Friday, September 2, 2011

Strangers on a Plane

Last weekend the fates threw me a bone and gave me a weekend escape from Dallas. Thank goodness, because I was in serious need of a getaway. The destination was beautiful San Diego where my cousin John was getting married. This was perfect because the smell of the ocean and the feeling of a nice cool breeze had become nothing but a foggy and very distant memory. One thing that I was most looking forward to was the plane ride to the golden coast. Not sure what it is but I just love the chance to fly somewhere. Maybe it’s the free drinks, the thrill of being a mile above the earth, the hour spent browsing the pages of sky mall as I update my Christmas list? The jury is still out on that one. Regardless, few things make me happier than a window seat with my ipod shuffling through my current pop music obsessions. The one drawback to it all is my fellow passengers and seeing as I don’t have a budget for my own private plane just yet, I have to make the best of flying coach. I’m not really one to chat or even acknowledge the existence of the person sitting next to me on a plane. That is, unless I’ve had a few too many cran-apple cocktails and need the person seated next to me to put their tray tables in their upright position and get the hell out of the way before I wet myself. 

This round-trip from DFW to SAN presented me with a variety of interesting characters. Passenger number one was seated in the window seat and had his sunglasses on for a majority of the flight. The plane left the Dallas runway around 6:30 PM so I didn’t really understand the need for them and I’m sorry, but unless you’re Lenny Kravitz or Nicole Richie, you just come off looking like a douchebag. He also wasn’t winning any popularity points with me when he put the window shade down before we’d even left the runway. It’s not like I was going to be getting any breathtaking views of mountains, bodies of water, or dare to dream an evergreen tree, as we took off, but I wouldn’t have minded watching the sunset since I seem to be averaging 2 plane rides a year. We were 10 minutes from touching down at my layover in Phoenix when the pilot came in over the intercom to tell us that we would most likely have to circle the area for an hour before a torrential dust storm in Phoenix subsided or we simply ran out of jet fuel. I assumed the people at the airport were being a tad bit over-dramatic at what was probably two tumble weeds and a dust devil that had crossed a runway. Praise be to God our pilot found a window of opportunity to land the plane just minutes ahead of the storm. In all honesty it was pretty crazy to look out the window, my neighbor had finally raised the shade and taken off his sunglasses, and see this enormous wall of dust heading straight towards the airport. I felt a little like Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” when her world is all sepia. I was even about to play some “Over the Rainbow” on my IPod, purely for dramatic effect, but the nosy stewardess told me I had to prepare for the landing and turn off all electrical devices.

I finally made it to San Diego and was quickly reminded of everything that the city of Dallas lacks. It has beaches, a fun and trendy downtown area, outdoor activites that don’t involve the Sonic drive-thru, inhabitants who can leave their homes in the middle of the day without the fear of melting…etc., etc. The only complaint I had was that for being located in sunny California and roughly 10 minutes from Mexico it sure was cold! I mean a day at the beach really isn’t the same when you’re wearing a hooded sweatshirt and shaking uncontrollably as you lie on the towel you “borrowed” from the hotel. Granted the 110-degree weather here in Dallas hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park and I‘m getting a little sick of walking into an interview with my back feeling like I just stepped off of the Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland. All that aside, it’s always nice to go back to your roots and spend some quality time with the family.

On the flight back home I was excited to see that I was given a aisle seat which meant I could have as many inflight drinks as my little heart desired, without worrying about being a bother to my neighbors during my frequent visits to the bathroom. Side note: why did no one ever tell me that the drink options of the airlines were printed on the back of the inflight magazine??? This could have saved me approximately 18 minutes of my life that I’ve wasted playing 20 questions with the flight attendants regarding my limited drink options. Plus, I could have been cutting down on calories by ordering Sprite Zeros vs. Sprite. This was almost as much of an epiphany as the day I realized that the squiggly lines on the Arby’s sign are in fact in the shape of a cowboy hat. Or the day that someone broke the news to me that Col. Sanders of KFC fame was not the chubby nearsighted Asian man with a goatee that I had been led to believe for the past 21 years. I am still a little skeptical on that one, unless his squinty eyes are a result of him being incredibly light sensitive? Which I could totally relate. And for the record I am not being racist. As a child, I too was mistaken for being an adopted Asian child around the time I was around 14 months. Understandably so, seeing as I had a gnarly bowl cut, was a little on the chubby side, and 99% of the time had the look on my face that I was mid fart which resulted in my squinty eyes.

As I walked onto my final connecting flight,  I saw to my horror every travelers worst nightmare. Yup. I had been seated next to a mom and her two babies. The first thing she said to me once I sat down was “I just want to apologize ahead of time for whatever happens during these next two hours”. Translation: Good luck catching some Z’s on this flight. The one thing that made the situation better were they were two of the cutest kids I’d ever seen. I accredit this to the fact that I’ve never seen an African-American baby that I didn’t think was cute and all I kept thinking was why were they on this flight to Dallas?! If they had been my kids they would have been hard at work on location with Annie Liebovitz doing a photo-shoot for the fall Baby Gap campaign and talking to Suri Cruise on their cell phones during their breaks. Tomato, tomato. For the record, the kids were actually really well behaved for the flight even though I wasn’t able to catch the catnap I had hoped for. Baby #1 was probably 3 months old and having some serious gas issues that kept bringing Taco Bell burritos to mind….and not in a good way. Baby #2, who I guess would qualify as more of a toddler, had of fear of heights and 2.5 seconds after take off he let all of us around him know how he felt. It wasn’t long before his mom shut the window shade so that we could pretend we were on a greyhound bus heading for Dallas. I was a bit perturbed because seriously, what does everybody have against watching a sunset from an airplane??? But the craziest thing of all is that after spending a few days away, I was *gasp* starting to miss Dallas?? How did this happen? Must be the heat getting to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment