I hate everything · June's stupid life

June flies to Chicago, gets manicure, flies home.

I don’t like to travel.

I realize everyone else does, and that my not liking to travel is part of the list of things I hate that everyone else treasures: Christmas, brunch, live music, romantic evenings, granite countertops.

If you want me to have sex with you–and I realize I’m 52 and no one wants to have sex with me. But if we traveled–which I hate–through time–which I also hate–and you wanted to have sex with young, actually appealing me, you’d be a lot more likely to find me randy at some inopportune time, like lunch hour or after a funeral. But give me flowers and a dinner out and I will have all the sex drive of a slab of baloney.

Anyway.

I had a harrowing travel experience. I’d tell you about it verbally, via my podcast, but I also hate those.

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SD before I left, somehow sensing he was going to be sufferin’ indoor cat for 5 days.

11 a.m.
Yesterday morning I packed a bag, grabbed my purse, and headed to my local airport. “I’m so lucky that travel here is so easy,” I remember thinking, back yesterday when my soul still had light in it.

It’s true, though. It’s a 10-minute drive to the Greensboro airport, and parking is pretty decent. It buries flying in and out of LAX, which sucked worse than Christmas brunch.

1:20 p.m.
My plane took off to Chicago. An easy hour-and-a-half flight. I had a three-hour layover, then I’d get on a plane for my hometown, in Michigan, and land at 8:00. “My nails look awful,” I thought, as I flew. The night before the trip, I did some last-minute grueling work that took me till 10 p.m., and I hadn’t had time to groom properly. “I wonder if I can get my nails done in Chicago.”

4 p.m.
Turns out, you can! You CAN have your nails done in Chicago, and if you get the basic manicure, it’s cheap. Hell, I’ll be basic. Paint my basic nails and take my basic money.

Truth be told, money was an object, because I get paid the last day of the month and this was the 30th. My money was not in some vault in stacks, like I was Duck McScrotum or whoever that rich duck was.

How did he make his money, one wonders.

But all I hadda do was fly into Saginaw ( I was going for my cousin’s graduation), and by the next morning, I’d have cash. Yay, paydays! Yay, Payday Candy Bars! Did I also have time to get one of those?

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Now, here’s something I DO like

Turns out, I did. Because when I finished my manicure, and popped into the MAC store as well, I looked at the board, and?

Flight was canceled.

5:30 p.m.
Canceled? Why? I went to the ride-at-Disneyland-long line at United Customer Service. Apparently, thunderstorms were dotting the area. Bad thunderstorms. There were no flights going to Saginaw till the next day. Maybe. “These small planes are always the first to get canceled,” the beleaguered guy at the counter told me.

BOOM! said the sky.

6:30 p.m.
“Just stay overnight in the airport,” my mother said, when I called her. I looked around. Everyone was stranded due to the weather. There was nowhere to sit, much less lie down. And what if I did find a place to sleep? How would I know my purse would be there when I woke up?

I looked in my bank account. Forty dollars. Stupid manicure. All I’d eaten that day was a bowl of soup before I left. I’d purposely not gone grocery shopping because I knew I’d be gone, and that was the last can of anything in my cupboard.

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I still have these. Anybody want ’em?

The plane had offered pretzels. My feelings on pretzels rank up there with live music and cilantro.

8 p.m.
“We’ve got you scheduled to fly into Raleigh tonight, leaving at 9 p.m.,” said another beleaguered United worker. With no hope of getting to Michigan or even to Greensboro, the Raleigh flight was a big enough plane that the guy said he was “sure” it would take off.

I just wanted to leave that airport. I’d walked all of whatever they call it, section? Area? Hall? Vein? Whatever. I’d walked all of B and all of C and all of F, just for something to do. And also hoping for a place to sit.

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Also waiting for his flight. Was not extinct when he GOT to airport.

At this point I was so hungry that I knew a migraine was imminent.

“You’re certain,” I said, to the man who said I could at least go near home. I’d have no car and no money in Raleigh, but at least I wouldn’t be in a goddamn airport with 9493582 other stranded passengers all night.

