Traveler Question’s

1. They make such a big deal about not smoking on planes. Why do (even on new planes) have ash trays in the bathrooms?

2. What do you think about when you are landing? I think about how many snakes are in the woods? I also think about why businesses don’t sell their blank rooftops for marketing purposes. 

3. Do people really still read newspapers, like that home, or is that just an airplane thing? I’ve never understood newspapers on plane. It’s such a large and awkward reading material for such a small area. 

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It’s Not You, It’s Me.

One day I realized that my blog posts might actually be more about me and my personality (um how do I say this nicely) ”quirks.”  So a friend offered to pen an autobiography.  We’ll call her Debbie because she nailed it like Dallas. I can’t believe how well she knows me or maybe I am just that obviously weird.

I follow my own (kinda crooked) arrow.

I started this blog because I notice things like how Holden was observant to the world around him.  I find humor and wonder in the goings on of every day.  I love people and their nuisances.  However, I’m also self-aware enough to know that my “observations” could also be a by-product of my OCD. I think I’m a bit OCD but not the kind where people say they have OCD instead of just calling themselves what others call them; anal.  Is asking for an airline blanket to be able to put your backpack and shoeless feet on anal or OCD?  Sure, some people make their hotel bed (only on an upper level floor – not a bed in a ground level room with exterior doors and definitely not in a room with adjoining doors) before the cleaning crew visits but do they also clean the shower, wipe down the toilet, recreate the first tissue box tissue pretty poof and then check all that three times before leaving the room?

So here are a couple of details about little ‘ole me.  Yep, I’m kinda little.  Sometimes I need help hefting my suitcase into the overhead bin.  I’m strong but, well, not tall.  And I’m not quite that ‘ole yet.

I was raised in the south, close knit family and all which accompanies that.  I think nowadays it’s called dysfunctional.  My people owned a meat and three in Bodunk, North Carolina.  My waistline didn’t like it but the primary recipe ingredient growing up was Crisco, we are talking white gravy-white biscuit-deep fat fried southern.   I grew up with what I like to call three brothers but technically only one pain in the neck of a brother and two similar cousins, so I was a bit of a tomboy.  “Hey watch this! Ouch!” was my motto growing up. I still got that attitude. By the way when you lose at anything in my family you will get heckled by goat sounds coming from the mouths of all of them so I’m now a tad bit competitive.

I used to be kinda big, um lb number started with a “2” at some point, but I’m not anymore.  That experience has shaped me (smaller dresses means more of them, neatly, in my suitcase next to my travel steamer) and gave me insight into the adage, “everybody’s going through something.” So I like to think it also helped me to develop, at least my old weight’s worth, in empathy awareness.

I’ve been lucky to have a bunch of life experiences from surfing on the coast while getting a couple of college degrees to being a ski bum in CO.  That has helped me become a gal who likes steak tartare and Russian River Valley chards (I do like the wines) as much as chicken wings.  But I don’t eat chicken wings so much anymore because we have some chickens in our backyard at our house, you know the kinda house with the fence in the front yard?  I love my chickens but I also love that we are five minutes from a metropolitan area where I can play tennis in a competitive league and whoop some stay at home mom ass.  My friends give me a bit of grief every occasionally.  I buy cute tennis outfits and then get on the court and grunt when I serve.  But, in my defense, it takes a lot of might for a short gal to get the ball over that net.  Some of that grief from my friends also comes from belting out Patsy Cline tunes when I get a little tipsy. “Tipsy” is what us Southern gals call drunk.

My favorite TV show is Jeopardy.  I kinda got a thing for Alex Trebeck, c’mon who doesn’t like an ageless, witty, sometime mustachioed Canadian? I love being able to answer all those questions in the comfort of my own home where people don’t think I’m showing off by being a smarty pants, I just like the game of it all.

