Now that I live in Oregon and most of my family and friends still live in California, I find myself flying more often to visit. Over the past few years, I have actually had to fly pretty often for weddings and other events. This past weekend I flew down to Seal Beach for my sister's bridal shower and bachelorette party. I was so happy to visit and be part of such a special time, and I'll write more later about the weekend. But tonight I wanted to display my complete ineptness when it comes to flying.
Here is what you do if you want to have a bad experience:
1. Schedule your flight for a time when it's really inconvenient for anyone you know to drop you off at the airport, and don't bother to call a taxi or shuttle to pick you up. Just be so cheap that you ask someone to drop you off four hours before your flight so you can hang out at the airport for a really long time.
2. Make sure this airport is one that is very small without anything to do to keep you occupied. The Long Beach airport is perfect. It is tiny, and once you go through security (which, pleasantly, only takes thirty seconds because remember you showed up very early and there's no one else there yet), there is a single magazine stand surrounded by some chips, candy, and drinks. Not a Starbucks or other shop in sight to make the time pass more quickly.
3. Make sure to buy candy at the small kiosk because you're grumpy and you think it will make you feel better. Though you've only had coffee all day and yesterday you brilliantly ate about thirty pounds of taffy, you assume the Reese's Pieces will be a healthy, energizing breakfast that will make your unsettled stomach suddenly settled. In fact, it will probably give you a headache and make you sleepy.
4. Don't read either of the two books you brought with you. Instead, buy three magazines from the overpriced magazine stand so that you can read different versions of why Kim really called it off with Kris. (Also, think about how this Kim has soiled your name and how you are even more adamant about not being called "Kim".) Throw a Self magazine in there as well so that you can experience self-loathing while you eat your candy and look at pictures of women with six-pack abs.
5. Smile at the little girl who walks past you. (You'd think this would make for a pleasant trip, except that this little girl makes a creepy, scary face in response and you swear she hisses your name and that you've possibly just encountered one of Satan's minions.)
6. Forget your ipod and headphones. This is especially effective if you're flying JetBlue because they actually have in-flight movies and television that you could have watched if you hadn't forgotten your headphones, and your forgetfulness makes you even more frustrated. You might be tempted to buy the $2 headphones they offer, but since you've already spent so much money on magazines and candy, you refrain.
7. Underpack. This is a good way to ensure that you will not be as comfortable flying home. When you only pack just enough for what you think you'll need, you forget to take into account that you have a five month-old nephew who might spit up on you and thereby cause you to wear the same outfit twice. You don't think you'll want yoga pants and a sweatshirt and warm socks to fly in? You're wrong. And who are you trying to fool anyway, wearing those skinny jeans and not-very-warm cardigan? You're normally in yoga pants and sweatshirts, so why, when you travel, do you force yourself to not be as comfortable and make an attempt at fashion? This, too, is meaningless, and a good way to make your flight less cozy.
8. Forget to remember that when people fly, they assume they are the center of the universe, and consequently be annoyed by everyone around you. That couple that tries to board during the pre-boarding time who are then sent to the end of the line but conveniently slide in front of you - they will annoy you. You can roll your eyes at them and make sure they see that you are in no hurry because you are not as stupid as they are. Why are they in such a rush to get on the plane anyway? Do they really find those seats comfortable? Are they afraid the plane will be full if they're at the back of the line? They are assigned seats, people. Be sure to let them in first because they must need that affirmation of being on the plane before you.
Follow the above directions and you are sure to be miserable at the end of your nine-hour traveling experience. And by all means, don't learn from your mistakes and make any changes for the next time you travel. This will make for mildly-entertaining blog ideas that occur to you while you're sitting at the airport.