It was bound to happen. After writing a new post (and sometimes even two) for 26 straight days, I am just too drained to come up with anything good today. And so, I am venturing into territory that most bloggers would tell you is best avoided. I am going to take a look in…the Drafts folder! *Cue thunder crash*
Most people who have been blogging for multiple years will probably have several posts sitting in their Drafts folder. Most of the posts involve concepts that I wanted to write about, but couldn’t find the time. Most of these wouldn’t exactly seem timely if I ever re-visited them. (I apologize if you were really interested to read what I thought about the movie “The Wrestler.”) Others are just crappy pieces of writing that I wouldn’t want to share with the world.
I assumed that out of the more than thirty entries in my Drafts folder, I could find something usable. I picked this particular post because it seemed somewhat fitting for today and didn’t require too much editing. I think the only reason I didn’t originally finish it was because I got caught up with work, and after a certain point, it no longer seemed appropriate. That’s a bit ironic since I’m now finishing it four months later.
It’s fitting for today because one of the reasons I’m tired is because we drove back home from our annual Christmas visit to Long Island last night. The drive itself wasn’t too bad (as far as these drives go), but I went to bed later than usual, and then had to get up for work today.
So instead of trying to relay the details of last night’s mostly uneventful trip, I’ll bring you this story of a different trip home from Long Island. This all happened back in August, so please put yourself into an “August” mindset (Perhaps play some “Blurred Lines” on the stereo?), and enjoy this little tale from the Drafts folder that I like to call Escape from Long Island!
(Note: Any text in italics and parentheses was added during today’s editing process)
I spent the past few days visiting the in-laws up in Long Island. Everyone – especially the Cutlet – enjoyed themselves, but I will certainly not be sorry to get away from the pullout sofa and back to my own bed.
Due to Mrs. Cutter having more than double the vacation time at work that I do (as well as my strange reluctance to spend 75% of my limited vacation time with my mother-in-law), I was forced to cut my personal trip short. Since Mrs. Cutter will be driving home with the Cutlet, I needed to utilize air transportation. Fortunately, Southwest Airlines runs direct flights from Long Island McArthur Airport (LIMA) to BWI several times a day.
If Mrs. Cutter and I ever get divorced, there’s a good chance that the breakup will begin with an argument about the airport. Some people like to leave home well in advance of their flight. They want to get to the airport over an hour before the scheduled take-off time. I am not one of those people. I have a very “relaxed” attitude about getting to the airport and prefer to spend the least amount of time there as possible.
This causes tension with Mrs. Cutter. She becomes super nervous when we’re about to fly, and wants to leave home extra early just in case traffic is an issue, or some other unforseen circumstance causes us to become delayed. Once at the airport, she wants to get on the plane as quickly as possible.
I’ve realized that most people inherit their attitude regarding airport arrival from their parents. My parents were calm and relaxed about the airport, and thus so am I. To avoid the Cutlet carrying on her mother’s family tradition of nervousness, I’ve tried to instill my calmness upon her. Her future husband will thank me.
I have some sympathy for Mrs. Cutter and her family, as their paranoia probably stems from dealing with LaGuardia and JFK airports. I have seen how inconvenient it can be to get to both of these airports, and the chaos that exists once you arrive. If I grew up dealing with those airports, I might be a little insane about the process as well.
For the record, as a child I always flew out of Philadelphia International Airport. Traffic never seemed to be bad, but I recall the airport being especially dirty, mostly because my mother used to get really hung up on me washing my hands if I touched anything there.
The problems of JFK and LaGuardia are not present at LIMA. The airport was conveniently placed so that it is exactly a half hour’s drive from every other point on Long Island. It doesn’t matter how far away you are, nor the traffic conditions; it will take you exactly half an hour to get there.
Of course, that doesn’t stop Mrs. Cutter for always wanting to allow an hour to get there. She also loves allowing extra time to get through security. I’m sure there has been a time when it took someone longer than fifteen minutes to get through the security gates at LIMA, but I have yet to see it happen.