While I used to be all about hemmed jean shorts, some kind of athletic sandal with unnecessary amounts of Velcro and shaved bangs (thank Heavens I was funny otherwise I would have had zero friends) I’m now as comfortable in an Ann Taylor Loft suit in a boardroom as I am getting spider bites planting peonies in my yard.  One day, I’ll write about the time my finger swelled up so big from a spider bite I had to visit an urgent care directly after getting off the plane and the 67 year old urgent care doctor insisted on giving me a ride in his Subaru to my hotel all the while explaining to me the virtues of dream catchers and zodiac signs.

My work takes me all over the country where I give presentations to a bunch of guys in suits in boardrooms but I also have audiences of people with their “feet on the street.”  My favorite parts of my job are working with my team and helping to try to craft creative, audience specific, presentations and messaging.

I travel so much I’m referred to as “Norm” in the Sky Club, Baggage Claim Carousel B Restaurant, every Marriott lobby bar,…….you get the point.  My life experiences and my desire to escape a little bit, I don’t have the attention span to read novels, compels to me write this blog.

And remember, ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR TRAY TABLES.

Backpack on a blanket- come on!

backpack.jpg

Armed and NOT Dangerous

Just when I thought I had seen it all. I will go ahead and warn you that I did not capture a photo of this experience because honestly I enjoyed being in dry clothes, but after reading you will realize that even my weird and wonky brain could not make a story like this up. Here we go…

I board my plane and walk my Only Fancy Because of Work Perks Self up to the  front row of First Class. I am sitting next to a nice little lady. She is of African American descent, likely in her mid to late 60’s,  dressed in a long flowy skirt and a very prim and proper blouse. In her lap, she held her purse. She was in the aisle seat, and I was in the window. All was well. It was an evening flight so I partook in my glass of headache inducing airplane wine as we all settled in. The lady next to me passed on the beverage while boarding. Atypical for this time, she simply sat during boarding. She did not sleep. She did not talk. She did not look around. She only stared forward at the safety card in the pocket; thirty minutes of boarding and the same ole stare. She communicated with the staff when they asked her questions, but that was it. There was no texting, no napping, no reading, no airplane magazine sudoku, nothing. Just a good ole 30 minute stare.  Let’s call her Stare Bear.

I, on the other hand, was looking around to see if there was anyone interesting on the plane while sipping on wine, checking texts, emails, Facebook, Workday Learning, Insta, LinkedIn in cycles to pass the time. It’s very millennial of me, I know and related to my ADD affliction.  Stare Bear to the left of me was my polar opposite. I outnumbered her by 100% in the freckle contest #winning! and she would beat me 50,000 times out of 50,000 in a staring contest.

All things continue and we take off as expected. Now this is where the plot thickens. For those who may not know, in First Class, your beverages are served to you in wine glasses. In a restaurant setting or even your home, they would be less than average stemless glasses, but for some reason on a plane that make you feel all Fancy Schmancy.  I’ll admit, deep in my heart, it’s these glasses that are my favorite part of First Class and partly because they actual contain wine!

As the flight attendant comes by I, of course, order another wine; par for the post 5pm First Class flight home course. At this point I am astonished when I hear Stare Bare ask for something. She orders politely in a very volume appropriate voice, “May I please have a cup of water with no ice in a plastic cup not a glass?” The flight attendant obliges, but I am so confused. It’s like saying no to the unnecessary but kind of fun hot wash cloth you get when settling in. “Why would she want plastic?” I thought.

