A tip for all traveling with tykes around the holidays, dress your wee one in something seasonally fitting and adorable. For example, bunny ears and a tail. My daughter made the ears at child-minding and the tail in her kindergarten class Holy Thursday and proceeded to wear them non-stop through the rest of that day and into Good Friday when we were flying out of Edmonton to Minneapolis for holiday. She would even hop for people with all the verve of Peter Cottontail himself. Now we have flown with Katy before and she is very cute even without a costume, but no one in Customs or with the TSA has ever seemed to notice. But, as a bunny she drew smiles and cooing noises from nearly every one she encountered, proving that even these folks are human. I was beginning to wonder. It was the most pleasant near anal probing I have ever been on the receiving end of as far as airport security goes. None of the usual “mach schnell” and stealing furtive glances around myself wondering if someone was going to snatch us from line and whisk us off to some little room somewhere. (Perhaps if I wrote about them in a more upbeat and ingratiating manner I would be less nervous?)
Despite sailing through customs and security, we ended up boarding late, as there was snow in Minneapolis that delayed the inbound flight we were taking. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to fly back and forth between two destinations all day long. It makes teaching look like fun in comparison. Though the weather portrait being painted for us by the Edmonton Northwest employees looked dreary, the reality was not as bleak. Not really any colder when we finally arrived but minus the sunshine we are becoming accustomed to seeing for at least part, if not all, of our days.
We barely made the connecting flight, only to be stuck on the runway for almost as long as the actual flight took. De-icing and then waiting for our turn to take-off pushed this flight back as well. I don’t take things like this in stride as my husband does. He reminded me when I was particularly crabby that if he ends up taking the Houston job we will eventually have to fly overseas and those are much longer flights. He is a “see, it could be much worse” person and I am an “it kinda sucks now” person. I think I would have been better had I not had a child next to me kicking my legs and pelting me with a hundred questions or the Father Knows Best family sitting in the seats ahead of us loud talking with another passenger.
People who can strike up meaningless banter with their seatmates on a plane always impress me. Chuck Palahniuk refers to them as “single serving friends” in his novel Fight Club. Directly in front of me was a young college student and a thirtyish woman who looked as if she could have been that girl you knew in high school who was a cheerleader and in homecoming court and dated only the cute athletic guys from well off families. You know her, right? Well, they get plump and cut their hair into short fashionable SAHM do’s when they hit thirty and flirt with single guys nine or so years younger on planes when they are coming home from shopping jaunts to Mall of America where they met their college sorority sisters for a mad weekend of credit card maxing and mai tai’s at the Ruby Tuesday’s. They probably don’t also get hit on by the kid’s dad in the seats across the aisle whose wife is sitting right beside him looking like a fiftyish version of her though. Am I being catty? Okay, I am. I like running across these women now that I am older. I enjoy seeing what time has done to them. I wonder if they realize what has happened, or if they are just as clueless as they were back in high school. If they are, it is willful. How could you stand being the same vacuous person as an adult that you were as a teen?
Stuck as we were and as loud a competition as this father and son were in for the fashionably done up Sex in the Small Town woman, I ended up having to listen to the dad tell the same bad joke over and over, the mom recite the doings of their entire clan for that last two years – this included a complete medical history of her father and a bragging session about their well-married older daughter and finding out the kid’s name was “Bud”. Who does that to their own child?
We managed to arrive in Iowa nearly on time and with all of our luggage this trip and scored a nice vehicle from the rental people. My best friend and her family drove over from Des Moines to meet us at our hotel and we ended up swimming that night and spending time at the nearly deserted mall the next day. And despite the dire predictions, the weather was seasonable and most of the snow had melted. I have found out a few things about my family that I am wondering the impact of on me this coming year but that is stuff for another day.
I still hate flying and would much prefer driving however.