As you know, the Hubs grew up here and I lived here for several years, but we've never brought Gomer and Adolpha here before. We decided to come and visit so they could celebrate their grandmother's birthday.
Yesterday we were stranded in the Chicago airport (so close to Moms Who Drink and Swear and yet so far!!) for about five hours. Seriously, I was thisclose to calling Nikki to come and rescue us. We got on our plane and settled in for take off and I promptly fell asleep. I woke up about an hour later when the captain made an announcement. "What? What did he say?" I mumbled sleepily. "Are we there?"
"Not even close," the Hubs replied, irritated with me. "We still haven't left. Some sort of mechanical problem. Did you enjoy your sleep?"
Hmm ... well, yes, I did, actually. "I dreamed about pizza," I said. Like good (former) New Yorkers, the Hubs and I have a real appreciation for New York style pizza. Believe it or not, Kansas pizza is not at all similar. We've been extolling the virtues of NY style pizza for years and we had promised our kids we would have pizza for dinner as soon as we arrived at our scheduled 5 P.M. arrival time.
I looked at my watch. It was already 4:30. Uh oh.
Long story short, they made us leave the plane because they said they weren't sure they could fix it and they were looking for a new one. (Thanks, United, that would be great, because I wasn't thrilled about flying in a plane that was "broken" an hour ago.) The Hubs and I got a little grumpy thinking about our delicious pizza and because our cell phone batteries were starting to die. (It's amazing how much juice Candy Crush can suck from your phone when you're stranded in an airport!) The Hubs wandered off to find an empty outlet and recharge our batteries - literally and figuratively.
Finally, the plane was fixed, but now there was a crazy weather thing going on and they didn't want us to fly through that. (Again, thank you for that. I am not a fan of turbulence. Or sheer winds.) We continued to wait.
My kids burned through all of their activities to do and resorted to playing catch with THIS little miracle toy. They scarfed their snacks I had packed for both going to New York and coming home, but only before they asked, "We can still have pizza when we get to New York even if we eat all of these snacks, right??" We met some nice Canadian ladies who said, "Your kids are well behaved, eh?" (The kindest compliment I could ever receive. My job as a mother is done.)
Finally, finally, the plane was fixed, the weather had passed and we were the only flight of the night getting out. Things were going our way!
They announced it was time to board and we should line up according to our "grouping." There were four or five groups and thanks to my dad and his mileage plus points we were in group one - the shortest line. We grabbed the kids and took our place at the end of the line. As Adolpha and I took up the rear, a drunk guy (our gate was conveniently located next to the bar and more than one of our fellow passengers spent the layover in there) joined the line behind me and looked me up and down. He took in my half pants (adorable capris, thank you very much!) and the Hubs' cargo shorts (new for this trip!) and our two kids and asked me, "Are you sure you're in the right line? Are you Group One? This line is for Global Services."
I turned around and recognized him as the douche who had been up at the desk earlier in the evening complaining very loudly that weather was not a reason to detain him. He had berated the customer service rep (whose job must suck, btw on a night like that) up one side and down the other about how he was extremely important and had to get out of Chicago right away and get back to New York, because did he mention yet that he's extremely important, and the world was going to end if he didn't get back tonight or something like that.
I have no idea what Global Services is. I can read though and my ticket status was on the list for Group One. I looked his very important drunk ass up and down with such a look of haughty disdain that only I can achieve after sitting in a airport for five hours trying to entertain two kids (and a fidgety husband).
"Of course I belong here. Where else would I belong?" I said, glaring at him.
He had the decency to take a step back and get out of my personal space.
The even drunker guy behind him said, "Well, you never can tell."
I turned around and eyed him up and down with a withering look too, "No. You guys sure can't."
We got on the plane and just about everyone had boarded when Adolpha had a horrible realization. She grabbed my arm and the look on her face was pure panic. If Adolpha knew the phrase, "Holy shit" she would have yelled it.
"What's the matter, Adolpha?" I asked.
She started wheezing and could barely form the words, "Blankie! Gone!"
When we were killing time back at the gate, she emptied her backpack of things to do and she took out her favorite blanket. You know. The one she can't sleep without, the one she can't be comforted without, the one that she's had since birth that will probably join her on her wedding night in some exotic locale. "It's not here!" Her wails practically echoed back from her empty bag.
"Son of a bitch!" I whispered. (Hopefully under my breath. Otherwise, now Adolpha knows what to say the next time Blankie is missing.)
I tore through her bag throwing stuff everywhere. She was right. I accused the Hubs of losing it. "I was asleep on the last plane. You packed them up. Did you leave it?"
"We never got it out," he said. "Don't yell at me."
"I left it by the windows!" Adolpha cried. "I wanted to show Blankie the airplanes."
Fuck!! (That one was in my head.)
Have you ever tried to squeeze past a group of weary travelers getting onto a plane with all of their carry on luggage so you could get off a plane?
Well, let me tell you folks. It is not easy. Not at all. It was a miracle I made it. I would like to apologize now to every single person who got my ass in their face, my elbow in their ribs, and their toes stepped on by me as I FLEW to the front of the plane shouting, "I'm sorry, we left a very important item in the gate area!" or "Excuse me, mother with an emergency coming through!"
"What's wrong?" the most adorable flight attendant asked me when I broke through to the front of the plane.
"We left a very important blanket out there in the boarding area. I need it."
"Of course you do, honey," he said. "Go. We will wait for you!"
Bless you, adorable flight attendant!
I ran up the hallway and burst through the door like a madwoman. I looked around wildly and there was Blankie. He was all bundled up in a heap next to the windows where he almost watched our plane take off and lose him forever.
I turned around and got back on line and I was the last person to board that plane. "You found it!" adorable flight attendant said.
"Yes! Thank you!"
|That brown thing entwined around her body? Yeah, that's Blankie. It would have been a very long night if we realized he was missing a few minutes later!|
"We're not going to have pizza now, are we?" asked Gomer, sadly. "The pizza place is closed."
"Gomer, have you ever heard the phrase 'the city that never sleeps'?"
"Well, now you have."
The Hubs left us to settle into the hotel while he went and fought the crowd (Truly. A midnight crowd at the pizzeria as busy as a noon crowd) and wait for half an hour for a pizza. God bless you, 24 hour pizza joints!
My kids have done a lot of cool things in their short lives, but I think eating hot New York style pizza at midnight is at the top of their list now.