This last trip was unbelievable because it taught me that while time passes and we age, not all people mature into reasonable human beings. No, there are exceptional people out there who defy the ability that experience and time usually perform; the shaping of an immature adolescent to a (mostly) rational, considerate adult. I digress.
The flight from Los Angeles to New York is about five hours which is an hour and a half shorter than the reverse trek, but this trip felt arduous, long, unbearable....for a few reasons.
First, I was peeved, not in a good mood, so irate you could sear tuna on my skin. We went through security and were questionned very thoroughly. Why? you may ask.....I will tell you why and this is the reason I was so pissed.
Security man (hereafter referred to as 'dude'): 'You packed your own bags?'
Dude: 'You're in big trouble.'
Alex looks over at me as I'm strolling the baby across the ten-by-ten square that now feels like a prison. He looks as though he's lost all color from his face.
Dude pulls out two long steak knives from an inner compartment.
Me (internally, suppressing the desire to scream this): What the fuck is that? I cannot believe he is stupid enough to pack knives? Wait....why would he do that? Shit! We might get cavity searched!
Alex: 'Those aren't mine.' He looks like someone just told him he won a beauty pageant. In other words, stunned.
Dude: 'How did they get in here then?'
Alex: 'I don't know. HONESTLY, I really don't know.'
He looks like he might cry and I think the guy takes pity on us, that is, after he pulls over his boss, the security chief and another woman. Surprisingly, they let us go.
In disbelief, as we're walking toward our gate, Alex remembers that we packed the knives in the inner compartment, the one he never checks, when we moved two years ago. What?! We flew ten times with those knives in our carry-on. Now, THAT is scary.
While waiting to board, he tells me that all the poo and pee in his body almost exploded out of his body when he saw the knives. I wanted to strangle Alex for not checking the bag's inner pockets, but then again, it was my bag, the one I bought in Geneva the summer I fell in love with him.
So, we get on the plane and all I want to do is sleep. I sit in my seat as Alex puts away our bags. A woman crawls over me to get to her window seat and tells me, 'I hope you're staying in that aisle seat. I really don't want to be next to a baby.' Wow. Bitch.
Me: 'Well, I'm sorry. That's not possible. My husband and I will both be carrying the baby.' I wanted to flip her off, but seeing how we were to spend the next five hours together, I shut up.
She kept sighing like it was her job...'OOOOh, ugh, oooough.' You know those sighs, the ones that sound like they're being wrenched from the body. That coupled with the mumbled bitter comments.... I wanted to tell her to shut the fuck up, but I was too busy consoling Adele as it was nearing her bedtime.
Her behavior was so egregious that the flight attendant came to our row, signaled to her and said, 'Excuse me, I'm going to have to move you.'
'Why?' she asked
'Frankly, I'm tired of hearing you complaining. I'm a mom too and I don't appreciate it.'
She moved this woman, a mid thirties, obviously single, bitter sorry excuse of a person to a different row where she could torment her new victims and torment, she did. I overheard her asking a man to switch seats so she could be next to the window. I'm glad the man said, 'No, who do you think you are?' which finally shut her up.
Ten minutes later, the woman in front of me starts screaming, 'I need to get off the plane!'
(Mind you, we're about to take off.)
She is talking to her boyfriend on the phone, 'What do you want me to do? Get off the plane?! I can't!'
Alex whispers, 'Jersey, judging by the accent.'
The older couple sitting next to her, dressed in plaid, tries to pretend that a crazy woman is not sitting right beside them.
'Oh fuck! Shit! I need to get off' she motions to the stewardess. 'Get me off,' I can hear her fake nails clawing at the seat belt.
I whisper to Alex, 'All the crazies are on this plane tonight'. He laughs, but the dark circles under his eyes and the sweat that's accumulating on his brow makes me feel sorry for him.
This flight was absolutely chaotic, miserably seated with crankies, and had only just begun. No matter, I realized that being a parent requires patience, not for your child, but for all the insane, unstable people that surround you, sometimes for five hours, thousands of miles above the revolving earth.