Next Flight to Stressed Island Taking Off

The Huffington Post just released a really great article saying why women should travel alone more. You find it right here. Basically, it says by travelling alone a woman learns to deal with everyday mishaps really well. Reason number one is “Solo Travel Makes You Adaptable” and this is something every woman (and man) needs to learn to deal with because, just like in the business world, shit happens.

Nora and I just got back from a long weekend in Austin, just a quick girls trip (dude, we had a flippin’ blast! Shout out to that amazing city and the awesome people we met!). Getting home was – to put it lightly­ – a hassle and a half.

We show up to the airport about two hours before boarding. Look at us, showing up prepared! Guess what? We ended up boarding late because, well, not too sure on that. So we board an hour late and then we just sit there… and sit there. Nora took a nap we sat on the runway for so long. After about forty-five minutes, a mechanic shows up and takes a look at the plane. Ok, everyone off!

The plane is deemed un-flyable and we’re stuck in Austin’s airport. This wouldn’t be a big deal except our head baker back home had already departed for her own vacation. I was set to take her place for the entire upcoming week, meaning I had to be in the bakery Monday morning at 5 AM to bake about 1,000 cupcakes. Too bad all these plane issues were happening on Sunday, the day before.

I’m waiting in line with Nora to get new tickets our airline had configured. I was super worried that our new flight would cause us to miss a connecting flight out of New Jersey to Boston. My worries were proved right when the attendant gave me that look. You know the look. It’s a look of hopelessness because the employee you’re dealing with just knows there is nothing that can be done for you. You might as well go home… except that we couldn’t!

Hey, I work in customer service. I knew it wasn’t the attendant’s fault the plane wasn’t working and I knew there were a ton of other people in the same position all with their own reasons they needed to be taken care of first. Hell, the woman in front of me was trying to make it to her own mother’s funeral (yeah, I let her go ahead of me).

After banging on the keyboard for a few minutes, we were given two plane tickets… to Idaho. No instructions except just to head to that gate immediately because take off was in three minutes. Gripping our suitcases, Nora and I sped through the airport. I felt like a lineman on the Patriots, I had my arm out the whole time (MOVE!).

We get to the gate, completely out of breath, my lungs screaming at me from the inside out. I thrust my ticket into the hands of a flight attendant and she let me walk into the hallway leading to the plane (to Idaho – remember that – Idaho!). I look back and see Nora arguing with the flight attendant. Turns out there was only one seat available even thought we were given two tickets. What, why… how?

“Go, you have to bake tomorrow,” Nora rationalized, pushing me further down the hallway. “I’ll figure it out.”

“I can’t just leave you!” I exclaimed.

“Well, you have to. Go!”

And she took off.

I was rushed into the plane and ushered down to the very end of the cabin. I’m clutching a painting I had bought the day before and thinking about Nora, the bakery, and what the hell I was going to do in Idaho. Finally, I tapped the flight attendant on her shoulder. She spun around and gave me a shocking once-over.

“What’s wrong?” she asked. She could see heavy tears streaming down my face, my eyes bloodshot with stress and extreme fear (I know nothing about Idaho!).

“I can’t do this. I’m about to have a panic attack. I have to get off this plane.”

“Are you serious?” the flight attendant gasped. I could hear announcements for everyone to fasten their seatbelts.

“Yes, I need to leave right now,” I stammered. Before I knew it, I was given permission to get off the plane. To make matters worse, the painting was too wide to let me turn around so I had to slowly walk backwards off the entire plane, from back to front. Not only did I keep hitting everyone’s shoulders with the painting, but I got to stare them all in the eye as they judged me for holding them up with my sensitivity. Have you ever slowly walked through a crowd with no pants on, making eye contact with everyone there? That’s how I felt and I do not recommend it.

You should have seen the embrace between Nora and I. “You got off the plane, you got off the plane!” It was a scene right out of FRIENDS.

After a lot of “Holy shit!”s were exchanged, we made a last effort to get home in time. We found a direct flight through another airline (shout out to Jet Blue) and we got into Boston at 12:30 AM. Of course, the only Uber around was the most expensive one, but we got to Nora’s place at 1:30 AM. We fit in about two hours of shut eye and made it to the shop by 5 AM.

I finally got back to my own house at 6:30 PM and had the most glorious sleep that night.

Also, I’m sure Idaho is a very nice place.