When last I left you, I was not going to be a sky pirate captain because my husband is a quitter—a died-in-the-wool giver-upper who never supports my dreams.
I am, as it happens, still not a sky pirate captain.
I am, however, a person who has literally paid for a hotel by the hour, (though I’m sure the good people at Ramada don’t advertise this service) upgraded herself out of the best flight ever, and—because I love you—snapped a photo of the most mockable woman in all of Georgia.
Here’s what happened:
Delta wasn’t offering hotels, rental cars, or even snacks. They were hard-pressed to provide five or six blankets and three pillows to the sixty or so angry passengers shouting at the gate staff. The flight crew fucked off the very instant the flight was called off, because their sense of self-preservation is excellent. So Husband and I started making phone calls.
Could we pick up our rental car in Atlanta instead and just drive up?
Delta says they will credit us for the unused ticket and inconvenience. Enterprise says sorry, there are no cars in Atlanta.*
Could we change our hotel reservation, so we’re at least sleeping in a bed instead of the airport? You know, since we’ve paid for one in Augusta.
Hotel says yes, but shuttle service is slow this time of night. We do the math: we’re paying $90 for a two-hour nap.
HIM: What do you think?
ME: Up to you.
HIM: … I can’t sleep here.
ME: Then yeah. Do it.
HIM: (into phone) Yeah, make that change
ME: (heads over to gate counter) Psst!
GATE AGENT: (jumps)
ME: (smiles) That morning flight… how full is it?
GATE AGENT: (nervous) A little less than it was tonight…
ME: Got any room in first class?
GATE AGENT: (starts typing) Let me see…
HIM: Hey, let’s go.
ME: (quietly) Shut. Up.
I continued to pat myself on the back for that upgrade right up until we were actually on the plane, being offered beverage service while the lesser mortals were still struggling to cram themselves into their teeny seats.
Instead of being across the aisle from my puppy pal and his handler, I was now two rows ahead of them. Two rows and a whole world.
ME: (looking back)
HANDLER: (pointedly) He misses you.
ME: Awww! He can come up here!
HANDLER: (hard stare) You’re not across the aisle anymore.
ME: (glances at empty seat across the aisle from us) You guys could come up and—
HANDLER: (starts conversation with woman across the aisle and one row behind)
After takeoff, I had a look ‘round at our old section and caught more than a few glares from our former neighbors. These were the people who had been ready to support me in mutiny last night but I’d moved two rows up and was suddenly bourgeois, a traitor.
Also, first class is sort of ridiculous for a thirty minute flight.**
But we arrived safely, else I’d never be writing to you. I collected an interesting security snafu story at the visitors’ center and we spent most of the day with Offspring, who is so much changed you’d never recognize him. Mostly because you’ve never seen him, but also because he now stands up straight and looks where he’s going so he almost never trips. Honestly, if that’s all the Army manages to teach him, it will have done better than I managed in 18 years.
Husband and I were left to our own devices for an hour or two before the graduation ceremony, which for us meant standing in a corner of the lobby and mocking other people.
There was no WiFi there either, you understand.
And that, my darlings, is how we found this woman:
Let’s break this down, because there’s a lot happening here.
We’ve got the “can I speak to your manager” haircut
Note the Lysol wipes holstered in her “cool mom” backpack. These are necessary because her fuck trophy runs wild and she does nothing to control it but coo, “shh, Samantha calm down honey” in dulcet tones, so naturally Samantha creates and is frequently covered in all manner of sticky messes. (I won’t fault her for the water bottle other than to wonder what the hell was in the rest of that backpack)
We’ve got the Asian character tattoo which almost certainly doesn’t mean what she thinks it means
And I don’t have a photo of this because I had already achieved maximum creepiness so you’re just going to have to trust me: the child in question was 4-5 years old, still in diapers, and not only running around out of control but screaming. That high pitched shrill screech that rattles glass.
Honestly, I could only get so angry. Because mocking others nourishes me and I’d been getting a little peckish before she came along, competing for Twatwaffle of the Year and a Worst Parent award.
The highlight of the trip really was seeing Offspring again, though. Everyone’s so keen on saying the best part of parenting is when you hold the baby, or teach a kid to tie their shoes, but my arms got tired and teaching him to tie his shoes was just a lot of yelling. This, the adult relationship with a person I made?
This part is really cool.
That, and I introduced myself to all his friends as “Mom of Private Squdgee-Boo-Boo.” They’ve promised me the nickname will follow him to his first duty station.
* How is that even possible? I got a good look around outside and there were plenty of cars—they may have belonged to other people but that seems a small obstacle when you consider they’d already locked up the plane and my chance at sky piracy.
** Especially if it costs you a puppy.