Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Face Is Stuck Like This and I Really Need A Bathroom

As I flew to visit my sister, etc., I realized that I've traveled more times alone than with someone.  And when one travels alone, one tends to spend a lot of time in one's own little world while waiting in line, sitting on a plane or bus, waiting in the terminal.

And by one, I'm talking about myself.

Usually, when I travel alone, I have a little routine and I have things located in special places in my luggage so I know just where to reach to get it.  And when I'm alone, I have to haul my carry ons to the bathroom or to the newstand or wherever so no one steals my unattended luggage.  This adds to being in my own little world, with my own little dialogue.

Since I've taken the train to my sister's the last few times, I'd kind of forgotten the strictness of traveling by plane and the urgency with which we have to get to the airport on time and wait in lines.  For the train, you sail in 5 minutes before it leaves and hop on and no one cares if you bring water, firearms, or live animals. 

I like to bring my own beverages.

And as I left my car to get on the bus to begin leg #2 of my journey to get to my sister's, I realized that I didn't have a beverage in a disposable container.  And the vending machine wouldn't take anything bigger than a $5 bill and all I had was a $20.  I was already feeling parched.

But, I had some grapes with me, so I figured I'd ration them until about 1/2 way there, enjoy the juice of the grapes and then get a nice beverage when I arrived at the airport.

For the first time, in all of my years taking the bus to the airport, we were a little bit late.  Which meant that I was a little pressed for time to get through security and onto the plane.  Logan tends to have outrageous security lines, so when I got there, I didn't get a drink right away, I just plowed right through security.

And that's where my stone face became set.  Because I was thirsty, and the woman in front of me was taking all the time in the world to get undressed and go through security.  I had to go to the bathroom and I wanted a drink and I wasn't sure how far the gate was from security, AND the TSA woman was barking at everyone, so I was aggravated.  My internal dialogue became a litany of "would they just MOVE for God's sake, I have to go to the bathroom, I want a drink" whine, whine, whine.

And I had a huge bag of fresh cranberries for my sister and I wasn't convinced they'd pass through security with no problem, so that was adding to my annoyance.

Apparently little red balls of liquid are fine to bring because no one even looked twice as that bag went through.

After I put all of my own clothes back on, she even made me take off my scarf!, I saw that the gate was right there and I had plenty of time to get a drink and go to the bathroom.  Several times, even, if I had wanted to.

It was also the witching hour supper time and I think we all know that if I haven't been properly fed, this time can be very ugly for everyone.  I had an Odwalla bar in my bag and I had just had some grapes.  I knew we'd be getting supper when my sister picked me up.  And I knew there would be a snack on the plane, with a beverage, so I decided not to get something from the newstand other than water.  I decided to just eat the snack they gave and I'd splurge and have a coke on the plane.

I had a few sips of water, ate my Odwalla bar and stood in the terminal, waiting to board.

And made my very serious face.  My I am very busy and have no time for chit chat with you face.  Because I will NOT engage in conversation with other travelers that I might then have to spend hours with because our plane is delayed or we get stuck on a desert island, or whatever.  And my face was stuck that way for the rest of the trip.

I'm that fellow traveler that you don't like because I ignore you but secretly watch what you're doing and never crack a smile at you.  I've always been this way and I just can't see to  help myself.  I bring things to read or listen to and that also helps me remain in my little world.  And not talking means I don't lose that ultra serious face.

I know, you hate me already.  You know exactly which fellow passenger I am and you know you hate getting stuck next to because it's like sitting next to a ghost.

So, I might have relaxed my face slightly as I watched a Directv episode or 2, drink a whole can of coke that the flight attendant handed me, and ate the 3.5 cookies that were in the little bag.  In fact, my mood lightened quite a bit.

It's such a quick flight that they don't even bother to shut off the seatbelt light because you're up and down before you know it.  And I didn't need to use the bathroom anyway, what with the lack of water the whole way to the airport and using the bathroom right before I boarded.

However, just as we were coming in to land, I realized that I actually did have to use the bathroom.  I had a whole can of coke plus some water sitting on my bladder.  I really though I was going to have to wet myself.

As we circled the airport several times because we were still so high, I kept imagining that I'd just burst out of my seat and run to the bathroom yelling "emergency" so  I wouldn't get in trouble. 

As we kept coming lower but not soon enough, I imagined pressing the flight attendant button and making one come over to me so I could ask permission to please use the bathroom so I would not explode.

As we landed, I began to feel sick, I had to go so badly.  I fantasized that as we were taxiing in, I could just run down the aisle and go.  But I've been on planes where they've stopped the plane on the spot because people got up to get luggage when we were not at the gate.  I figured I could hold it a little bit longer.

I was in row 10.  We were on the tarmac.  It would just be a couple of minutes.  I could wait.  Maybe I could say loudly that I really had to go, so could I please be first off?

Or maybe I could use the plane's bathroom as I was deplaning?  But where would I put my luggage? 

We must have driven past 100s of gates before we came into our own.  I started to feel myself vibrating, I had to go so badly.

The second that seatbelt sign went off, I burst out of my seat to get my carryon.  I thought if I looked super pressed for time and kept my ultra serious face on, the face that now probably looked very pained and angry, people would think I had an important place to be and would let me go.

And then they took like 5 minutes to get the door opened.  I actually thought on two different occasions that I was going to just wet myself, standing right there with my luggage in hand.

Apparently my serious face did nothing to convey my desperate need to get to a bathroom S.T.A.T.  Not everyone in front of me had jumped up to get their bags and they were taking FOREVER.  And they had to get winter coats on.

When they finally started moving, I saw the bathroom getting closer and closer, but the flight attendant was standing in front of it.  And she was saying something about blocking the door to the bathroom.  Did she know I had to go?

Ok, how long can a jetway be?  It's just a short corridor, right?  There's a bathroom right outside, right? There has to be.  RIGHT??????

I figured I could make it another 100 yards and then I could just run to the bathroom.

And I was so discombobulated when I got off the jetway, I couldn't find a bathroom sign!  I couldn't find the way out!  It was a circle!

I think I was delirious.

I finally saw a men's room but not a ladies room.  I imagine the ladies room had to be right there, right???  Right next to it, like in many airports, right????

It was across the hall and the sign was blocked.  I almost missed it.  And as I finally got to the stall, I had the sheer panic that I might just have to rip my pants undone because I couldn't even get the button to undo, I had to go that badly. 

I made it with like a nanosecond to spare.

I think years were taken off my life as I sat with a full bladder, stewing for several hours.

All in the name of not bringing water from outside the airport into the terminal.

Linking up here. and with this crazy mama.


  1. Been to Atlanta recently? I think I may have sat next to you on the plane. Can't be sure, as my nose was on my Kindle the whole way so you wouldn't talk to me.
    And now I have to go to the bathroom...I hate my sympathetic bladder.

  2. I had such a similar thing happen when I was flying. I had to pee so BADLY and the turbulence was preventing me from using the rest room. I was patiently waiting for the fasten seat belt light to go off! It was torturous!


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