“Yes ma’am,” he told me.

I got the least-expensive thing at McDonald’s (Disclaimer: At an airport, that’s a Happy Meal that costs $207) and stood next to a nice Southern man on the phone with, you guessed it, United.

“I have to be at work tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock no matter what time you people get me home tonight,” he was saying. He sounded authoritative. “And I need my tools. You did this to me a couple months ago, you never did get my tools to me for a week, and you ended up costing me $2,000 in lost work.”

“This poor man,” I thought, munching a fry.

“You’re certain,” he said, sounding like me. “Okay.” He hung up the phone.

“Airline people are the lying-est motherfuckers,” he told me. “Don’t let anyone tell you any different.”

Sure enough, my 9 p.m. flight? Didn’t happen.

I’d arranged with Ned to get me in Raleigh, and I called to tell him that flight wasn’t occurring either.

“Airline people are the lying-est motherfuckers,” he said.

10 p.m.
My Uncle Bill flies all the damn time. I’m certain I’ve told you before how he’ll fly to China, get home for a night and leave in the morning for Germany. I don’t know what the hell he does. Maybe he makes Minute Rice, and has to make sure the timing is precise.

What do you want from me right now. Am exhausted.

Anyway, he scored me a room near the airport, with his miles or points or pointy miles or miles of points or Miles Davis and the Pointer Sisters or what have you. The point is, I finally relented and went to it.

11 p.m.
IMG_9188.jpgTurns out, the hotel had a bar! Everyone in there was also stranded. I was the only loser who had zero carry-on, but not the only loser who was gonna sleep in her contacts. (Those are reading glasses, before you get all UP MY ASS.)

I called beleaguered United again, was on hold for

FORTY MINUTES

and two vodka cranberries,

and one flight they thought I’d be able to get on was a Greensboro flight the next morning.

“GIVE IT TO ME,” I said. I just wanted to go home. Then I fell into a dead sleep at midnight.

3:30 a.m.
[BOOM] Why was someone closing a door in my house? I live alone.

I opened my eyes, saw I was in a hotel room, and right then I knew: I was in a hotel room.

I knew who was closing the door at 3:30. One of the nice women at the bar was tryina get to Atlantic City to be with her friend, and her only choice was to stay up, leave at 3:30, and then her friend was 100% gonna expect her to be “on” all day in Atlantic City.

See. That’s why I hate to travel. I hate to be on. The whole thing just makes me nervous and cranky and migrainous.

Also? I never fell asleep again. I should have just gone to Atlantic City, as well.

5 a.m.

IMG_9193.jpgI finally got out of bed, only to discover my only coffee choice was decaf. Yes, I did call down to the front desk, thanks for asking. No, thanks, really.

Silver lining: Picking out my clothes for the day was a breeze.

I didn’t shower, because I had no hair products and no razor. I brushed my teeth with the toothbrush they give you for free, which was not unlike a prison-issue toothbrush.

Washed face with grapefruit soap, even though I’m allergic.

6:45 a.m.
Got on the crammed shuttle to the airport. No one on shuttle was cheerful.

8 a.m.
Got through security and to my gate. No one working at the airport was cheerful. In fact, they were downright brusque. There were Disneyland lines at every Starbucks, and when did fucking Starbucks become the only coffee in town? We can’t have a nice Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf? What the hell? It’s not StarBUCKS, it’s StarMONOPOLY MONEY.

What do you want from me? Am exhausted.

Anyway, I decided to have coffee on the plane.

9 a.m.
Get on plane. The stewardess informs us the coffee machine isn’t working.

You know how sometimes they show people having fits on planes? It no longer seems so outlandish.

12:30 p.m.
It’s official: At this point I could have driven all the way to Saginaw, and back to Greensboro again. I’m not sure why, but whole body hurts. Perhaps the walking for 8 hours at the airport, the standing in lines, the weird bed, the tension. The teensy lack-of-legroom flights. Or maybe I’m dying. At this point it’d be a relief. Take me, Lord, I’m ready. Oh, look, he’s delayed.

