Okay, okay.. maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but hear me out. Flying these days is not the same. I remember thinking it the other day, saying it, and then I realized that I had cursed myself. I could not fly out of Indianapolis.
In the end, a complaint was filed against a rogue airline employee who took me off a flight for a reason beyond my understanding or the airlines. I had checked in, my ticket said 1A, but I was booted. A reality I was unaware of until the following morning when my attempted ticket reprint failed. I was on another flight, or rather, two flights said a surprisingly unpleasant airline rep who had rudely interrupted a conversation I had been having with her coworker.
Farewell direct flight and hello unforgiving, airplane bathroom stench post full speed run in heels pre-6 a.m.
I should also tell you the airline delayed then cancelled my original flight the night before minutes before we were supposed to board. As I walked back out of the terminal, there it was, a long line full of unhappy people who were told to call the airline to avoid the ugly in person encounters that were coming anyways. I furrowed my brow and internally tapped my foot realizing that every moment I waited in line meant someone else was getting a seat I so desired.
Then, the man standing in front of me gave me a big smile and asked me out on a date. I had been so focused on being the next in line as I intently watched my only line of communication dying before my eyes after a worthless call to an agent in a far away land, that I had to read his lips as he nervously pitched his feelings. The whole thing felt a bit blurry. He got some serious points for being a man unafraid to put himself out there. It’s a rarity. These days you get text messages about real life and feelings. Still, he had what you call very bad timing, and I thanked him for the very nice compliment as I headed towards a newly freed up agent.
I would get a new plane assignment, that would only prove temporary, as I mentioned before, a coupon for an airport hotel even though I am a local, and a warning that paying the day rate to park at the airport was going to be a must. Where was the positive in this equation?? Oh, right, I actually knew where I had parked!
Still, I was not a happy camper. I was going to miss an important appointment and the reason for my trip.
The next day, on flight two, after minimal sleep, I finally laughed. It was hard, but my seat neighbor quickly revealed her special gift: open-mouthed, sunflower seed chewing then purposeful regurgitation of the bird seed into a barf bag… lips to bag every sixth or seventh seed. I counted to see if she was conscious of this repeated act of crazy, and I wondered what the bag would look like if it was dusted for prints. Undoubtedly, it would keep any forensic expert busy. Then, I closed my eyes and pictured something dreamy, specifically one of my favorite things, and I made it happen.
Rental boat. Check.
Squid and shrimp for the picky palettes. Check.
My old fishing grounds. Check.
I spent hours with some of the most beautiful animals I had ever seen. Word of choice: majestic.
But they “gotta eat.” (Checkers commercial nod. Yes, I’m a dork.)
So… When I arrived at work, my first priority was breaking a part a block of chum, that was nearly the size of a double sink, with my bare hands and some hot water. Working at a ‘mini Sea World’ is not as glamorous as you’d think. I smelled bad, and my hands, that were cut up from sharp scales and bones, smelled of fish, always.
So, I relied on lemons.
They were my new best friends until I became a waitress. I still have a secret hatred for condiments to this day. I cut dozens upon dozens of lemons at the beginning of each shift that often turned into a double so I’d leave covered in a bit of egg, some kind of fried meat, and beer. The tips were great though! Especially from the business men who tried to nonchalantly slip into the gentleman’s club next door after their meal during their lunch hour. Maybe they were practicing. Lol.
A designer sunglass store also employed me for a bit. What were they thinking? I am not the best salesperson, but I did enjoy heating the sunglass frames with some crazy contraption in the back of the store so that they would actually fit a customers face nice and snug. I convinced myself it was a craft, and it was the far better alternative than rubbing fingerprints off the countless pairs of glasses on display, which was one of my main duties.
And now, I’m in TV news…something I’ve told you all about already.
Here’s what I think… regardless of what you do, focusing on the little things… the little victories.. the little bits of enjoyment as you work your butt off is your best bet.
It’s called work for a reason. It’s not supposed to be fun all of the time or even at all, but working through it is key. There is nothing better than finally landing on your couch after a long day at work and feeling that sense of pride and fulfillment.
You worked hard, it looked good, and you got paid. Now, for some sleep…. well, a little sleep. I’m always craving a little more one-on-one time with my mattress, and I fear I’m not alone.