The Waiting Game

by Jane Moneypenny

I hate flying. I’ve hated it since I was a kid. I hate the airport, the expensive food, the stale air smell of the cabin, the cramped seating, the now-snackless flights and the waiting. Always the waiting.

I rarely make a flight that’s on schedule so I’ve spent a lot of time in airports in my life. Growing up, we went overseas a lot to visit family and the international flights were torture. I love travel, but the traveling part is hell for me. Give me an open road, a roomy car and good music any day!

So I should have listened to my gut this morning when I woke up and thought, “my flight’s going to get cancelled tonight. I know it.” The weather was fine, but I just KNEW that the first time I would experience a cancelled flight would be on my big birthday weekend to NY. Through the years, my birthdays have dwindled to small nothings, so I don’t put much stock into them. It’s just another day really. So when I made the random choice to seize the day in spend my birthday in NY, I surprised myself. But back to the point. I’ll save the birthday post for the day after the big 25.

I’ve realized that airports are really lonely places. You would think it’s the opposite since there’s so many people all the time, but most travelers are alone in their little world of waiting. When a flight is delayed, you’re alone. When you eat, you’re alone. This isn’t meant to be a depressing entry, but more of a reflective one because while I was eating my $10 salad (when the flight was only delayed), I thought of how lonely it was just sitting in this place for hours.

When the flight got officially canceled, the crowd stormed the counter. I was prepared. I went to a nearby counter that was empty and the same service without a large angry mob behind me. And then I put on my best friendly face and charmed the hell out of the agent. I don’t think I could have ever been more witty and calm and cheerful at a more annoying upsetting time. Even the agent commented that I was taking it so well (I actually felt like crying and that’s rare) and when I apologized to her for all my questions about my options, she must have thought I was insane. It wasn’t her fault the flight got canceled and me yelling wasn’t going to change the fact that I was stuck in St. Louis. But kindness pays off! She let me change my return flight a day late for free (maybe this would be free anyway, but go with it). I wished her luck and went on my way.

So now I’m sitting alone in my apartment and watching the Hornets lose (shoot better, CP3!). Sigh. What a day. Hopefully the actual birthday will be better! Oh! A rain-delayed Cardinals game. Yay!