Posted by: Josey | August 1, 2008

Adventures in Travel: You Had to Be a “Big” Shot

by Josey Miller

The puddle jumper? On time. 45 minutes. Three hours until our next flight at 10pm. New husband Jeff and I dragged two-week's worth of luggage around the non-air-conditioned airport in the South Pacific heat until the airline opened up the line to check in at 8:30pm.

9:10pm. Why is nobody else nervous that our international flight is in 50 minutes and this line is not moving??

9:30pm. We reach the passport checker man. He looks at our tickets, looks at us and makes a sad face that says, You're not going to like this. "Em, bon soir. Em, this flight is—how you say?—cancelled. Your hotel did not tell you?" (Would we be standing here if our hotel had told us?)

10:30pm. Chaos. We'd been moved to the other line—the one where the sticky, frustrated passengers were waiting. Funny how I literally cried like a three-year-old when we were leaving our hotel: "I don't want to go home! I want to stay HERE!" But by the time I reached the airport and was thisclose to hugging my cat and sleeping in my own cool bed… I just wanted to be home already.

11pm. Jeff and I had made friends with the airline supervisor to the point where we're sitting with him in his air-conditioned office checking our Yahoo! accounts after two weeks sans Internet access. It's kinda fun actually. I could get used to this… until the supervisor hangs up the phone and says there are two spots left for the 11:30 flight and we can catch it if we run. (The next one wasn't until 6am.) We run.

11:30pm. Me to flight attendant: "Excuse me, sir? You know the wine we're supposed to get with dinner? May I please have mine now?

11am Los Angeles time. Me to Jeff: "If we run to customs and then run from the international terminal to the domestic terminal, I still think we can catch our connection!" Again, we run.

11:45am. American Airline representative to (very out-of-breath) me: "Ohhh nooo, you missed that flight. But it's your lucky day! An earlier flight was delayed until 3pm, so you can be on that one—in Business Class!" (Celebratory dance.) "Oh, wait. The only problem is, I have two window seats, one in front of the other. You'll have to ask one of the aisle people if they'll switch or you can't sit together." But, but… It's the last five hours of our honeymoon! And I'm sad enough as it is that the trip is over! (Whine, whine, whine.) Me: "We're on our honeymoon. Who would be heartless enough to say no, right? Don't you think?" She agrees.

2:35pm. I sit in 7J. Jeff sits in 8J. The big jerkwoman in 8H sits next to Jeff. I approach and in my sweetest voice ask, "Excuse me, ma'am. We were seated apart and it's our honeymoon. Is there any way you might take my window seat please?" She says no. I gasp, then slunk down in my seat.

2:37pm. A gentleman starts putting his carry-on bag above 7H. Our last hope.

Hey, he looks familiar… Wait a second…

It's "Mr. Big."

I check to make sure my hair looks okay.

It doesn't.

I whisper to the seat behind me, "This is how much I love you!" (Clear throat.) "Excuse me, sir?" He laser-glares at me and sits down. (In his defense, he'd been delayed for several hours, but I didn't delay the flight!) "Um, we're on our honeymoon? Him, the guy behind me, and I. And we would love to sit together. But we were seated apart? Um. And so would you please switch with him?"

He looks confused. And irritated. "No." He grunts and grumbles something about me having nerve to even ask.

I'm stunned. Who are these people?!?! And a public figure at that!

"It's a short flight, Kid." He smirks.

Kid??!?! THAT'S IT.

"Well, you know what? You know WHAT? I'm glad I'm meeting you, MR. BIG. So I can tell you that Carrie made a huge mistake. Yeah. That's right. HUGE. I mean, obviously she wasn't going to end up with the artist guy, but you?!? You were horrible to her! Many times! Horrible! I mean, clearly she messed up royally when she cheated on Aidan at all, let alone with YOU. But then to take you back?!? After all you'd been through!? Why did she have to choose between the artist and YOU? Why couldn't she choose neither?! See what's behind Door Number Three and go back home to NYC where she belonged?!! Alone, I mean! Yeah."

Okay, fine.

I didn't say that. (I thought it, though!)

I just looked at him shocked and slunked back down in my seat. Again.

But then Jeff said (through the space between my seat and Big's seat), "Wow, everyone's so nice on this plane! I can't wait to go home and tell my friends how NICE everyone is on this plane!"

Mr. Big slapped his newspaper to his lap and stared ahead of him, stewing. He threw a small temper tantrum of grunts and grumbles. "Oh for crying out loud, can't you ask somebody else to switch? Why me? Why do I have to switch?" (Grunt, grumble, grunt.) "FINE. YOU KNOW WHAT? I'LL SWITCH. I REALLY WANTED THE AISLE SEAT. BUT I'LL SWITCH."

And Jeff and I did another celebratory dance. And Mr. Hollywood behind us got in trouble for talking on his cell phone. (He's very important and very important people have very important calls to make, naturally.) He stumbled around the cabin looking for the lavatory after napping and waking up in a questionable fog. He complained about the dessert. ("In Coach you don't even get dessert! You should be grateful," I thought, but again did not say.)

And Jeff and I spent the next five hours in ridiculously overtired, slap-happy bliss:

"What other sit-coms are the best of all time? Besides Seinfeld?"

"I don't know. Not Friends, though."

"Aw, but I love Friends."

"Friends is lame."

"YOU'RE lame. Oooh, what about I Love Lucy? Clearly I Love Lucy should be on our list! How could you forget I Love Lucy? And the Honeymooners! Of course!"

"Don't you get all high and mighty on me just because you watch Nick at Night."

"Shut up."

"No, you shut up."

"Love you."

"Love you, too."

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