The flight attendant served her the water as requested, and Stare Bear reached into her purse and out she pulled a small water gun!  It was one of the clear green ones, like from the Dollar Tree, not one of the ones that looked anything like a regular gun. I say this to note that I don’t feel she was using this to deter anyone from hurting or attacking her. She takes the iceless water in the plastic cup and she opens the little plastic hole stopper. In goes the lukewarm, First Class, plane water. She gently plugs the water gun, discards the water cup and places the water gun in her right hand, finger on trigger. Now that she is armed and dangerous, she crosses her fictitious-weapon laden arms around her purse on her lap and proceeds to fall asleep for the next 3 hours until we land.  I can’t wait for the moment when another Frist Class passenger attempts a mid-flight purse snatch!  They are going to get…..soaked!!!!  Well, that doesn’t happen; go figure.  As we land, she asks for another cup but no water. She removes the plastic stopper, poured the now even warmer water into the cup and discards it with flight attendant. Since the great First Class cabin holdup didn’t happen, I begin to envision a fantastic water gun OK corral type  shootout with an awaiting grandchild when we disembark.  I’m get so excited thinking about Stare Bear maneuvering behind airport hallway columns as she takes down a 5 year old in an epic water gun battle!  The aircraft door opens, this is going to be so exciting!  She exits and is gone, slips into the airport crowd uneventfully.  So, no shoot-out dang it.  But, I at least know, ‘ole Stare Bear is out there walking around, armed and dangerous, with a green plastic water gun from Dollar Tree.

This one leaves me without a summarizing sentence. Jaw dropped, head scratching, I can only leave you with advice. ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR TRAY TABLES.

Own Up, Dude.

What the heck is the matter with people?

First thing this morning, I arrived at the Atlanta airport for my 7:00am flight to DFW. I’ll be honest, I still wished I was in my pajamas snuggled up around my body pillow, but I wasn’t. I was at the airport with other grownups. Some were traveling for business and some for fun. As I walked to the Sky Club to knock out a few last minute emails and somehow resisted a 7:00am Monday morning Bloody Mary, I looked at a plane that was boarding. Boarding the plane (too far onto the tarmack for a photo) was a group of ADULTS all of who were wearing pajamas. Listen y’all, I am not talking about yoga pants and hoodies. I am talking about the kinds of pajamas that families get around Christmas time, the ones with the pants that match the button up top. Mind you, they were adults. As mentioned in line three, I would have loved to be in my pajamas but we are in public for Pitty’s sake. What in the world?

For this trip, it was a quick turn around, and I was flying back from DFW around 3:00 pm. As I looked around the First Class cabin, I noticed nothing bloggable. There was a cute little family in front of me, who I happened to go to High School with, and a nice man next to me who lived a few miles from my Alma Mater. The rest of the rows were Plain Janes.

We started to roll back and the safety demonstration got interrupted. We were still moving in the right direction but the flight attendant came on the intercom to tell us that someone left their bag in the aisle in First Class  but they were not in First Class. This normally would have been okay but they ran out of space and the plane can’t take off until “all carry-ons are stowed properly.” Clearly, a suitcase in the middle of the aisle is not “stowed properly.”

The flight attendant came on the intercom to ask about the bag. “We have a bag without a home. Please claim so we can all make our layover.” So we waited, and waited, and she made the announcement again. We waited longer. She made the announcement again with a little sass in her voice this time. Seeing as I am in 2D, I got to hear the calls with the travel police as we rolled back to the gate. We were truly going back to the gate in what was an early flight because some knucklehead didn’t want to own up to their bag.  At that point, the flight attendant made one last plea. She walked down the aisle, looking every passenger in the eyes, holding the bag over her head (photo proof below) and asking, “is this your bag?”

Busted!  The man in 15C is the culprit. He confusedly removes his headphones and wonders why in the world the flight attendant is doing shoulder presses with HIS bag?  The Air Marshall stands down, door opens, bag gets checked and we are off and away! Thankfully I had taken the necessary precaution of asking for two wines in case this bag “situation” turned out to be something more serious.  The safety demonstration resumed, and the witty flight attendant said “people you have to listen. If you miss your connection, talk to the guy in 15C, not your follow up survey. Take your headphones out for a few minutes. This is how we feel when you quietly order your drinks.”

Hats off to the pretty and sassy flight attendant on the Delta flight from DFW to ATL!

Own Up