1:30 p.m.
Airline has lost my luggage. I am supposed to get it back tomorrow, but see above re lying-est motherfuckers. The luggage claim lady was nice. “Oh, honey, I am so sorry about all this. You call them and get your money back.”

Allegedly, I already have. It’s my mother’s money, but supposedly she will get a “partial” refund for the three canceled flights.

Meanwhile, I have no hair products at all, no razor, no deodorant, no toothbrush and see above re no one wants to have sex with me. Why, though.

I DO have my migraine meds, which is good because you’ll be stunned to hear I got one.

6 p.m.
Now I am home and writing you, and I really can’t wait till my next adventure. I love the open road.

Let’s meet for live music at brunch and talk about it soon.

44 thoughts on “June flies to Chicago, gets manicure, flies home.

  1. Sorry about your awful experience. I had something similar happen on a flight from NYC to Portland, OR. We got stuck in Texas overnight, no luggage at all. The next day’s flights had us hopping all over Utah and Colorado, with more delays and changing planes. I kept it together until we arrived at PDX, and found out our luggage was lost. I threw a big fit out of frustration… I’m lucky I wasn’t arrested.

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  2. “Lying-est motherfuckers.” I love that.

    At least you got a nice $40 manicure out of the ordeal.

    Yes, you may smack me now.

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  3. Tried to fly United (hate them), from Michigan to Vermont for a wedding. Of course United made us fly to Chicago first, where the next leg of our flight was cancelled due to thunderstorms. We ended up renting a car and driving home to Michigan, because by the time we would have arrived in Vermont we would have missed the wedding. No compensation was offered us. Flying sucks – you’re a hostage to the damned airlines! Glad you’re home safe now!

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  4. *Flew to Oklahoma for Christmas. We paid and I was partcularly annoyed because we were used to inconveniences from flying nonrev (his brother worked for American Arlines), when we were forbidden to complain. Now we were paying and it still was annoying! We paid for Key West too and I paid for my trip to Disney World on now defunct Eastern Airlines in 1978.

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  5. Thank you thank you thank you for this post. I was feeling so sorry for myself this morning until I read this. And now I remember why I haven’t flown anywhere since I flew across country to pick up my puppy in 2006 and had a 9 hour layover in the Atlanta airport with a 4 month old puppy.

    Hope you’re home in your own bed with Nurse Edsel mopping your fevered brow.

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  6. That sounds like an absolute nightmare. So sorry about your whole 24 hours? 36? 40? I’m terrible at math.

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  7. Wow. That sucks beyond all measure. I’m so sorry. What a drag.

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  8. Duck McScrotum! That made me laugh my ass off. This is my second read but I was too exhausted to comment last night. My rough day was NOTHING compared to your travel fiasco.

    I despise flying, I too remember it in it’s golden days when I was not terrified. I’ve only done it once after 911 to go to Key West for nine glorious days in early 2005. That is not happening again. Flying wasn’t as greusome yet then from everything I’ve read. I want a car trip, Cape May here in NJ is less than two hours away. My friend rents a house, which is lovely. That or a B&B is what I want, hotel rooms make me homesick. We went to Oklahoma and nearly experienced some of what you did. One flight got cancelled but we did get on another one. My husband had gone to inform our dog sitter on the pay phone (1987). I was crying humping our heavy carry ons looking for him so we didn’t miss that flight. We never traveled then again, too bad for his parents. They moved there! Our suitcases arrived the next day. I hope yours do too.

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  9. Would it comfort you to think these things happen to you so that you have writing material for us, your adoring public? No? Liver coming?

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  10. What a nightmare. I don’t understand why the lost time and suffering never seems to be worth anything to them. You should be compensated like crazy!

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  11. 2 lessons, quit coffee, & never take a razor when you travel. That seems like a dangerous combo after reading this story. Glad you’re back home safe & sound.

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  12. I don’t like any of those things that everyone else likes, either. Air travel is nowadays just one big fuck-you-in-the-ass.

