Tuesday, October 14, 2008

thank God for comfortable pants

     I think yesterday may have been my worst travel day ever.

      Even worse than when I went all the way to Africa and then freaked out when I got off the plane because I suddenly remembered how many dangerous animals reside there.

      Even worse than when I went all the way to Korea, boarding the plane with a whole slew of people that made up a cast I had yet to know and could only hope held a few friends for me.  

     It all started with my anxiety over having to wake up early for my flight from Greenville to Cleveland.  I am such a night owl, that going to bed earlier than say, 2 am--even when I know I need to because of an early morning--proves generally difficult.  I end up laying in bed, lights off, eyes closed, willing myself to drift into sleep.  But the harder I try to force it, the further it fleets from me.  

   Combine that with the large amounts of midol I took on Sunday (which turns out has tons of caffeine in it. oops), and well, I just couldn't sleep.  After it seemed like an endless amount of tossing and turning (that cliche really is true. believe me), the clock finally struck 6 am and since my alarm was set for 6:15 anyway, I gave up the charade of sleep and just got up.  

   I got on the bus en route to the airport and was in a great mood, even despite my lack of sleep.  I was joking with my friends, wearing comfortable pants with an elastic waistband, and overall feeling good.   

   Even standing in line to check my luggage was no problem.  Again, I was with friends, we were making fun of each other and laughing, I hadn't slept, was still wearing those comfortable pants with the elastic waistband...Still good.

   I didn't even mind when, for some reason, one of our company managers started calling up people from behind me in line to get in front of me and check their bags.

   I figured that we were all getting on the same plane, so no big deal.

   I mean, sure, I noticed that somehow I had started out in the middle of the line and then ended up as one of the last to check my bag...But I was rolling with the punches, barely even feeling them at that point.

   We board the plane.  The, ah, tiny, plane. All but 4 people in the plane are part of the company of ACL.  The stewardess grabs the microphone and apologetically explains that though they tried their darnedest to get all of our luggage on the plane, some just didn't make it.  Of course they would do everything they could to get the luggage that didn't make the cut back to us as soon as possible.  

   Uh-oh. I have a sinking feeling that I was about to start feeling the punches.
   And then I start to crash. I mean, really crash.  I feel absolutely exhausted and start having fantasies of a bed and me stretched out onto it.  When the usual boarding-a-plane-and-it-could-very-well-go down thought strikes me, it is immediately followed by this thought:
  Well, at least then I would be able to sleep for a very long time...  

    The plane trip is mostly uneventful, save for the one time I find an as-close-to-comfortable-position-possible--I had taken the seat tray table down and was resting my head on it, with my furry jacket for a pillow--and was almost sleeping.  All of the sudden, halfway through the flight, mind you (so I had been lulled into a false sense of security that the seat in front of me was already in its final resting place), the seat in front of me reclines and squishes my head in the process.  I carefully extricate my head from the furry jacket and then contract back into my own seat so as to unstick myself from the newly-reclined seat in front of me.

   And here I thought that passenger wasn't going to recline, not when we'd already been flying for so long. What a tease.  

    We get off the plane and go to baggage claim.  I watch all of my friends gleefully grab their bags off of the conveyor belt; first one and then the other.  I am simply waiting for one bag, since I have downsized to a single suitcase, and that one bag just doesn't come.  

   The few of us who didn't make the cut are directed to the LOSER AREA, and yes that is the official title for it, don't even try to tell me it's not.  We shuffle over to the lost baggage counter like refugees with only the clothes on our bodies and a back pack.  One by one we describe our bags to the kind lady behind the counter and it's finally my turn:

    Well, my bag is a lovely shade of red, big and rolly, has a sea horse on it!

   My friend Clyde cannot help but add some commentary as he says, Of course it has a sea horse on it...

   Clyde seems to think that I am childlike and different, but in a good way.  He is the one who calls me wholesome.  Actually, one day we were discussing some of the choice words that some characters choose to use as add libs on stage; there was a group of us and we mentioned how one actor in particular says f#@** a lot.  Clyde then pointed out that that wasn't all she says, She says worse words than f*#@*, actually.  
  I thought about this for a bit, and then leaned in to ask him, What's worse than a f#@*#?

  Clyde just looked at me and started laughing before finally saying, And that is why you're wholesome.  

  Anyway, when I asked Clyde why he thought it made such sense that I had a sea horse on my suitcase, he simply said, Easy. If you were a magical sea creature, you'd be a sea horse.

  Oh, I replied. That makes sense, I guess.

  Then it was my friend Kevin's turn to describe his suitcase.

   He starts, Well, my one suitcase is named Elphaba and she is big and green and rolls, and then there's Nessarose, and she's smaller and is red, like the shoes she wears that Dorothy steals at the top of Wicked...

