in the airport and on the plane. Plus, there will be lots of down time - especially first thing in the morning when I am up and the monkeys are still sleeping. But still...can I really get 10 dishcloths and a slouchy spring beret knitted when I haven't finished the biscuit blanket I started working on in February? Regardless, 12 skeins it is.

So now that we've established I'm a terrible over-packer, let's move on. While I have been looking forward to this trip since I first decided to go, there is one little thing causing anxiety5.


Vinny, my adorable, happy, lovebug, guerrilla terrorist kitty has never been away from his momma for more than one night in the 10 months since his adoption. The few times I have been away for a night, he has laid in the doorway of the foyer waiting for me and then spends the next 48 hours not letting me leave his sight6. I'm not worried about Saoirse (aka Chunk). She'll be just fine with her unlimited access to Lex. But Vinny? I'm afraid he'll be a complete nutcase by the time I come back. So I'm having a little separation anxiety when it comes to the "princess momma's boy".

I'm going to have to re-think my clothing choices. I don't have room for my knitting.

1: Kinda like when I'm driving home from work and, no matter how much I want to, will not get into the left lane on University under any circumstances until I'm north of Arkansas. Why? Because there are no left turn lanes on University and only 2 streets within a 2-mile stretch onto which you can turn left. Invariably, I get in the left lane and must come to a stop and wait for heavy traffic to pass, sometimes for several minutes, while someone tries to turn left. It's easier to patiently wait for the bus to pick up passengers in the right lane. Trust me on this.

2: Because "vacation" not only means getting time off work, it means I-have-to-buy-new-travel-size-stuff-to-make-room-for-more-knitting.

3: I waited until I got back to my office and then cried into my stuffing.

4: Because we've already established I trip over NOTHING. Why increase the risk?

5: Besides the seat assignment thing.

6: Lex, Wonder Roommate, always gives me the overnight report.

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