Fortunately, since I was flying by myself, I didn’t have to be constrained by Mrs. Cutter’s restrictions. I planned it so that I would arrive fifty minutes before my flight. (We ended up beating that estimate by five minutes.) This gave me time to get through security (Five minutes total!) and eat dinner.
Going through security, I felt a twinge of sadness as I watched a father travelling with his two small children. 99% of the population looks like a douchebag when wearing a pork pie hat, but this young boy was definitely part of the 1%. I would have taken a picture of it, but it seemed a little weird to take a picture of a toddler in the airport security line. That picture might get me put on all sorts of unsavory lists.
I was trying to decide between dinner at the A&W and the pizza place. When I was looking at the pizza place’s menu, the woman at the counter shrilly informed me that “they only had pizza left.”
The only thing I was even considering from their menu was pizza. Yet this declaration allowed me to act like that had made up my mind for me. I guess I had been concerned that if I snubbed the pizza place, the counter girl would have been upset. Based on the way she was closing up shop, I don’t think she was too keen on the idea of having another customer in the first place.
I’ve eaten at A&W once before, and it didn’t make much of an impression on me. The burger tasted similar to Wendy’s. Or at least I think it did. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve eaten a Wendy’s burger in a couple of years.
Remember that wistfulness I felt upon seeing the pork pie hat family? That quickly disappeared when a family sat down nearby, and I got to hear a young boy explode into a tantrum because his spoon broke. His parents’ attempts to get him a replacement spoon didn’t do much to calm his mood. The whole experience seemed hauntingly familiar.
I was amused by where they chose to sit. Despite plenty of available seating in the mostly empty dining area, the family sat down right next to a woman who had been eating her dinner in relative peace. She did not appear to appreciate having company, particularly once the spoon tantrum began.
Once my dinner was complete, I headed over to the gate. Southwest utilizes “open seating,” but they also typically allow passengers to buy the first fifteen positions for an extra fee. Since there were people lined up in those spots, I assumed that they purchased them, but I couldn’t figure out why. It was a short flight, and we would be on the plane for an hour and a half at the most.
This was a full flight, so no matter when they got on, they were going to be in the same type of seat as everyone else, with at least one other person sitting right next to them. Do people really have this much disposable income that they can splurge like this? Or do some people just really want an aisle seat near the front of the plane?
I later learned the flight continued on to Houston, so maybe they figured that they’d be there for the long haul. But since much of the plane de-boarded at BWI, they could have taken the opportunity to pick whatever seat they wanted for the longer, second leg of the journey.
People needing special boarding time or assistance are allowed to line up and board the plane first, and people really take advantage of this policy. There was quite the impressive line of wheelchairs waiting to board the plane. Were there really that many handicapped people flying to Baltimore, or were people renting these wheelchairs simply for the purpose of getting a better seat?
Despite my “B” seating number, I was still able to snag a window seat near the middle of the plane. I’m very thankful I didn’t splurge on that priority seating.
(Here’s an indication of how long ago this post was written: I had a section in it about not being able to use my Kindle during the flight. But now that airlines seemingly don’t care about our safety anymore, electronic devices are fair game!)
After the plane landed, everyone scrambled to get ready, as if the possibility of spending one extra second on the plane was the most distasteful thing they could imagine. I noticed that the man sitting to my left wasn’t moving. I grabbed my bag from underneath the seat, and tried to make subtle, “Hey, let’s get going” gestures. As traffic began to move down the aisle, my gestures became less subtle.
Finally he seemed to notice, and said, “Oh, you can go ahead of me, because my bag’s all the way in the back.” That was nice of him, but he didn’t seem to realize that he would have to move out of the way in order to enact this plan. Finally, when there was an opening in the aisle, he helpfully moved to the other side so I could make my escape.
I made it outside and was overjoyed to find that the person who I asked to pick me up actually showed! (Note: I don’t think I ever bought him the pitcher of beer I had promised. Oops.) I would soon be home and able to sleep in my own bed.
So that was my thrilling tale. So what do you think? Was it worth re-visiting months later? Or would it have been better off continuing to rot in the Drafts folder? In all honesty, between writing the intro, and doing the editing, I would have probably been better off writing something from scratch.