Monday, October 12, 2009

In-flight Ruminations

It’s amazing what comes to mind when one is forced to endure a jam-packed, turbulence-ridden Delta flight from Minneapolis to Sarasota.

Having recently moved to Minnesota, I am not used to taking off during a snowstorm. Frankly, it freaked me out a wee bit. I know how hard it is to navigate my Toyota on a slippery, snow-covered highway, so how could I not question how the pilot would keep control of this massive chunk of steel on a slick runway? The answer, of course, is the mystery process called ‘de-icing’: that magical solution that makes everything A-OK. It's so reassuring to know that my life is safe now that the plane received a five-minute, high-powered car wash. As we careen down the runway, I focus on my tried-and-true “I'm scared shitless” mantra: All is well, all of the time. In conjunction, I try to calm my stomach that is doing somersaults and breathe into my legs that have turned into jelly. Despite my best efforts, I have visions of that terrifying movie Alive – the story about the jet crash in the Andes – dancing through my head. This is all happening a few hours before one of my public appearances in which I am supposed to become Big Theresa, the Bringer of the Mojo. As I type this, I am looking down at my black plastic and brushed metal bracelet that has the word "Fearless" emblazoned on it and wondering how the hell I have the cajones to wear it.

I am comforted by the fact that I’m not the biggest Fraidy Cat on the plane. There is a chick sitting in the row ahead of me who looks like she is going to jump out of her skin, barf in the white paper bag, and pee in her stonewashed jeans all at the same time. Prior to takeoff, my Nervous Nellie cabin-mate sporting the Taylor Swift tee shirt incessantly grilled the flight attendant on the safety of the plane, e.g. “What is that strange noise?! Is that sound normal?! What about all of the snow on the wings?!” (I was grateful to my squirrelly travel compadre for asking those questions, as I wondered the same things myself.) The jaded flight attendant whose behavior clearly indicated that she has logged waaaaaaaay too much flight time, condescendingly responded by saying, “Then maybe you should have taken a Greyhound bus to Florida”. Hey, Blondie? Two words: Blow me. Delta’s new tagline should read: Fly the Bitchy Skies.

In order to deal with the stratospheric roller coaster in which I am currently being forced to ride, I am focusing instead on my upcoming itinerary. I will be spending the next six blissful days in sunny Florida conducting Club Kimono discussion groups, facilitating two group meditations, having private intuitive healing sessions, and doing a speaking engagement. All of that that is fine and dandy, but to be honest, I am more pumped about seeing my peeps!! I get to spend quality time with Jax and V, go out to dinner with Abby, hoop with Shellie, lunch with Linda and Donna, gab with Lourdes, and laugh with Shaun and Di. I’m gonna walk the beach in my flipflops, get up whenever I want, and eat whenever I want. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and daughter more than the Biggest Big Thing; but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it is gonna be pretty friggin’ nice to be a single gal for the next week. I am sure my jaws will ache at the end of the trip from laughing and talking ad infinitum. Sometimes I just need a break from the roles of Mom and Wife.

Not only am I spending quality time in the Sunshine State, but I will also be taking a quick jaunt to New York City for a “Meet the Agents” forum. During three nerve-wracking hours next Sunday afternoon, I hope to dazzle the to-be-determined Dream Agent with the awesome potential of one Ms. Theresa Rose and her literary baby, Opening the Kimono. This trip is huge for me, and I want to make a great impression. As any woman knows, the clothes we wear can dictate our confidence level. As I scoured my closet yesterday to pick out my travel wardrobe, I discovered several bold, trendy, oh-so-New Yorky outfits that would be perfect to wear for this event. The only problem is that none of them fit. Ever since our move, my girth has steadily expanded, thanks to too many trips to Caribou Coffee, too many take-home pizzas from Papa Murphy’s, and too few trips on the elliptical. It’s a depressing thing indeed when all one can find to wear on the eve of a major business trip are stretchy skirts and baggy shirts.

Blessedly, I found a cute Michael Kors skirt in the back recesses of the closet that I bought on sale at Macy’s several months ago. I have never worn it, because it was too big when I bought it (it was incorrectly sized and misfiled on the sale racks). Not anymore, dammit. Thanks to Caribou and the Papa, it fits perfectly now. Through a few tears, I cobbled together a decent Manhattan-worthy outfit that doesn’t make me look like a hausfrau or an aging hippie at Burning Man.

So begins my trip. I am trying to stay as positive as possible, recognizing that wonderful things are just around the corner. My goal right now is to be in the groove, go with the flow, and embrace every moment, regardless of how unpleasant it may seem. I pray this damn turbulence will end soon, the cranky old coot next to me will eventually arrest his restless leg syndrome, and the faceless-yet-powerful expeller of noxious intestinal gas will stop his (or her) pungent tooting. Just a few moments ago, my jittery neighbor actually had the stones to ask me if I’d switch seats with him, giving him my coveted aisle seat in exchange for his middle seat. Yeah. That’ll happen. I’m all for loving my neighbor, but he’s gonna have to keep his shaky ass right where it is for the duration of the flight.

PS: Despite how it seems, I love writing while traveling. There is something about being surrounded by strangers being put in uncomfortable surroundings that make my creative juices flow like the Colorado River (or at least how the Colorado River ran ten years ago). The only drawback is the presence of nosy neighbors who think they are being surreptitious when they sneak a peek at the contents of my screen. Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, buddy. Keep your damn eyeballs on your USA Today or Golf Digest where they belong.

I love traveling. ☺

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