Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Vacation Day One

I began my vacation today. I’ve been looking forward to it and dreading it all in the same breath for a number of weeks. I’ve been dreading it because I have too much work to do to leave town for a tropical island for a week…looking forward to it because if my brain doesn’t get a chance to relax, it may sprout legs and take off for good…which would leave me crazy or crazier than usual and we all know that isn’t a good thing.

So, I’m off in vacation. Just to make sure things would be “normal” upon my return, I left the city this morning with seven outstanding items on my professional “to do” list and two items on my personal “to figure out” list or better said, both situations with NB and Either/Or as complicated as possible. However, I’ve made an agreement with myself that I’ll try to think of all of these things as little as possible over the next nine days. So far, it’s going ok…although I’ve yet to leave the mainland US.

I managed to leave my apartment and NYC without any cab, train, or airport delays. The flight from NYC to Atlanta was quick and very easy thanks to my first class upgrade. I was totally bummed when I checked my itinerary yesterday to find that of the 12 hours of travel time I was facing today, I’d only gotten an upgrade for the first leg, all of two hours, from the city to Atlanta. But I took advantage of the upgrade regardless and in order to truly kick-off my vacation; I ordered my first cocktail at exactly one minute after noon on the first leg of the trip. Actually, we got into Atlanta early enough for me to grab Chick-Fil-A before the ridiculously long flight to Hawaii, with a short stop in San Fran. With an order of chicken nuggets in hand, I said a small prayer about safe flights and nice travel neighbors for the long ride in coach and boarded the plane.

After settling in my tiny aisle seat in an exit row (thank goodness), I decided this trip wouldn’t be anything I couldn’t bear even though this exit row seat was one of those tricky ones that don’t recline. Just when I’d gotten everything settled and was heading to the restroom for one last time before take off, a couple walked up and began their attempt to shove their carry-ons into the overhead bins. The lady was sitting in the window seat next to me. Her male companion, to whom I am now referring to as SANTA, was sitting in an aisle seat four rows back. Santa began his sales process about how I may enjoy the seat four rows back and before he could even get into his pitch about the seats that do and don’t recline and whatnot, I told him I’d be happy to trade seats with him. Although I’m finding myself a little bitter towards romance today, I know I would hate to be traveling on a flight across the United States, stuck next to some stranger, with my husband four seats away.

It reminded me of the time Either/Or and I were both traveling back from the west coast on business and although we booked our travel without knowing one another would be in the same place at the same time, we ended up on the same flight in seats next to each other. It was the first time I remember feeling that I odd feeling that resembled something like love for him. I say this because on that trip I was number one on the upgrade list with nine seats unassigned (in frequent flyer speak, that equals guaranteed upgrade) and I gave the upgrade up because I’d rather be miserable in coach for six hours next to him than be semi-comfortable in first class knowing he was less than ten rows back and I wasn’t with him.

Anyways (again I digress), I had just settled into my second seat when the stewardess came back looking for the gentleman, or should I say, Santa. I told her that he was seated in my seat and she could find him in 12B. As I began reading my new book, Santa came back to my seat to thank me again for switching seats and to tell me that some good deeds are quickly rewarded because he had been upgraded to first class and his wife had not, so my new seat was 1C. That, my friends, is a perfect example of karma. The sweet couple got to sit together and I got to drown away my romantic bitterness with the Napa wine tasting they just finished serving after three hours...I’m surprised I can still type. This trip may be just what the doctor ordered.

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