Of course I realize why there might be a flight delay. It’s the same reason we don’t have enough energy in California. And why gasoline is more expensive here. It’s our politicians! So short of our council members getting a “sphere of influence” over LAX I’m totally nailed. Doubly so because I’ll have to entertain my babe and mother-in-law for an unheard of amount of time. And all of this so that we can spend 100% of our day getting to Minnesota as opposed to 75%.
I figured flying during the week would be better than on a weekend but apparently it doesn’t matter. I’ve packed toys and treats but what else? Sedatives? Medicinal marijuana? And what’s the big payoff going to be anyway? A rental car lot that is eight miles away from the terminal in Minneapolis. St. Peter, a town that is not looking forward to a visit from the big city folks, is another hour away from the airport.
So it’s not just the airport that I’m complaining about. It’s the whole travel nightmare. I know I should just be grateful that I’m not camping again. I still haven’t recovered from the nasal congestion from either the cold I contracted or all the foliage I encountered. Most of my gal friends agree that camping is more work than it is worth. To quote one, “Oh yea it’s a blast to pack, unpack, cook and clean, sleep in the cold, cook and clean some more, pack, unpack and then start the wash.” That’s a relaxing vacation. I’ll never get camping as a vacation.
Our hotel in St. Peter has a nice indoor pool and coffee in the room. But will they unpack, pack, unpack and pack for me? I don’t even know why people take vacations anymore. It’s more work and much less relaxing than just hiding out at home with a week’s worth of free movies from the local library.
When do you rest? In a slippery vinyl chair at terminal 2? Never taking your eyes off your luggage or your little child? Eyeing the drinkers in the bar only to realize the headache they’ll have at 40,000 feet isn’t worth it to you? Taking a shower, a la’ Madonna, in the airport’s cubicled bathroom facilities? In the backseat of the convertible, in 60 degrees or less, sandwiched between my mother-in-law and her mother, which your husband rented to make your daughter happy? (My hair whipping across my mother-in-law’s face is not what I would consider retribution enough for being married to her son at times.)
Shopping in the Mall of America? They only do the heat in the floor trick during winter. I have to contend with two amusement parks, one aquarium, restaurants and shops all in one little day? With a mother-in-law that has the energy to shop countless hours, a husband that is right there along with her and a babe that I can only hope to steer towards the aquarium before time’s up?
Years and years ago I enjoyed vacations. Maybe back then there weren’t the flight delays and cancellations we have to endure today. Once when I was a teen I remember circling over New York City for eight hours due to bad weather. And there was that time Ed and I were returning from France and couldn’t get a seat in the non-smoking section. (In the early eighties it seemed to me that many Parisians loved to chain-smoke but like we Americans, couldn’t tolerate it in claustrophobic situations.) And in these two examples I don’t remember the issue with packing. In the former my mom might have dealt with it, the latter, heck I had been in Europe for three weeks and had simply tossed, instead of repacked, all of the clothes I grew out of.)
Maybe I’m just getting older and different types of work don’t appeal any more. (Well not that any kind of work actually ever appealed.) And how people travel for a living I’ll never understand. We should have a holiday to celebrate the traveling salespeople that have to do this every day without even a caramelized “holiday” carrot held over their noses. We could call it Welcome Home Day, but then with their schedules how could we ever settle on a particular day?
Obviously they have a routine, and a stronger mindset, then I’ve yet discovered. What they don’t have though is Eddie, Barbara, Grandma Ellen, Samantha or the entire population of St. Peter waiting to watch them completely wig out over traveling.
Where will it happen? Will I pluck the few remaining hairs from my head once we enter the biggest mall in the world? Will it be when I open the fridge in the hotel only to be greeted by my favorite snacks priced well over the going rate for five gallons of California gasoline? Or will it be when I finally return and find our camping dishes still in the dishwasher, sleeping bags still airing out on the living room floor and beach tar still imbedded into my new Payless sandals? With so many choices, I’m guaranteed more than one little flipping out episode. Tune in next week and see if I fared well enough to even attempt to write another destructive column.