I finally got in from the PA Wednesday night around 8:30ish. Count on good ol’ Crapinental to fly the friendly skies on their terms, which meant when I got to Houston, I had to literally haul buns to the basement to catch my plane to Midland. What was supposed to be a 1 ½ hr layover turned into a 20 minute run. The basement at Intercontinental is where the baby planes (Embrier) fly to small towns unknown. Sometimes, it’s unknown if you’re ever going to get there...I mean to those small towns unknown – like my town. When you fly the small planes, it’s a crapshoot if you’re going to make it to your destination on time and even, on the right day.
Remember, when I left the PA, it was ccccccooooollllldddd? I didn’t take a jacket, but had on a light warmup suit. The top happened to be a very thin fleece. I didn’t want to have to deal with a jacket when I hit 80 degree Midland.
But I forgot about humid, humid Houston.
By the time I left Terminal E and made it all the way through this hall and that hall to get to the train to go to Terminal B, I thought I was going to have a meltdown. And the minute you leave Terminal B and head down to the escalator to the HELL that is the basement of Terminal B, you enter yet another level of H.O.T. I couldn’t to this minute tell you if it was hormones, or heat generated by my sudden, lumbering dash with Canon and computer to the other side of the airport. I was so soaked with sweat I thought I was going to have to be treated for black mold. People, how do you live in that kind of humidity??? That stuff is CRAZY.
I get into the basement, and I look around. For once in my life, there is no one I know. It’s a miracle, I tell you. (At my last job, my fellow coworkers had a standing bet that if whoever traveled with me could get through any airport without me knowing someone, the pool would pay a collective $100. Noone ever collected. ) It’s a very good thing I saw no one I knew, because my straight hair is now plastered across my brow…and down my neck. It is SCREAMING. I sneak over to a corner, plug in my phone, melt into the plastic chair, grab my claim tickets and start fanning myself. Trying to look cool and collected, just placidly fanning myself prettily. Or at least as prettily as possible with big huge sweeping arm movements and heaving chest. The people around me look away, trying not to laugh, I swear to God. At least I wore deodorant today!
I drain what little water I have left in my always present travel bottle of Aquafina. I look around. There are zero concessions in the basement at Intercontinental. Zero. I am dying, I tell you. Dying. In a freaking flaming throwdown of hot flash.
And then they call my flight. I grab my phone, stuff everything in my bag, and go across the room. To the boarding door. Where, if at all possible, it is even more stuffy and overheated. There are about a million people there, waiting on their respective flights. Which, along with mine, are delayed due to weather. In other words, I got up, ran over to the door, for nothing. Nada. Zilch.
And up walks one of ThatManILove’s friends. Very successful nice man. We start talking. I’m trying to respond in a relatively intelligent manner. This is one of those guys that talks to you straight up. Total eye contact, and we’re all crammed together waiting to go down the walkway. I’m trying to pay attention and stay on task, but all I can think about is “do I have a sweatball hanging off the end of my nose?”
(Enter Gilda Radner doing the nasal voice of Roseanne Roseannadanna: “she had this little, teeny, tiny ball of sweat right here, hanging off the tip of her nose. It was just hanging there! It wouldn't fall off! Like if she turned her head, it wouldn't fall off. If she stood up it didn't fall off, if she stretched it wouldn't come off, and when she picked little pieces of her sweater out of her bellybutton it wouldn't fall off. That little sweat ball just wouldn't fall off. So I yelled at her, I said, "Hey, Doctor! Flick that sweat ball off your nose! What are you trying to do, make me sick?" )
Finally, we board the little plane. My man’s friend sits down in the plane. I tell him that he has my seat, and he looks a little confused, but moves over. I’m 5’ 7”. He’s probably 6’5”. Tight fit, what with his height and my bulk and the two seat row. He’s very gracious. We start talking business, and settle back to enjoy a great flight.
The stewardess comes around. It seems there is some confusion. She asks for my ticket. I find it, and give it to her. She says, “Ma’am, you’re in the wrong seat.” My new friend looks at me, then at the stewardess, then says,” actually, she has my seat. I am sitting in the wrong seat, as well.”
They all looked at me. And then the other young man, standing in the aisle with the stewardess, the young man who was prepared to take me down for the right seat – he looked at me, and this look of recognition washed over his face. He didn’t know me, but he knew something. You could just see it. And. He. Caved. He backs off, tells the stewardess it’s not a big deal, and decides to take the seat in front of me – my original seat, if I’d have just read the lay of the land correctly.
I’m wondering, “What happened? I would have changed seats with him, no problems.”
And then it hits me. He’s about Elder Son’s age.
Yup, he may be young, but he’s not stupid. He saw it - the tremors signaling the beginnings of a serious head rotation, and the green bile forming. " Reeeaaaaaaagggggggaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnn!”
Oh, yeah. He knows all about the Demon Menopause. And he had serious "I wanna live" written all over him.