This blog is a collection of stories on the ordinary days of today and a documentary of the days of the past. Thank-you for reading and allowing me to share. Enjoy your ordinary days and hopefully the bits and pieces of mine will resonate with the moments in your lives that bring you happiness.
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April 27, 2013: First Class
Kristi...my friend and awesome guest blogger today :)
Kristi Reimers (dear friend, running comrade, subject of many past blogs) is the writer of this funny blog
I was just the first one to step off the plane. My ticket: Seat 1D; First Class. That really was a first. Sitting in First Class is certainly not routine for me. I am solidly a back of the plane, happy to have an aisle seat, kind of gal.
The thought that struck me as I was pampered and treated significantly better than the “economy girl,” was the difference a few hundred dollars can make. Not that this is petty change, but I quickly realized this paid-for splurge included the privilege to board first, walk down a special aisle just for special people, not feel like a herded animal, and to be treated with utmost courtesy.
I was surprised last evening when I saw First Class printed on my boarding pass. This was the doing of my travel agent who helped change my flight from Boston “lock down day” to a later flight. These must have been the only seats left, I presumed.
My First Class adventure began as I boarded the plane. With my just purchased bottle of Starbucks “Coffee and Milk” in hand, the attendant asked if I would like a glass of ice. I stared at her for a second before being able to respond, “uh, no thank you”--my knee jerk reaction to requests that take me off guard. I still wasn’t ready for the attention when they asked if they could take my coat (no thank you). When I saw that I had a newly wrapped blanket and pillow, they asked me again if I wanted something drink (no thank you).
I tried to look confident as I assessed my seating situation and remembered that I had to get all my goodies out of my bag before I stowed overhead. Of course there was no “seat in front of you” when you are in 1D. Politeness was continually exuded to all of us First Classers and why shouldn't it? There are just a few of us; plenty of love and attention to go around.
After a quick 1 hour and 32 minutes, which included passing a basket full of bananas and snacks (food on flight!? Still inhibited, I took only a banana), it happened. I was the first one to deplane. I heard the knock from the other side, the door opened, and the flight attendant gave me the nod. I had arrived.
The second leg of my flight was starting to board as I walked up. I quickly took my place in the “Skyways Elite” line. No waiting for families with small children for me. Onward! I grew impatient as the wait took several minutes.
I boarded my next flight confidently as a First Classer as I looked for someone to take my coat. I had already thought about the answer to the next question, which was given before I even sat down: “Yes, orange juice please.” It arrived in a real glass tumbler, on ice. I began to read my Kindle (just like lady next to me; I belong!) as I realize we are taxiing down the runway. No harsh “Please turn that off!” had befallen my ears with no frowning face impatiently staring at me. When I realized my wrongdoing, I turned it off. I did not want to get into trouble in First Class.
A bit hungry I pulled out a smashed bar from the bottom of my bag to eat (Economy Class habit). Soon I dozed, and awoke to yet another unfamiliar request. I had learned by now not to react with no thank you, because it probably meant passing up something good. I waited to hear it again as I came out of the fog of sleep. Yes, I heard right: “Would you like some lunch? We have salad or sandwich.” YES PLEASE! “Something to drink?” YES PLEASE! Bring it on oh joyous arugula salad with pecans, chicken and balsamic vinaigrette, complete with fresh fruit and a brownie.
As I finished my meal, I am now fully acclimated to First. I simply gave the passing attendant the universal sign for “I’m done, take it away”. With that, the tray with the cute little salt and pepper shakers, the real utensils, and tablecloth was whisked away (I’ve saved the brownie for later – pedestrian??).
While meeting my every need, I also hear the attendant asking others with a joyful, lilting tone, “More cranapple? Another gin and tonic? Anything I can get you?” In my mind, this contrasts with Economy-speak; the repeating drone of: “Something to drink? Something to drink? Something to drink? We have Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Ginger Ale, Orange Juice, Apple Juice, tea and coffee-something to drink?” Ah, those Economy folk, they don’t deserve much better, though. We’re up here in First, we paid more money.
I can’t help but think that having the money to fly First Class is a metaphor for life. People with means essentially buy an easier life; often a more stress-free life when it comes to the basic needs. Forget to bring food? No problem, we’ve got you covered! No time to buy coffee in the terminal, we’ve got fresh waiting for you. Don’t worry about luggage, there’s always room in the overhead bin.You’re tired and cold? We have a blanket waiting for you!
People without means are left with a more difficult life; one that takes more work to obtain comfort (I was just interrupted to make sure I didn’t need anything else before we land). They are living the Economy Class life: Hungry on that flight? Tough luck we don’t even have pretzels. Want to sleep? Bunch up your coat for a pillow. Thirsty? There should be something coming in about 30 minutes.Yes, a person can get used to this First Class life, and no wonder so many people work so hard to get it.
Mom used to get exasperated at Dad’s hard work, often passing up vacations and social events in the quest to earn a better living. She would say “Don, money can’t buy happiness!” His response: “It sure doesn’t hurt.” I agree Dad, but it sure doesn't hurt. Just ask us First Classers.
In Dr. Seuss' language, my thoughts on the day would go something like this...
"You have a brain in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. Unless someone truly cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Well, I will just sum it up by saying that today certainly wasn't an ordinary day, but I will accept that. Life is full of changes, good and bad.
Sometimes the toughest part is figuring out if life shake-ups are truly a good or a bad thing. Personally, I have found my biggest life challenges have turned into opportunities. Doors opened to new people and adventures. A new chapter in life.
I am bullish in my view that this will be the case once again.
When the unexpected creeps into the door of normalcy, the best response is not one of self-doubt, anger, or fear. The best response is gaining perspective and self-awareness.
Time flies when you're having fun.
And when you're a little busy.
This morning Garrett asked me when I last wrote a blog.
"It's been a while" was my answer. Upon further review, it's almost been over a month.
I've had no reason for the delay, other than the combination of being busy and knowing the content of which I wanted to write warranted more time and thought than my more typical whimsical stories told. Although I have had an arsenal of stories that I have wanted to write about over the last month, I knew that this one needed to top my list.
A common question asked of me is in regards to my work life is "Sandy, what exactly are you doing these days?"
This is a valid question since I have been very open in sharing my work journey over the years through my blog. And I've had a career that has gone from very conventional to unconventional. It's much easier to say "I work for XYZ Company and my job title is Chief Do-Something-Spec…
A picture is worth a thousand words. But let's start with six...
"And they lived happily ever after..."
I bought this little sign more than seven years ago. It caught my eye at Target while shopping for milk and kitty litter on a weekday school night. The boys were in varying grades in school and I was single-handedly running my daily household.
Recently divorced, I was also dating a man from Denver. Garrett. Our relationship felt like forever, but the 550 miles between our homes was a stark reminder that our long-distance relationship was more like a fairytale than reality. We were reminded of this frequently by the people who knew us best.
"Guard your heart. Long distance relationships rarely work out."
"You are both good people, so be realistic in where this is going."
But the funny thing about love is that no matter how practical-minded or mature your mindset, your heart guides you to places that are scary to others, but quite comfortable for you…