Saturday, November 19, 2011

Airplane Etiquette

This one is about airplane etiquette (yup, I'm still in the air). So, my traveling companion and I boarded the flight a little more than 1/2 way into the boarding process so the plane was a little more than 1/2 full. I know. My math skills are dazzling. Anyways. We found a window and middle seat next to this big dude on the aisle. After a few minutes we realize that we we sitting amongst a large group of 40-something year old football fans on their way to see a Chargers vs. Bears game. I'm not sure how many there are but it feels and sounds like 50 of them.

Drink service comes around and the party starts. These guys are getting absolutely loaded and are louder than if we had our heads inside the jet-engine. Now, anyone who knows us well enough (especially with the shenanigans my friend and I got into this week) is probably thinking that this a blatant case of the pots calling the kettles black but there are two major differences here. 1) We are delightful and charming 2) We carry on like this in a BAR. This is an airplane for f**ksake!

Speaking of f**k, I have heard about 30 F-bombs in the past minute and a half and some of the most inappropriate talk ever. Again, my closest readers are laughing their asses off at the thought of me and my potty mouth being offended by anything, but again..location, location, location! We are on a PLANE! A jam-packed flying bus full of grannies and toddlers and people from all walks of life. Not cool! I heard one guy say to another as loud as can be "...and by the way, thanks for making me shave your prostate earlier...". I can't even begin to imagine the origin of that inside joke, nor do I want to.

The flight continues and so does the drinking. You know how the pilot says "Feel free to move about the cabin"? I am relatively certain this is not what he means. These guys are chillin' in the aisle, leaning against people's seats.

(We are now on the second leg of our journey sans football fans so I will be switching to the past tense. Hold onto your hats!)

My friend and I got up to use the restroom. We went together to avoid having to ask the big dude to get up twice. While waiting to get in the bathroom I joked to the flight attendant "So, are you out of booze yet?" She shook her head and replied "Almost" at which point she showed me the racks of tiny bottles that were two thirds empty and whispers "These were full, and you girls are sitting right in the middle of those guys.". She shook her head, again.

Upon returning to our seats, one of the football fans said "So you girls went to the bathroom together, huh?" (insert drunken inappropriate laugh here). He continued to mutter more on this topic that we fortunately couldn't hear over his rambunctious buds.

Meanwhile, the poor blonde flight attendant was bringing drinks over as fast as she could and they were harassing her like it was 1960. "Which of my buddies is the best looking? C'mon, just lean over and whisper it in my ear." I think I heard someone call her a "good-looking broad". Kidding. Sixties joke.

Fortunately, the giant sitting beside me was one of the quiet ones, although every time he turned to talk to one of his buddies, I had half of his ass in my seat. My ass is big enough, thank you very much, there is no room for yours.

Soon enough, the loudest of the bunch was leaning over talking to the gentle giant to my right. They start taking about kids and the passage of time. Real "cats-in-the cradle" stuff. I guess this is the point in the drinking binge when guys get all mellow and deep and starting saying "I love you, man!"

Returning to the football talk, the conversation was heating up and they started singing the Chargers rally song (or whatever you call that. Can you tell I'm not a football fan?). I'm prayed they didn't distract the pilot.

While descending into Chicago, we ran into some wicked turbulence. The flight was bumping all over the place and they were cheering like it was fourth down and one yard to go (again, I'm clueless here. I just leaned over to ask my friend)

We landed safely. The pilot jokingly asked if the Chargers fans would wait on the plane until the preferred Bears fans has safely de-boarded. They booed and yelled things like "F**k you!" and "That's why you are just a pilot.". I'm not really sure how the latter one was supposed to be an insult. Pilots are pretty awesome because, like, they fly planes and stuff. Did he mean "just a pilot" as opposed to a drunk, obnoxious Chargers fan?

As they readied to get off the plane we hung back so we would't be in the midst of their group. One of them offered to let me go ahead. I said, "No, you go catch up with your friends.". One of the other guys said "She doesn't want any of us anywhere in front of her or behind her.". He was awfully perceptive for an drunken idiot.

In their defense, the guys did yell thanks to everyone for putting up with them. They were mostly harmless - unless you were the blonde flight attendant, someone trying to sleep or the nearby toddler who was able to say 10 more words than he could before the flight started, all of them bad.

It really is astonishing how obnoxious drunk people can be. When you aren't one of them, that is. I'll try to remember that when the tables are turned, but I'll forget because I'll be drunk.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 18, 2011

Guilt-Free Mommy Time

I don't travel for work often but I am returning from a conference today. As a matter of fact, I'm on the plane right now drafting this Pages on my iPad and wishing to Heaven I'd brought my bluetooth keyboard case. This will require much editing, otherwise, between my manicured nails, the iPad keyboard and autocorrect neither you or I will have any idea what i was intending to write.

Anyway, I typically travel for work about once or twice a year. My babies are 5 and 6 1/2 and it is hard to leave home. This time I was gone for a full week. Technically, 6 days but by the time I get home tonight, they will be sound asleep. I miss them terribly. I miss my husband. I miss my house. FaceTime has been a tremendous help.

Now that i have made it clear that I miss my family and you all think that I'm a nice person, I will let you in on a little secret (that won't be a secret after I hit "publish"). I had a blast and don't feel guilty at all! I know! A mom NOT feeling guilty about doing something for herself for a change? That's a travesty! What is this world coming to? What can I say? I'm a rebel.

But I don't feel guilty. The conference was well put together and intellectually stimulating. During the day, we discussed how to work with college kids and at night we went out and acted like them. I ate delicious food at restaurants that didn't have paper placemats and crayons on the table. I got to bond with one of my bestest girlfriends/coworkers and I'm so glad she came. As we are geeks, our industry tends to be a bit of a boy's club and it was essential to have her with me. I had loads of fun with a few new and a few old conference friends, though likely a bit too much fun as I'm feeling the achingly memorable twinge of a hangover as I write this.

But the very best and most selfish part of the whole week is that I only had to worry about me! I only had to think about what I was going to eat and wear and do. I didn't have to check anyone's book bags for teacher notes. I didn't have to take anything out for dinner. I was never interrupted in the shower to be asked if the 5-second rule applied to granola bars. I didn't have to stop to buy milk or mini-marshmallows to send to school for a class party.

Granted, the week leading up to the trip, my brain was in overdrive trying to take care of anything and everything that might be needed at home in my absence but I it was worth it not to have to think or worry this week. I also have my husband to thank for executing everything at home and my kids to thank for being "extra good" for daddy.

So, the moral of this is story is simply to remind all the other working moms out there not to ever feel guilty when it's mommy time. It's is necessary for our sanity or we are likely to snap and start spreading hand lotion on the sandwiches instead of peanut butter.

I know I've blogged about this before but it bears repeating. You are't just a mom, you are a beautiful, dynamic woman with your own personality and interests. It's important not to lose who you are in motherhood. Or, at least if you do, leave a trail of Reese's pieces so you can find your way back. I was lost for about 2 1/2 years after becoming a mom but I am glad I found myself again because I kinda dig me. I am fairly awesome after all.

Alas, the mommy vacation has to end and just in time because I miss the hell out of those little faces! I'm done with my little fantasy where I am the queen and am in charge of what session to go participate in, where I go out to eat or whether I'm going to spend the night partying or in my cozy hotel bed. I'm relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to go home and clean up legos and bake cupcakes for school. Game on!