Sunday, May 13, 2018

Transcontinental traveling--I'm doing it wrong

It's 6am on Mother's Day and I'm across the world from my lovelies and am sitting in the airport lounge in Newark looking at they NYC skyline and wishing my family were here with me. Child 2 is only a 1 hour flight away, but sadly, I'm not going to see her. I'm on my way to Knoxville, TN for work; long story short, just accept that someone who works for the State Department in India actually has a good reason for going to Knoxville for work.

It's a cloudy day in Newark, but I can still see the Freedom Tower ascending into the clouds and the lights on the George Washington bridge blinking in the foreground. Each time I see this view, it's like a sharp needle to my heart. When I was little, my parents thought it might be fun to go to NYC and walk between the towers of the World Trade Center. I was afraid to look up so mostly I saw gum and cigarette butts on the sidewalk. Now that I am no longer scared of heights, I would love the chance to do it again. But they are gone, and a piece of m childhood and my heart with them.

However, lest you think this is going to be a sad post, I am not really melancholy; I just have a raging headache and I hurt all over from being 14 hours on a plane and not sleeping. I used to do that every time I traveled, mostly because when the children were small, one of them would always be awake and whining that she was bored. One awful flight across the Pacific, (this was in the days before personal entertainment screens in the seatbacks,) they showed Hellboy as the movie and totally freaked out Child 2. Who then woke up Child 3 who immediately started screaming and woke up Child 1 who yelled at everybody to shut up. And of course, I was completely outnumbered because Husband had flown back to Korea the week before and I was alone with three kids, none of whom would sleep. The entire 747 hated me. And that was my worst flight ever--until last night.

I normally don't mind flying alone because I discovered when you don't have children to worry about, you can actually sleep! So I was all set in my Economy Plus seat on the aisle with easy access to a bathroom. I got out my memory foam neck pillow and put on my noise canceling headphones and went to sleep.

Now, some things to keep in mind about me. 1) I usually travel overnight in a maxi skirt because I discovered that the weight of a skirt and slip on my legs feels like a blanket and I sleep better and then I'm not tempted to use the icky airline blanket which after seeing one swabbed on the news about e.coli bacteria being everywhere I refuse to touch. Also, no zipper or digging waistband. 2) I have lots of food issues, and even though I ALWAYS request a gluten-free meal, about 50% of the time they don't have one for me. So I play Russian roulette with the airplane food and guess which one I think won't have wheat gluten or dairy in it. So last night, no GF meal so I asked for the chicken and mashed potatoes with tomato gravy. Big, big mistake. Huge! Because about an hour after I went to sleep, I woke up feeling something was really wrong. I was so groggy, I had a hard time pinpointing that I was really nauseated. So I got up to go to the bathroom, and of course the ones near me were all full. And then my slip fell off. Literally just slipped off and fell right to the ground around my feet. I suppose it could have been worse. It could have been my skirt.

But the problem with a slip on the ground is that you have to bend over to pick it up, and that did it. Up came my entire meal. I climbed over some people and ran to the back of the plane where the only open bathroom was, holding my slip in front of my face trying to keep everything down. But no luck. I vomited all over the slip and the bathroom and myself. Ugh!

Because I am a mother, though, I could not leave the bathroom that way, so after I was done making a mess, I tried to clean it and myself up. I must have been in that bathroom for 45 minutes. (Sorry everyone on that flight!) Also, I always carry an extra shirt, so I could at least change that. The slip was a lost cause, though. I just put it in an airsick bag, sealed it up, and threw it away.

I discovered that flight attendants are extra super nice if you have already cleaned up the bathroom when you tell them you were just sick in it. But that was the end of my sleeping on the flight. So now I am exhausted, and have a raging headache, and am a little smelly sitting in the airport by myself looking at NYC and wishing I had enough energy to get up and go walk around. For breakfast, I had a GF Rice Krispie treat and some ginger ale. So happy Mother's Day to me! I had planned a nice day of brunch and shopping, but now all I want is a shower and a long nap.

To my children, thank you for making me a mom. To my mom, thank you for keeping me alive all those years. (It was harder than one might think.) And to all my friends for whom Mother's Day is awful, please read this and laugh and think about me trying to only stand in front of walls all day so no one can see through my skirt because I have no slip. I assure you, I'm having a worse day than you, and I hope your day is better than a brownie. I should not think about brownies. Now I'm nauseated again. Anyone know where you can buy a slip in the Newark airport?


  1. OH, that is awful! I think I'd rather fly covered in baby vomit - seems better somehow. I hope your day goes better. And that you find a slip.

  2. Yay for Target! They had a slip in my size. Many future wardrobe malfunctions averted!