Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Yesterday has ended. Finally.

The day started just after 3 a.m. when rather than hearing the alarm ring, Aaron was touching my arm and talking. As soon as I gained enough conciousness to think in full sentences I realized full well that this meant he'd been up most of the night checking the clock incessantly.

I was out the door at 4. I had a hard time finding the parking log, as expected. Security was empty. I ended up sitting outside my gate waiting to board for an hour. But this was after I got hollered at for having a water bottle in my purse. And they don't even let you take a swig of it to prove it's harmless, as they do at the Holocaust museum. Nope. If it's liquid, they throw it away. Because certainly I'd know how to damage the plane with a bottle of water.

I got to Chicago early. By this time, it was 6:15 Detroit time, and I was hungry. All my stomach knew was that it had been awake for three hours, and food was in order. I had a craving for Einsteins until I came upon a Wolfgang Puck express with breakfast. Mmmmm. But before I ate the garlicky homestyle potatoes, I made sure I had gum. And then I wondered why security didn't take gum away too.

I figured I'd sit and have breakfast, then make it the rest of the way to the departure gate on the other side of the airport, then call Aaron and have a conversation before getting on the plane. So I sat down with my wonderful hot coffee and delicious breakfast, in a spot perfect for people watching at the airport, and took exactly two bites before the phone rang. So I ate while on the phone.

I landed in Louisville early. Two flights, both early. So I figured the rental car would be a hassle, since nothing ever goes perfectly, and I was right.

Off I went with three hours to kill and only a 45 minute drive. A bit further than halfway, there were signs for a historic town and a antique mall. I'm not big on antiques, but it was something to do. So I pulled off the freeway and headed for adventure. The antique mall was no bigger than the upstairs at Grandma's. I didn't even go in. I stopped at McD's to use the bathroom and watched a pregnant woman chainsmoking outside the door while her toddler drove her friend crazy inside with efforts to climb out of his high chair. It was about this point in time when I noticed that every last person in sight drove a pick up truck. And every last one had stuff in the bed. Wood, machinery, you name it. Someone had it in the bed of a truck. The historic town proved boring, and not very historic, and the shopping consisted of one strip mall with a Sears, a hardware, and an H&R Block. So I got back on the freeway trying to find a nail salon on my PDA. I found one, but the directions wouldn't pop up. So I figured I'd go find the final destination and hope for something to do around there.

I found it. Still with time to kill. So I continued on past it and found nothing but enormous horse farms. It was quite beautiful, but riding a horse would have required changing clothes, screwing up my hair, and smelling like a horse for my interview. So I turned around and tried to venture in the opposite direction from the final destination. I found the nail salon, but they were busy. It took twenty minutes for them to figure out they were busy. Long story. Then I stopped in a hobby store to see if there was anything in there for Christmas for Aaron. No luck. I grabbed a seat in the tiny little diner at the corner for some bean soup for lunch. I had to check my reflection in the mirror when I drove away, because I was starting to suspect that I literally had the word "yankee" written visibly on my forehead while eating my soup.

Then I parked outside the company's building in the visitor parking and sat. And sat. And sat. I fixed my lipstick, went over my documents again, and prepared questions. But I had way too much time to kill. Finally, at about 25 minutes before my appointment time, I went inside and signed in. Thus started the second strangest interview ever. Second to the one with a bunch of Japanese guys in 1996.

After the interview, the clouds parted and the sun came out, so to speak. Not only was the interview overwith, and the forward progression direction was in the hands of others rather than mine, but the whole world started to just seem a little bit sweeter. I stopped at a Wendy's to use the bathroom and change my clothes, and three different people started a conversation with me. It was really nice to be around such friendly people. And they didn't all drive loaded pick up trucks either. A coke was in order, just to patronize enough to justify use of their facilities. On the way from the counter to the condiments area to grab a straw, a shiny penny appeared at my feet. Face up. I hope it's good luck.

Back at the airport, the rental car went back to its rightful owners, and I stepped into the airport. There was a man snapping a picture of two young-ish girls and their babies. And a man standing just behind him. I figured it was a family, so I stopped and waited for him to be finished snapping the shot before offering to take one of their whole bunch. It turns out, the guy snapping the picture was not with them. Just a passer-by who offered to take a picture. The guy standing just behind him was a guy who assessed the situation and stopped for the same reason I did. It was astonishing to see that much kindness collect in one place. We all shared a good laugh at the situation and then went our separate ways. I looked for wine at the airport and was disappointed.

At my gate to depart back to Chicago, another gaggle of fine lookin' men in fatigues were waiting to board the same plane. So I spoke with one of them. He looked not a day older than 23, and had a wife and two children at home, with a third on the way. I showed him the manger scene that the MP's in Sadr City had constructed, and he was tickled. Just the nicest guy ever. He carried a Bible with a camouflaged cover. He was going home for Christmas.

Back in Chicago, finally, I checked the screens to see if my flight home still existed, and happened to notice another United flight was boarding for Detroit. I landed 2o minutes ahead of schedule. So I booked it across the airport in hopes of hopping on the plane and getting home early. No luck.

I went in search of wine again. And was successful. I sat with some Chinese food of the mall-food-court variety, and a $9 glass of mediocre chardonnay. But then, a friend appeared. A gal was heading home to see her parents in Brazil. Her name is Daysi, pronounced like the flower. We lost our jobs at about the same time. Hers from a Brazillian airline that she'd worked for in excess of 19 years, which had also transferred her from Brazil to Los Angeles a decade ago. She had a husband, dogs, and no children. She also had over an hour and a half before her next flight. And she loved wine. So clearly I was in good company. We laughed for the whole next hour before she had to leave, since her flight was international and she had to be earlier than if it were domestic.

While we were talking, a gentleman sat on the other side of Daysi. He was a consultant who happened to be on the same flight I was. An older man sat in Daysi's spot and turned out to be the hocky coach at U Mass. We had amazing conversation, and heard about his career history and the time he lost his job and took a position in Austria for a time. He gave me his card in hopes that we could all have dinner if Aaron and I end up in that area anytime soon.

Then the flight home. It was a bit late, and I lost my coupon for free parking, so I had to pay the $10. But it wasn't that big a deal. I was finally almost home, and had been awake and functioning for nearly 24 hours straight.

And now, the waiting game. I hope I hear something by Thursday afternoon, and I hope it's good news!!!


Blogger Quality Weenie said...

Crossing fingers toes for you!

Good Luck!

Fri Dec 22, 11:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Imperfect Christian said...

Wow, isn't travelling fun?!?! Fingers and toes crossed! Good luck!

Fri Dec 22, 04:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Imperfect Christian said...

Um, HELLO?!?! You haven't updated ALL YEAR!!!

Mon Jan 08, 03:39:00 PM GMT-5  

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