Thursday, February 28, 2008

PUTTING ME FIRST; FIRST CLASS, THAT IS


So my last two blogs, about being under-appreciated and about being sick (again), led me to this blog because FINALLY I got some vindication! And it comes along so rarely, that I am doing the happy dance and don't nobody burst my bubble!
Waiting for our delayed red-eye last night (it's bad enough to have a scheduled departure at 11:20pm, the flight was delayed until 12:30p!). My kids held up pretty well, I on the other hand, was falling fast. My cold, which turned into asthma, which turned into bronchitis (again) in the course of one day, was keeping me down. We made it to the gate with little difficulty only to realize my son no longer had his suitcase with him. After numerous near-losses (my son would forget his head if it weren't screwed on), the suitcase was finally lost. In my phlegm-filled stupor, I walked out of the gate preparing for a re-tracing of all our steps since going through security. Instead, standing across the hall was an airport security guard looking very serious while holding onto a munckin-sized black plastic suitcase with the very threatening Darth Vadar on the front. I approached with a timid smile and tried to claim it.

"What's in it?," he asked in a stern tone.

"A white fuzzy blankie, some toys and some children's books," I said quickly and precisely, proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt,that it was mine (my son's).

"White blankie, yeah. Toys, yeah. What's your name?," he continued the interrogation.

I dutifully told him my full name.

"Your son's name?," he asked.

I told him, not sure why he was asking because my son's name wasn't even on the suitcase (bad mommy!) but he was so officious, I complied.

He nodded his head. "You know," he said," tell your son to be more careful next time. He left it down at the gift shop and they called the bomb squad."

I immediately pictured other, even more serious, people rifling through my son's bag looking for explosive devices and finding only webkins, Star Wars legos, and Captain Underpants books .

"I'll tell him, Sir. I've very sorry. It won't happen again. Thank you for your help," I said in my all-too-familiar, desperately despised, good girl tone.


I returned to my family where my son was engrossed in a tv show on the video I-pod. He pulled his earbuds from his ears upon seeing my disapproving face.

"I'm not watching Drake and Josh, Mom! It's I-Carly...oh good, you found my suitcase." He was done with the matter. Not me.
I thought maybe I could scare him into learning to keep a better watch on his things.

"Do you know that leaving your suitcase in an airport is very serious? The airport people need everyone to hold onto their suitcase. Remember? We discussed this?"

He nodded.

"Well, they had to call the bomb squad, honey, because they found your suitcase near the gift shop and didn't know who it belonged to. They thought it might have a bomb and it made them very scared."

I tried to make the lesson stick by taking his hand and escorting him to the stern security guard so he could hear it from a person of authority (because to him, g-d knows, I am not), but my son FREAKED out. He was terrified. I didn't have the heart. I still think maybe I should have followed through but I was just so tired and ill that I let the whole episode drop.


The one good thing about last night's flight was that my husband used his miles to apply for upgrades. The flight was full so a few minutes before boarding they called our name and offered only one first class seat. Normally, I would have taken the typical mommy road of putting all others before me and letting someone else enjoy life's cherries, but after the "washing dishes" episode from the other day and feeling absolutely miserable and all, when my husband asked, "What do you want to do?," fully expecting me to be the selfless one, I snatched the ticket from his hand and said, "I'll take it."


He stammered, unsuspecting was he, and tried to convince me that it would be better if we could all sit together because the kids needed both of us to flank them and protect them from the discomfort of sitting near strangers.


To this I said, in my ever-so-gentle demeanor, "The kids are old enough. they're gonna have to sit next to a stranger sometime, might as well be now."


He couldn't come up with any other arguments, particularly because having accepted the first class seat, he obviously thought it was worth it for ONE of us to use it.
Now, just in case you think badly of me, let's take a break from this moment and flashback to 15 years ago, when in our first year of marriage, new hubby and I were put in the same scenario - plane was full and one first class ticket was offered to the two of us. I hesitated and hubby leapt for the brass ring. I sat for six hours, seething, squished and hungry in my peasant class seat having refused the entree they dared to call dinner, while my loving spouse periodically visited me (empty-handed) to share his reviews about the wonderful champagne, salmon appetizers, and the aromal of the highly-anticipated warm chocolate chip cookies. As hard as I tried to instill guilt, he never felt badly about that day. He said it was my fault for hesitating. Well, fifteen years later, I had my chance at retribution, and kids or no kids, I wasn't screwing it up this time!


Sure, I felt twinges of guilt and created a few, dark, mental scenarios of the plane crashing and me, selfish mommy, not being near my kids during their excruciating, final moments. But I quickly kicked those hallucinations to the curb and wiggled into comfort in my wide leather seat.


Today, we're all safe and sound, and though I'm still sick as a dog, I feel empowered. I am woman- hear me roar!
Who ever said revenge isn't sweet??!!

3 Comments:

Elisa said...

I loved this... "...I snatched the ticket from his hand and said, "I'll take it." Bravo!

InTheFastLane said...

Hurray for you! I am glad you got to enjoy your trip all by yourself, especially after having to deal with an bomb suitcase. Glad they didn't blow it up :)

Manic Mommy said...

Apparently, revenge is a dish that is best served cold or reheated.

Good for you! Ha!

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