Thursday, August 14, 2008
Kindness Begins With Me, Part 2
I know that you have all been awaiting the tale of the return flight from my trip to see the G-babies. Ok, ok, so I have had to work! I got in from my flight at 7:00 in the morning, and had to leave to go to New York at noon, and after you read of my adventures, you will see why I needed two days to recover. The trouble was, I had my theatre class starting on Monday, when I had only gotten back from New York on Sunday morning early....
All right, all right. There is nothing worse than someone who doesn't tell the whole story. Then there is nothing more worse than someone that doesn't tell the whole story in sequence!
So, picture this if you will... Hailey, my daughter, drove me to the airport after a last day of hanging with the kids and me just dreading leaving. You see, I don't know when I will be able to see them again, and it kind of hurts my heart, you might say. They are the cutest things ever....
So, when we got to the airport, I made a nuisance of myself by getting very teary eyed, as I kissed everyone goodbye---I really hate it when I do that because my contacts fog up and I have to deal with not being able to see very well, and they get dried out anyway, on planes.
I was going on a red-eye (hey, now that is funny) flight, (with red eyes---sorry---couldn't resist the cheesiness) and knew that it would be a hard night, but was going to remain positive and use my kindness technique again. So, things started out pretty well. The first flight was a short one and was pretty uneventful, as I just had to fly to Phoenix. I had picked a window seat, and there was no one sitting by me in the middle seat, so I didn't have to even converse with anyone. I must admit that I was a bit irritated by the fact that on this particular airline, they CHARGE for their drinks now----$2.00! I was a bit thirsty and should have just paid the annoying flight attendant, but I thought that I would just SHOW that airline and purchase a drink when we landed. As I mentioned before, the male flight attendant was quite rude, but I wasn't about to let that deter me from my positive mental attitude. I just smiled at him and told him that I didn't want his #*!&* drink. (Not really, but I wanted to...---and why can't I ever make my bad words look right when I write them? I need to research that...)
So, at the Phoenix airport, I prepared to hustle to my next gate, thinking that I only had about 20 minutes to get there, when I discovered that the time had changed again and I had lost another hour, so therefore I had an hour and 20 minutes. Well, it didn't make me that happy, but I walked to the new terminal and counted myself lucky that I got a chance to exercise, walking, when it could have been jogging.
I found my new gate---got a drink---it cost me $2.79, so I ended up paying more, but it was the principle! The gate person announced that the flight was full, so I got myself ready to "put my happy face on" and prayed to be sitting by someone shy and pleasant. I knew that it was late in Boston, and since I had to leave the next day to go to a gig in New York, I had to have some rest, so I started to prepare for this. I took my contacts out. I took my hormone tablet---(now don't be shocked, its only herbal---and its starting to get to that scary hot flash time in my life---so just shut up!)---then I took my Valerian tablets. (They are also an herb, to help relax me so that I can sleep better----and by dang, they work!)
We boarded the plane, and I settled in to get comfortable. I had bought a great neck pillow last year, when I started taking red-eyes from Utah to Boston, and traveling a lot with the band, and I love it! I have even started to not feel so self-conscience about sleeping on planes. Oh, you know, the drooling and all.... Then,...I had actually found a great website where you can download white noise, and had put two hours of it on my Zune. I was ready for anything!
Relaxed and ready, you might say....
Then it happened. Someone sat next to me.
"What? Who?" You say, "What could possibly happen to shatter your positive, perfect set up?", you say.
Was it a baby? Nope.
Was it a small child? Nope.
A large body? Nope.
A man on cocaine? What...wait a minute....How did you guess?
Ok, so maybe he wasn't on cocaine, but you would have thought that he was, BECAUSE HE DIDN'T STOP MOVING AROUND THE ENTIRE FLIGHT!!! And to make matters worse, he and his "friend" decided that it would be fun to stay up the entire night----they turned their lights on, kept guffawing and trading loud, annoying stories about how rich they were and how many properties they had, and how much fun they have in Phoenix when they stay there, and what they like to invest their money in, and how cool they both are and yes....you get the picture.
Well, my dear readers----that kindness crap went right out of the window! I was P'O'd with a capital P! I tried to put my head phones on---my white noise was BLASTING my ears and I was trying to do deep breathing, and thinking calm thoughts, but then this guy would jump around and fidget, and wake me up over and over again... I kept thinking about how I NEEDED to get some rest, as I had to drive four and a half hours that next day and do a three hour gig, then drive home. I NEEDED SOME SLEEP!!!!!
At one point, I gave up and got up to use the restroom. They had to get up to let me by. I told them that I might as well go to the restroom since I wasn't GOING TO GET ANY SLEEP THAT NIGHT! They didn't even flinch----where do these people come from anyway?
I walked silently back to the restroom. The entire plane was dark and everyone was sleeping or quiet. I YEARNED to be sitting with ANY of them--I wanted to just curl up on one of these strangers laps and conk out--I just WANTED TO SLEEP! I must admit that I sat in the toilet for a bit, venting quietly about those stupid men and how I wished that I had my favorite pointy toe'd shoes on, so that I could kick them where the sun doesn't shine---or just anything pointy---something that I could poke them with to make them notice me and think twice about being such jerks...(did I really just say "poke"----oh dear...)
Well, I'd like to say that things got better, but they didn't. I watched the sun come up as we got closer to Boston and then had to listen to these guys talk about how one of them had his driver picking him up and then he was being DRIVEN to NY, and how the other one worked long hours all week long, so he and his wife liked to SLEEP on Saturdays. Yeah, I thought, have a nice sleep.
I survived, of course. I ended up taking a brief nap before leaving for NY, and slept for about an hour on the way down. One of my band mates drove my car.... I was exhausted and very bitter about the world in general, and the thought of being kind never once crossed my mind the rest of that day and then into the next. I was just trying to survive.
When I think back on that flight now, it makes me wonder why the flight attendant didn't ask these guys to turn out their lights and try to be a bit more quiet for the sake of the other passengers, or why they didn't have any empathy for anyone around them. I am actually amazed that there are people out there that REALLY don't care about anyone but themselves.
Its kind of annoying, but sad also.
I have to admit that I have taken huge strides backward in the kindness department. I need to reevaluate my theories. I need to rethink my strategy. I need to wear my favorite pointy shoes from now on.