Well, I’m back in Savannah after some rather lame travel malfunctions that I could blame on the architects of the Washington Dulles Airport, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was all my fault.
I was way too cocky about my airport travel skillz.
A friend and I were on the same flight leaving Portland– except his final destination was the decidedly cooler than Savannah, Budapest, Hungary. AWESOME, I said, just my luck.
I checked my very heavy non-personal item carry-on baggage at the gate and thought, SCORE I won’t have to haul all my heavy shoes around.
Then, I discovered I was sitting in economy plus, free of charge, GREAT, I thought, my life is awesome.
Four and a half hours later we landed in Washington Dulles and decided to get lunch during our overlapping layovers. After riding in a convoy type vehicle that was a hybrid between an alien spaceship docking device and what they carted prisoners off to their deaths in during WWII and then a train to the right terminal because we were apparently on the wrong death-mobile, we were eating Five Guys at my gate.
And by my gate, I mean the gate my flight was sharing with six other flights, across from another gate with an additional six flights. (This is where my beef with the architect comes in.) Every person in a 50-foot radius speaking on the intercom echoed loudly everywhere–it was hard to decipher anything.
I heard the call for boarding of Savannah once, and assumed (wrongly) that it was first class, platinum, gold, silver and other precious metal carrying passengers only.
And that was it. I sat there as Savannah boarded and took off, catching up with my friend and enjoying every minute until I realized my flight was closed and couldn’t fly out until tomorrow morning.
I hugged my friend goodbye and assured him it was not his fault. (Really, Bogdan, it was not your fault.)
Then here is the really embarrassing part. I went to the bathroom and cried. And I’m not the kind of person who can hide when they are crying. My eyes turn bright red and puffy, my voice quivers.
I wasn’t crying because I missed my flight and it was my fault entirely but because really the only good part about leaving Oregon is seeing all the awesome people I’ve met in Savannah. So without the immediate gratification of seeing them, I was pretty defeated.
My parents kept calling to suggest things to do (go to a hotel, ask to be re-routed through Chicago, etc. etc.) but every time they tried to comfort me I would cry more because there I was, 20-years-old and totally immobile because of incredible homesickness.
Then there was that total derailment where once you start crying you can’t stop because you’re upset that you’re crying over something stupid. That’s what I like to call an endless cycle of shame.
So I was walking, cycling the shame, when a woman flight attendant asked me if I was okay. And here is where I probably should’ve made something up that was more worthy of crying over than a missed flight. I don’t know, something harmless but more acceptable like “my fiancé called off the engagement because he’s in love with my step-mother,” or “I just found out my dog died after eating an endangered frog I devoted my scientific life to.”
Instead I told her I didn’t want to leave home and I missed my flight and not to worry because I was just a mess.
Eventually, I did go to a hotel, as did two girls around my age who had also missed their flight. But instead of being morose or annoyed they were having the time of their lives. They were taking pictures, excited about staying in a classy hotel and embracing their adventure. Which, suffice to say, made me feel even lamer.
In the morning I woke up early, went through security–was the token blonde white girl put through the full-body scanner after a bunch of men with darker complexions and more facial hair sauntered through. (I wonder if they could see my very very very long leg hair that I haven’t shaved ALL of winter break? I hope they were impressed.) Then I waited VERY ATTENTIVELY right by the loading zone and got on standby to Savannah on an 8 a.m. flight only after reminding the attendant who I was and chanting “be aggressive” in my head.
Sorry for the long post, it was a long trip. Now time to shower and wax those legs.