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  13. Add me to the list of hating the world of travel. I love my own house with my own chair and my own couch and my own bed…etc. Your night sounds awful. Terrible. Horrible. No good. Very bad.

    I am glad you are home safe and sound. I hope your lost luggage is found and returned unscathed. I also hope your headache is G.O.N.E.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  14. Just read this to Jim … he says you should definitely write a book (and I think he has a little crush on you, too! He thinks you are the funniest woman! If I die and you are not in a relationship, I do believe he may try to find you. LOL!)

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  15. I flew home from O’ahu to Arkansas. Damn the Denver airport. Damn it straight to hell. And while I am at it, damn United airlines. Fuckers. Sorry that you went through this. Hopefully your girly supplies make it to you soon.

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  16. I hate to travel as well. It’s almost June and Jim and I can’t make ourselves commit to a vacation away from home. It’s expensive and the bed is always crappy. I sure hope you get your luggage back!

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  17. Well, that was a crappy experience! I’m so sorry you have to miss the graduation. That stinks! On my To Do list today is planning a family trip to NYC. I’m not so excited about it now.

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  18. And this is only partly why I don’t speak to my cousins. Not that any of them live a plane ride away, except the one in Italy. The rest are all fairly local. Some live on Long Island, which is another reason why I don’t speak to them.

    I’m with Stacey. I remember when people dressed to fly. Now it’s yoga pants and flip flops and their “matching luggage” is two grocery bags.

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  19. I wish I had gotten to you before your uncle booked a room for you. I would have been happy to have you here. I wouldn’t have been creepy. At all.

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  20. I hate to travel. Air travel is the worst. I’m with Tricia, just give me a day trip so I am home at night in my own bed and bathroom. I hope you feel better soon.

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  21. I’m proud of you for my throwing a fit over having no coffee on the plane. That’s damn ridiculous.

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  22. I hate to to travel. And I especially hate to fly. I’m not scared of a plane crash, in the least. I’m scared they’ll hold me hostage in the airport like you, or worse on that fucking plane with no leg room, shitty bathroom and zero food for hours on end. No thank you.

    I’m glad you’re home; I’ve womdered about you all day.

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  23. Good lord I got a facial tic on your behalf just from reading this! I don’t travel enough on airplanes to have ever experienced cancelled flights, delayed flights or lost luggage. Which means the next time I
    do travel, one of the above will probably happen.

    Apropos of nothing, I just realized I have an unopened 23 and Me DNA kit that’s been sitting on my desk for about 2 months now. I guess I’ll work up some spit now.

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  24. That is just a nightmare! I can’t remember the last time I traveled where at least one leg of my flight wasn’t seriously delayed or even cancelled. Flying sure isn’t much fun.

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  25. You were in Chicago? I’m practically in Chicago! I would have picked you up and shown you a good time in the suburbs! Where the hell was I?

    You make even the awfulest day seem funny Junio. Thank god you made it home.

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  26. You will always remember your cousin’s graduation. Even though you weren’t there.

    Glad you’re home safe, June Bug. It probably bugs you to be called that.

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  27. I have no idea why people love to travel. Home is so nice, with all your own things. There are no lineups, and everything smells good. Give me a nice day trip any day, and back in my own bed at night.

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  28. I would ask how the animals did during your semester abroad, but I’m not a bitch.

    Hope your head is better and Pam will get another chance soon to nurture you as only your mother can.

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  29. Oh, my heck. Like you, I have a better understanding of why passengers go berserk on airplanes. Now you know why I drive to my destinations rather than fly.

    Glad you are safely home, but am sorry you missed seeing your family.

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  30. I’d use a sad face emoji if I wasn’t afraid of flying liver. And I really don’t think this is a memory you will ever think back on and laugh.
    Thank you for keeping us in the loop during your harrowing adventure. I’m flying in a week and now am scared to death. Hope the migraine gets better and your luggage recovered.

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    1. Yes! You would get all dressed up for the flight and the food was delicious. On one memorable flight in 1977 I was served a filet and shrimp.

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