Monday, November 8, 2010

Silver Wings

I been trying to get a plane ticket to Florida, but, it isn't easy. I want to fly Allegiant out of Fargo directly into Sanford. Love the direct flights! Allegiant is nice because of the direct flights and it's also a little cheaper to boot. But like I said, it isn't easy. First of all, if you buy your ticket online, they charge you all these little extra fees. They add up! If you go to the airport and buy your ticket in person, they don't charge you all those little extra fees. You also have to make sure you state that you don't care where you sit or which overhead compartment your bag goes into. (Big fees for that too! A or B? Who cares?) I went last Thursday to the airport to try and buy a ticket, only to find a sign that said the ticket booth is only open two hours before each flight on the days that they fly. Thursday wasn't one of them. So, I called the number on the sign only to get a recording telling me that there would be a 15 minute wait and that there would be a $15 charge to speak to an agent. Say what? Yeah, right. I went on line and found that there was a flight on Sunday at 10:30. So, I got up extra early and was at the airport at 8:30. Guess what? Those two hours are for checking people in only. I had to wait until 10:30 to purchase a ticket. Come on already! Luckily I had a book in my car. So, I decided to get a nice big hot cup of coffee and wait out the time reading and sipping coffee in the airport. Other than the people checking in, I pretty much had the airport to myself. Everyone went "upstairs" to wait for the planes. No one was hanging out by the ticket booths. (Fargo is a tiny little airport. Nothing like O'Hare!) As I was sitting there, a young girl who looked to be about 22 or so, walked up to me. My immediate thought was "hung over party girl." Her eyes were bloodshot and her hair was a mess and she still had on last night's makeup. She had a handful of coins and asked me if she could use my cell phone to call her mom in Arizona because the pay phone wouldn't accept her change. I patted the seat next to me and told her to sit down. As she sat down and placed her bag on the floor in front of her, I discretly put my foot on the strap of the bag. (Sorry. I've been around a long time and trust no one.) Because she was sitting right next to me, I couldn't help overhearing her conversation. She said "Hi mom. I made it to the airport. I found a church and they gave me directions. Can you still pick me up when I get home? Love you mom. Bye." For a split second, I thought maybe I was a little too harsh in my judgement, but as she handed my phone back to me, she burst into tears and said "My mom is so pi**ed at me!" and started to tell me all about it. (I apparently forgot to turn off my "tell me all about it light.") She told me that she had been in Fargo visiting her sister for the week. The night before, her sister was picked up for a D.U.I. and was sitting in jail. They didn't have the money to bail her out, so their mom was wiring the bail money. She had to fly home that day because she was flying Allegiant and if she wanted to change the date it was going to cost her! (You know the drill by now.)  Her sister was her ride to the airport. She didn't have money for a cab, so she walked. She also got lost. That is where the church comes in. She found a Mormon church where the people were more than happy to give her directions, but not a ride. Say what? I know!!! Believe me, it was all I could do not to hunt down that church and give them a good "What kind of people are you???" talkin' to. But, I chose not to accept any more grey hairs and just let it be. (I'm pretty proud of myself for that!) I started to feel for her. I remember being young and stupid. Oh, how I remember! So, trying to make her feel better, I told her one of my "when I was young and stupid" stories. Sorry, I am not going to share it here. There are some things you can share with complete strangers who you will never see again, but not the ones you know and see daily. I will tell you it involved a pool and clothes. Those are all the details you will get. (Go ahead, get creative in your imagination.) Anyway, by the time I got done telling her my story she had a few, "No ways!" and "OMG's" and even laughed a few times. As she got up to leave, she thanked me over and over. Now let me tell you, there is no greater high than laughter and making someone feel happy or good.
That feeling lasted all day. I didn't even mind the wait for my ticket any more.
(Yes! I got my ticket!)
I used to be cute and young and a lot of fun. Now I'm just a lot of fun.

* Silver Wings. An oldie but goodie, sad country song. But, oh so good to dance to. Just twirl me around the floor already. I'll even let you lead.