From time to time, my job as a Manager of Dental Material Standards at the ADA (is everyone still awake?) affords me a travel opportunity. To say that my work is Dullsville is an insult to the residents of that fictional town, but I do try and make the most out of these mini-excursions. Once I went to New York City for a two-day training session on American National Standards: Administration, Publication and Accreditation. I did my best not to stab myself right through the retina with a pen during the course of meetings, and this work was made easier by what I have come to refer to as my favorite solo date: a walk to Times Square where I treated little old me to dinner at one of many local diners, a cocktail or three at a sexy lounge, and a showing of Hairspray featuring enough gay 80s and 90s icons to make one’s head explode – Jim J. Bullock, Lance Bass and Tevin Campbell in one shot? I waited only for a walk-on by RuPaul to make my fantasy complete.
Today I find myself in Atlanta. Or not so much Atlanta as a suburb. Or not so much a suburb as an industrial park in the middle of nowhere, where I am esconced in a Courtyard Marriott until 9:15 AM tomorrow morning. That’s when my shuttle bus will pick me up and whisk me away to the glamorous ANSI ISO Member Forum! (shouted like Rod Roddy unveiling a pop-up camper to a Showcase Showdown contestant). At this point, it appears that my dinner options consist of the bags of peanuts I swiped from the first class cabin of my American Airlines flight, or something called Order Inn Hospitality Services. In addition to loathing this vendor for the cutesiness of their name, I resent any attempt to sell me bar food and call it cuisine. But that’s the South for you (as well as the Courtyard Marriott).
It would seem I am in for a dull night, but at least I am consoled my own state of Tears on the way here (a term originally coined by my sister, but in 2000, carrying a negative connotation). A state of Tears is achieved when one is so taken aback by their own fabulousness that the shock can only be expressed through the release of a good crying fit. Without a violent outburst of emotion, when one is in a state of Tears, there is liable to be some form of tectonic shift, resulting in a tsunamni or hurricane situation heaped upon an unsuspecting villager. Therefore, one must pause to recognize these little situations where one’s own chutzpah and personality transcends the genric nature of a situation. Such a moment occurred for me today as I reached O’Hare airport in Yellow Cab.
It is a sign of these troubling economic times that I left for the aiport at 9:00 AM and had the highway to myself. The airport had the foot traffic level of a Sunday afternoon, and my 11:40 AM flight had plenty of room. I was so early for my flight that I was offerred the chance to upgrade to first class for a mere $90. Score! They were going to charge me $15 to check my bag anyway, so I looked at the additional $75 as an investment in a better nap, the possibility of real food and best of all….liquor. I believe at this point it is a well-known fact that the generally accepted “blue law” of not drinking before noon is comfortably waived in the following circumstances: St. Patty’s Day, one’s birthday, a bikini wax appointment, and all activities related to air travel.
My seat was now 6F, a window in the back of the first class cabin. I was snuggled under a fluffly red blankie and waited for the free swag! To my utter disappointment, my fellow first class travelers appeared unaware of the waiving of the blue law. When offerred pre-flight beverages, they chose the mundane coffee, soda, etc. Not wanting to boldly advertise my own shameless air drunkeness, I compromised with a mimosa (Hey! There’s orange juice right?). I resented the inclusion of any liquid I could have gotten in coach for free, but I was not about to let a little bit of teetotaling by my seatmates ruin my party. Once we were safely in air, the air hostess brought me my first huge glass of red wine, and thankfully, kept them coming.
I passed out, er fell asleep, about 30 minutes before we landed. I woke up right around the time we touched the runway in Atlanta, nearly sleeping through an opportunity to wipe a small amount of red colored drool from my cheek. I called my husband, as promised, the moment I landed and deplaned. As I raced around for the nearest hole in the ground where I could vacate my wine soaked bladder, I dialed with the free hand that wasn’t clutching futilely at my lower abdomen. My husband listened to the first few syllables of out of breath slurring before correctly concluding, “You got first class? Oh baby!”
Is it any wonder I married this man?