A little fanfare never hurts!

My trip home was loads of fun! Sonya and I got a later start than planned and wound up in the world’s slowest moving line at the airport. Ugh. I was certain I was going to miss my flight. (There have been many signs throughout that the airline is understaffed: many of my flights were accessed via ladders, and we were shuttled to or from the plane in several instances.)

Sonya finally flagged down an employee and told him when my flight was. He pulled open the strap to admit me to the shorter line, reserved for people who buy the expensive tickets. I was confused and sleep-deprived, or I would’ve thanked him.

After getting through the line, Sonya and I freakin’ walked the wrong way away from security and had to backtrack. I wound up reaching my flight with four minutes to spare. Goodness gracious!

I was relieved.

The next flight was the main flight from Europe to the US. On this flight, I was seated behind an elderly lady who refused to keep her mask on. She got scolded at least four times that I witnessed, and possibly more often, like when I had my headphones on. She seemed hellbent on not being cooperative, and one male flight attendant got so mad at her that he gave her a scary lecture about ventilators and tragic death. He said he was going to do something bad to her, and that she’d lost her chances because he’d asked her repeatedly. (All true.) I wasn’t sure what he was going to do… arrest her? I was filled with schadenfreude, but an arrest never came to pass, so I assume he threatened to report her to the airline so she can’t fly with them anymore. That’s my best guess.

He finally gave up and drifted away, and not twenty minutes later, a female flight attendant walked past us and told the old lady to be sure to keep her mask up. Such moxie! That little old lady was brazenly determined to be disobedient.

During that flight I couldn’t get comfortable to save myself, and I kept trying. There was no hope for it. Worse, in my efforts at falling asleep while keeping all my stuff organized, my eyeglasses wound up gone. I paged the flight attendant, who said she couldn’t do anything to help. I’m still a bit miffed by that.

Fortunately, the two men seated next to me both got up so I could feel around. I found them under the seat in front of me and off to the side. Actually, the nice man seated next to me pointed them out, but then I had to do some gymnatics gyrations in order to nab them.

They seemed unharmed.

I then lost my paperback similarly, and I decided to just let that go. No clue where it disappeared to.

Then there was some time between flights, so I got some food and ate. I also went to the restroom, and I tried to organize my stuff, too. It was restful.

The final flight was noneventful, except that I was parched. But after they brought me a Sprite, it tasted funny, and I struggled to down it. I checked the label. It was American Sprite, as you’d expect. (I can’t have the European version because it has artificial sweeteners.) Huh.

I got off the plane and found my dad, which was nice. He was excited to see me and had gotten confused as to which flight I was supposed to have been on.

He and I found the luggage carousel, and there was no luggage. Everyone from my flight was staring at it, their gazes tired and hopeful, as it churned out the same ten suitcases and duffel bags again and again, with no one claiming any of them.

An hour passed. My dad surmised that everyone’s luggage had been rerouted to San Francisco (because why not?), and this seemed credible. I told him I agreed with him but that I was still in the first stage of grief over losing my luggage: denial. For that reason, I wanted to wait for my luggage to magically arrive instead of accepting that it was in San Francisco, or wherever.

I muttered that the airline was lucky that denial comes before anger. (Don’t cross me!)

And we waited. Rumors spread that the airline was simply being slow in putting out our luggage. Another rumor was that I was going to sue them. No clue how that rumor got started. [Eyeroll.] (Okay, I might have some idea how it came to pass.)

And then the worst thing ever happened: the carousel came to a screeching halt.

That was it. Our luggage wasn’t coming out. It had been rerouted to San Francisco. I was crushed. Everyone was. We stared at the nonmoving carousel, despondent and beyond all hope. My shoulders slouched forward. The woman next to me shot me a sympathetic look.

And then there was music. (This is an eleven-second audio clip, so consider humoring me and listening to it before reading onward.) With gusto, the carousel came to life and spat out one suitcase after another, all of them new and not yet seen.

Someone from my flight yelled, “Hey, that’s my luggage!” And everyone burst into applause and cheered, jumping up and down with ridiculous glee.

You can’t make this stuff up. Only in Louisville (where we have the Derby) would this happen.

A few minutes later my luggage appeared. “Purple incoming!” I yelled. “Yay!”

The drive home was scary. My dad insisted on driving, and his after-dark driving is terrifying. I begged him to let me drive, but he refused. I ordered him to focus on safety the whole way, so we didn’t talk. Like when he drove right past the exit sign, and I was too tense to speak up. Ugh. It was that intense. And then he got mad at me for not pointing it out, saying it was too dark for anyone to see it. Mm-hmm.


Now that I’m home, I’m setting goals for November. (It’s just after 7:00 PM on Halloween as I type this.) I’ve decided to try to improve my posture and focus on fitness and healthy eating. Something amazing happened in Prague. Actually, two amazing things happened. One was that Sonya got me hooked on carrots. They’re good with a small amount of salad dressing (raspberry vinaigrette). Who knew?! The other was that I lost weight. I now officially weigh under 200 pounds, for the first time in ten years. Go me!

Also, NaNoWriMo starts at midnight. I’m going to lie down now and try to visualize my plot… well, once I come up with one. Wish me luck!

2 thoughts on “A little fanfare never hurts!

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