I am on a plane to San Francisco. Right now. When it was my turn at JFK airport security this morning, I handed the TSA agent my new horrible license (see picture) and a sheet of sudoku puzzles. I know, he was also confused. He looked at both sides of the paper, then asked, “Miss, do you have a boarding pass?” I looked down at the sheet – uh, I guess not. Usually, I print puzzles WITH my boarding pass, but apparently today I only printed puzzles because I live in Candyland.
This scene reminded me of a travel mis-adventure a couple years ago.
In 2010, I fell prey to my addiction for frequent flier miles. That year, I flew about three times a week. I logged in daily and sometime twice a day just to see when I’d get my next fix – and how many miles I would earn. When racking up flown miles wasn’t enough, I supplemented with credit cards and special promos. I needed platinum status on my flights worse than Diane Sawyer needed pills in the news room.
During this phase I was at LGA airport, dressed that horrible way
we did then I still do. I wore skinny jeans tucked into ankle booties like pencils sitting in their stupid pencil holders. After coming through security I stuffed the 8×11 boarding pass, another 8×11 of puzzles, and my drivers license in the back pocket of jeans that didn’t even have enough space for a chap stick.
After I got to the gate, I went to the toilets. The moment I de-pantsed I realized that my documentation had just fallen into the bowl. I spun around right in time to activate the auto-flush and watch my government issued ID and boarding pass spiral away from me. I needed to do some reconnaissance asap. The first piece I replaced with a visit to the boarding gate desk. The second would require a trip to the DMW, or my equivalent of Cheers. I mis-place my license often enough they save a spot for me in line – Norm!
I got on the plane and did what I always do when I need unconditional positive regard – called my best friend and/or mom.
Me: Hey, remember that time you went to the airport and your license was expired so they did something special for you?
BFF: If by “something special” you mean “sent me home and told me to come back the next day with my passport,” then yes, I remember that.
Me: Oh, well, you see, I just flushed my license down the toilet, and-
Me: Not on purpose, it was an accident. I’m worried about getting on a fight back.
BFF: Well, you shouldn’t get on that flight.
Me: Yeah. The thing is I’m already on the plane.
BFF: Well, you should get off that plane.
Me: I don’t know. I’m thinking this is one of those “cross that bridge” when I come to it kind of problems.
BFF: No, it isn’t. You need to get off that plane.
I wasn’t getting the kind of positive regard I needed, plus I was starting to get weird looks from the other passengers.
Me: Ok. I’ll talk to you later.
BFF: No – seriously –
Me: Bye! [click]
Alright, next up.
Me: Hi Mom!
Mom: Oh, hi!