   The lady behind the counter is typing all of this quite seriously and we are cracking up.  I love my friends.

   We get on the bus to get dropped off at our hotel.  I don't have my stuff, sure, but at least I will have a bed very soon...We check in at 12 but are told that we won't have a room until 2.  Some of the people in the company have rooms, but me and Gabi do not.  

   I try to remain positive. I remind myself that some people have very bad problems and wear extremely uncomfortable pants, while, if you remember, I am still wearing my very comfortable pants with an elastic waistband.  

  The lobby does smell like vomit, however, and that is somewhat bothersome...It becomes even more bothersome when we are allowed to store our luggage (or my back pack, as the case may be) in their back office/den of throw up. At least that is how it smelled.  I reluctantly leave my back pack there, hoping that it won't become too contaminated from that awful smell in the time it takes for me to find some food.  

   As politely as I can, I do ask the lady behind the counter if she could tell me why the lobby smells like vomit.  I don't think she loves my question, and she certainly makes it clear that she doesn't agree with me, though she does tell me she will check on it and promptly leaves.

   I can't help but wonder what, exactly, she is checking on--the huge vat of vomit that they apparently store in their offices?!?!

   We go to lunch. I am really dragging.  Clyde is sitting next to me and tells me I look a little crazy and that he understands why I can't string together sentences so well. I can cry at any moment. I eat a bacon cheeseburger in three bites, which is due to either my extreme exhaustion or how delicious that burger is.  

  Or maybe it is due to the fact that I am well aware of my comfortable pants and their elastic waistband.

   We call the hotel at 2 pm. Our room is still not ready. I can really cry now.  
    We wait a little longer and decide to just walk back to the hotel anyway.

    By 2:45 I am in my room, even better, in my bed.  I pull the sheets up around me and stretch my body out, so very happy to be laying down. I am anticipating maybe the best nap of my life.  

    And then I hear drilling noise right above me. Really, really loud drilling noise.  And I am not even kidding.

   Apparently the hotel is under construction. Perfect. I call the front desk.

   Hi. Listen, I haven't slept for a very very long time and it's gotten to the point the I need to sleep. Now.  How long will the drilling continue?

  Just until 3:30.  

  Well, I don't think the "just' is justified at all seeing as 3:30 feels like a very long time from now, but try to remain calm as I say,

  And at 3:30 the drilling will stop?  Forever?

   Ah yes, at 3:30 the drilling will stop forever, he promises.

   I thank him and hang up the phone.  I turn over and fall asleep.  Finally. 


kathiek said...

You are probably wishing it was still "not me Monday"! Sorry it was such an awful day, Jess. I hope you get your bag soon. "Thank God for comfortable pants" is a good title for this story, though...think how awful it would have been to go through all that AND be wearing really uncomfortable clothes to boot!! Blessings on your head, my friend.

jess said...

Ha! Yes, well I try to find something positive to think of when things are stupidly annoying-even if comfy pants is the best I can come up with, it helps! And my bag did finally come last night-and I got my toiletries this afternoon (I could explain why they weren't together, but its a long boring story).

Mom said...

Oh, a terrible day! I remember when Mimi's bag didn't get on our flight to Egypt and she didn't get her bag the whole time we were there. It didn't help that she got a bad case of Montezuma's Revenge (yes, in Egypt) and had no clothes to change into. Oh, yeah, and she lost her false teeth in the airplane's bathroom so she had no teeth either. She never went on an airplane trip again (or so she said). No wonder.

I hope you finally got some good sleep!

merry said...

Wow...I am not good on little to no sleep. In fact, I would have kicked the back of the lady's chair on the plane, made gagging noises and asked to be moved to the no barf section of the hotel and calmly would have told the front desk that I would start smashing one thing in the room for every minute that the drilling continued. Ok, maybe not...but I would have had a bad attitude and would have said,"You have GOT to be kidding me" A LOT.

christine said...

That is the worst when all of a sudden it hits you and you feel so tired it's sickening. I felt so happy for you when you finally got to go to sleep in a bed...of course after the drilling stopped : )

semi anonymous said...

poor baby, be sure to take some extra vitamin c. I am so impressed that you kept your wholesome attitude after all of that. Whenever I feel neck deep in a pile of garbage, I try hard to focus on the things I am grateful for, even just a scrap of hope (or comfy pants), but often fall short. Your writing is so good Jess, even with the less happy topics, I love reading it. I could so perfectly imagine what you were feeling with your detailed descriptions. Well done.

jessica said...

Thanks so much for all your sympathy--and the very kind compliment, S-A!

I think I sometimes may look more wholesome than I am, however...people often mistake quietness for wholesomeness, when really there may be more going impatience or aggravation or get the idea.

anyway, i'm really glad that day will never happen again.