Lapse of Judgement
Why would anyone book a 6 am flight? Obviously, someone would be having a lapse in judgement. Perhaps they would be thinking, "I get up at 5:30, 6 am shouldn't be a problem." Not realizing that 6 am isn't the crux of the matter. Six am is when you board the plane. Six am is way down the road. Six is when the flight actually LEAVES.
4:15 am is when we got up. 4:30 is when we left the house. Now you should probably ask, when should we have actually woken up?
3:30 am. Yes, 3:30.
But we did not.
So, when we got to the ticket counter we have two bags that need to be checked and there is this big sign that says:
ALL FLIGHTS WILL CLOSE 45 MINUTES BEFORE THE FLIGHT IS DUE TO LEAVE. (Emphasis added.)
OMG! It is 5:05, our flight leaves at 6:00. We are in a huge line. There is a school group in front of us and a school group swarming the self serve kiosks. What should we do? Fred didn't want to leave the line, so I went to try the kiosks. It is now 5:11.
I logged in and entered our destination.
It looks to me like the kiosk is going to process our tickets, so I wave Fred out of the line. Error. It can't find our reservation. Do I have a flight number? Crap. 5:14.
Then an attendant calls out, "Is anyone on the 6 am flight to Dallas?" My hand shoots up like that obnoxious know it all student in class. I immediately abandon the kiosk and start to run to the attendant. Fred yells out, "NO! Come back."
I'm torn. Someone official has said to come over to them. Yet, there is my husband who is saying that the kiosk is working and we should place our faith in it. My head just might explode.
I go back to the kiosk, but look longingly at the 20 people who are now in line and being helped.
I now have fear brain. We have entered the 45 minute zone and my brain is not functioning clearly. I'm not reading the questions fast enough and Fred is saying, "Press no. Press continue."
An attendant comes over and says, " I don't want you to get timed out." This statement makes me feel comforted and nervous both at the same time. She hovers over the kiosk.
We finally get our bags checked, our tickets in hand and make it to security where Fred is whisked away to precheck and I am forced to stay behind in security hell with the commoners.
I tell myself that it is ok. I will still make the plane.
The line is moving fairly fast and I am practicing smiling. There are two TSA agents taking boarding passes. One of them is chatting everyone up and being friendly. "That's nice." I think. "I would rather have a friendly guard than an unfriendly guard." But secretly I am timing him against the unsmiling agent to his right and watching the people whiz by him in his line as the chatty agent is asking a family about their trip and talking about Mickey Mouse. Honestly! The boy is wearing a blue wizards hat. I could just scream.
"It's Harry Potter! Don't you recognize a wizard hat when you see it?" But, I don't think that would get me through the line any faster, so when I get up to him, I just smile and greet him effusively.
Oddly, he doesn't want to chat with me.
At the line through screening a TSA agent tells a dad in front of me about being sure to push his luggage into the machine and onto the conveyor belt.
I, of course, not wanting to be chastised for anything, take this bit of advice to heart and start pushing all of my stuff into the machine. I'm waiting with my hand on my bag for the machine to start up so that I can give it a big push, when the passenger next to me says,
"It doesn't do any good to push when the machine isn't moving."
Are you kidding me? I narrowed my eyes and looked up at the TSA agent. The agent looked at the guy next to me and gave him a "Dude, don't even" look. I thought, cool. I'll let TSA handle that one.
We slept the whole flight, so when we got off the plane and had a layover and time for breakfast we were walking zombies. Au Bon Pain was the only place with food nearby, so we staggered up and like cave people we pointed and grunted our order.
Fred immediately disappeared into the crowd and I had a sudden need for napkins. The lady behind the counter had given me a croissant and I really wanted some napkins and I just couldn't find them. Mind you, I have on Fred's mom's blue down coat, which makes me look like the Micheline tire man. I have a HUGE diaper/camera bag that must weight 50 pounds and a big ass purse. Add to that, I am randomly turning to the left and to the right as I think I see a napkin out of the corner of my eye and I am bumping into people with each turn.
Think of me as a big blue pinball, hitting lots of random people in the Au Bon Pain bakery.
I'm also looking for Fred and turning this way and that. No Fred. I'm calling out. "Fred?"
"Fred?" Dammit, where is he? Has he wandered off again? Can't he just stay in one place?
It was like a game of Marco Polo in Au Bon Pain. Seriously. I'm lucky there isn't a camera crew following me.
The lady calls out my sandwich and I go to get it. I look in the bag and there are two sandwiches in there. I give her back the bag.
"This isn't mine." She tilts her head and looks at me with her eyebrows raised. She nods affirmatively and points at the bag. I walk away toward Fred. She calls out order 74. I ask Fred for our receipt and what our order was. He says 72 and hands me the receipt. It says 74. I suddenly realize that Fred had ordered a sandwich too.
Sandwich Alzheimer's. That was my bag. I go back.
"That's my sandwich." The lady is not smiling now and she rather aggressively shoves the bag at me. I go back and sit down by Fred.
"That lady thinks I'm nuts." I tell him.
Just then a very chipper young mom with her smartly outfitted toddler join the line and order. They are joined by their cute grandmother. They all order like normal human beings, smiling and laughing and acting as if they are fully awake and loving life. They probably have all their brain cells too.
Just you wait, I think, turning into the wicked witch of the west, a 6 am flight one day will get you and your little pretties too!