Carry On

As the holidays roar into full swing one can almost palpate the tension humming in the air. People are stressed. I'm not. This time of year is meant to be enjoyed. Family gatherings to me are epic opportunities that potentially result in blogger material. Traveling also can present good subject matter for writing and also instant gratification for the desire for entertainment whilst traversing mass transportation stages. One such story unfolded before my eyes on my most recent trip to Washington DC, because nothing adds to the stress of the season like a quick trip across the country. As I said before, I'm not stressed. Life is about perspective in it's simplest form and nothing lends itself to such in-depth perspective like an airport. It's probably why I found the antics I am about to describe so humorous. I absolutely love observing people. Their reactions to everyday problems are varied but the extremists stand out to me and I often find their over reactions to things beyond human control funny. This is the telling of one such incident.

I was enroute to DC via a connection in Dallas which I had a 50 minute layover built into. For me that's just enough time to go to the bathroom and get to your connecting gate. My bag was small so I had it in tow along with my backpack serving as my "personal item". I had noted on my boarding pass that I was in "Group 2" so I just took a seat because they hadn't even started First Class yet. Several announcements with the warning that this was a very full flight and a call for volunteer, free baggage checking were made. I noticed the gate attendant walking through the rows of waiting passengers calling out people who clearly had bags too large and bulky for the overhead compartments and confiscating their offending luggage for tagging and quarantining them behind a retractable strap suspended between metal stands for baggage handlers to come collect. In the meantime, First class, priority passengers along with "Group 1" and military personnel in uniform boarding was complete. "Group 2" was called and I made my way to the back of the massive line. About 2/3 of the way ahead of me I noticed a woman traveling with what looked like her husband and daughter. The husband had on a back pack and a bag on his shoulder. The daughter, phone connected to her ears, held a pillow and sported a black sequined backpack slung low on her back as an almost mindless accessory really. She stood nonplussed, urged to move forward by her mother as the line progressed. The woman was sporting no less than a complete three piece luggage set circa 1985. It was a rolling bag, a carry-on shoulder bag and one of those garment bags with hanger hooks coming out of the top. Teal green. She had them carefully stacked together. The shoulder bag was secured by the garment bag with the hanger hooks latched to the handle of the rolling bag appearing like a Jenga tower that had just been assembled for a game. As this family approached the attendant that was taking the tickets I could see a brief verbal exchange that led to the woman to disassemble her interlocked luggage set and hand the garment bag to her annoyed daughter like it was really hers. She held it up and away from herself with her free arm in disgust like it smelled bad. I almost laughed out loud. This was not going to "fly" with the gate keeper (figuratively and literally). After another exchange of words which I could not hear but could only imagine the garment bag and the "too large" rolling bag were both confiscated, tagged and relegated to the roped off area for "misfit" luggage destine for the belly of the airplane. Te woman was clearly beyond despair and vacillated between glaring at the ticket agent and looking longingly at her jailed luggage. She made several loud comments as her embarrassed husband prodded her down the jetway. "I have never had this trouble before." Followed by the famous "I will never fly your airline again" her protests and empty threats fading around the corner of the ramp. I couldn't help but feel her steely stare as I maneuvered my "acceptable" carry-on bag down the aisle of the aircraft right past her. I am sure she was thinking that if my bag passed then hers should have. Adding insult to injury there were spaces left in the bulk head that perhaps may have accommodated her antiquated bags. Doesn't matter though, the rules are the rules and it clearly says no more than one bag and one personal item. Plus, your bag has to fit in the size profiler that is stationed at the gate. She failed both those requirements and somehow thought she would skate by un-noticed. I wanted to tell her it would all be okay when I paused at her seat for a gentleman to lift his bag to the overhead compartment just past her. But she looked so grumpy I just couldn't help but smile at her sweetly in an attempt to share some of the joy I have within. Her "force field" remained in place as she met my smile with cold eyes. Perhaps she thought I was laughing at her. Well...I was, on the inside.

I suppose I should not judge her. Maybe there was an expensive wardrobe or a precious new dress meant for a special occasion in that garment bag. I doubt it. I mean, anybody using the luggage they probably got as a high school graduation present...well let's just say fashion wasn't her thing. I am guessing she didn't want to pay for her baggage or hassle with having to go to baggage claim after the flight. Well she got 50% of what she wanted at any rate. At least she has her health or maybe she doesn't. I was assuming she did because she was letting the "little stuff" steal her joy. This is the season of joy and that is not something that can be measured in a luggage gauge. It's a personal item and easily shared. Joy is something that everyone is allowed to carry on :) 

Annabelle sent you a hug.
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People are SO interesting.
I am so glad they cannot read my mind, especially when I am screaming inside, "Try living through anal cancer, you'll stop whining/bitching/complaining about_________" (fill in the blanks)!

So happy you are out there spreading joy!
Michele, Marian like this comment
That's a great post Michele.. So true... Joy to the World.. humming.. Merry Christmas!....hugs and love and always prayers Sabina
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Vital Info

Posts

October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3

No

As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation. http://tinyurl.com/72bjjfp

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