Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Swimming upstream both ways in the Snow

I’m patiently waited for my flight to be boarded when I saw a British teenager in a colorful warm-up outfit playing with a shiny medal around her neck. I didn't recognize the color of the award until someone asked her what she won.

A huge smile came across her face. "I finished in 6th place at a local swimming meet", shined self-proclaimed Suzy Swimmer. “Out of 8”

Six out of eight? Wow...Suzy, just a heads up. I just ran into the kid who finished in 7th place. He was just stopped by security because of the magnificent size of his own trophy of modesty and look, there is the 8th place award winner making an acceptance speech near Passport Customs & Control.

Now I appreciate hard effort and confidence as much as anyone, but bragging to strangers you finished in bottom run of a competitive race might just dampen any thought you have ever had of truly winning a flippant award in the future.

Maybe it is me, but I can't even remember who finished second in last year's Super Bowl and Miss Modesty wants a standing ovation and a medal for finishing sixth. Does she realize I can float on a raft with a beer and finish only two places behind her?

As we were ready to board, they flashed the top six names on the digital flight board who would qualify for 1st class upgrades.

Little Suzy Swimmer took the lane in 6th place AGAIN. Et Moi? Oh, I missed the upgrade by one backstroke from my dubious karma.

As I swam past her 1st class starting block on my way to seat 55b, I just happened to point at her tarnished pride and joy, "Hey Suzy,... Michael Phelps called, he said he has earrings bigger than that.”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Planes, Trains and Wedding Gowns

Planes Trains and Wedding Gowns

On my flight back from Moscow, I waited in dreaded middle seat for my bookend seating partners as I witnessed a formally dressed Russian bride AND her groom head down the their second aisle of the day.

They acknowledged they were my new soul mates in flight so I stood up, gestured and signaled with my terrible Russian, to please, PLEASE sit together so they could lovingly cuddle for the next four hours.

The bride, with her veil still attached and her dress still fluffy, responded in perfect English they appreciated my gesture but she would like the window and her massive hubby will still take the aisle.

Wow-It is hard to visualize this stunning bride with her beauty radiating from what is supposed to be the happiest day of her life wanting already to be SOOO far apart from her groom. But neither of them spoke a word to each other while I uncomfortably allowed them to sandwich me in seat 13B while watching “Rocky IV” on my iPad (just kidding). I kept wondering if this day would define their life, end mine or just be a first test in a long line of their matrimonial exams.

“OKAAAAY, You too love birds, you have been married for only minutes and you already are letting a stranger and a bad travel agent separate you for the next few hours. Are you now going to ask me to ask him to pass you the SKY MALL magazine so you choose your own individual wedding gifts? Are you going to make me sit between satin and wool, white and black, Y and X? I don’t think so.

Sweetheart, your new spouse has a barrel chest; howitzer arms and you are now suggesting I share an ARM rest with YOU? My feet are too big, my lower limbs seem to have Restless Leg Syndrome, and you want me to focus on sitting still as I sit between Moscow’s version of Dolph Lundgren and Brigitte Nielsen?

Then I’m going to be the American Dr. Phil- but with MORE hair, “How is this early separation in your passenger of life sharing, working for YOU right NOW?”

I am beginning to see a few trust issues. You waited to hear if he was going to order the meat or veggie dish before telling him WHAT to choose and I saw him roll his eyes when you ordered your second glass of wine before he started his first.

I am excusing myself and I will return with THREE glasses as we are all throwing back some of the duty-free vodka I bought before getting on this NEWLYWED GAME plane in your honor because my sweet young Russian lovers in the air of bliss, “Мне нужно пить/I need a drink”