No, what I want to talk about is travel. Yes. Travel. We're all thinking about it, I know.....Going to conferences, RWA National included, or thinking longingly of Easter/Passover visiting, Spring Break or summer vacations ahead.
Are you flying?
Now don't wince. This isn't a diatribe about flying either.
I love to fly. Really. I do.
I do NOT love to go through security, but I'm fairly tolerant of all the nutso rules and regs. I've mailed my beloved Swiss Army Knife home to myself at least three times, thrown away perfectly good bottles of water, Diet Coke, Milk, etc. right at the gate of security, let them confiscate my nail polish (a gorgeous OPI color too!) when the no-liquids rule first went into effect, and all that insane stuff.
I love that instant when the wheels lift off the ground and you can feel the almost weightlessness of the airplane. *shiver* It's fabulous. Or the solid bump-soft-shudder-bump-shhhhhh of a great landing. Excellent.
What I'm not fond of? All alcohol and caffeinated drinks on a five-hour flight and no food. (Can you say "belligerent passengers"?) Running through Atlanta's airport. That is one airport you just CANNOT run through. The floors are too slick, the train too slow. Impossible.
Memphis ain't real fun either, as I can attest from this weekend!
However, airline employees, the REAL ones on the front lines, are great. Lorry W, with Delta, made sure that I would have a second connection already ready and waiting if my connection missed in Memphis, so I could get home. Brenda, Mary and Barb, all Delta flight attendants, were cordial, good humored, and sincerely helpful, even to the guy who insisted on taking off his shoes (no socks on, folks. Ugh!) and who gestured at them and demanded yet one more gin and tonic, with his unlit and quite chewed-upon cigar. Double-ugh.
My cousin is a flight attendant. Some of the stories she can tell would curly your hair if it were straight and straighten it to board straight if it were curly. She also tells wonderful stories of meeting Phyllis Dillar (the life of the show, even on board an aircraft), and other celebrities, most of whom behaved beautifully. Grins. It's a hard job, being a service person on an airline, who really is there to protect you. They serve as "staff" but their real job is to be there, be on the front line, when there's a problem. To handle it, to keep people safe, to make sure everyone gets off alive.
Daunting thought, especially when faced with a whole planeful of drunk or over-caffienated, over-salted, tired, cranky, "I'm-sitting-next-to-a-screaming-toddler-who's-mother-is-sleeping one-row-up" people. They pat and soothe and get stern, and issue alerts and warning and somehow balance that frickin' heavy cart in high winds down the center of the aisle and still manage to pour coffee without spilling it.
Hurrah, for flight attendants! Grins.
Then there's the weird shops in airports, like the Braves Shop in Atlanta - hey ya'll, the Season opens in 3 weeks! Go BRAVES!!!
And the weird souvenirs that come with travel. I'm always fascinated with the stuffed armadillos in Texas, the giant guitars in Memphis, the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks mania in O'Hare, and New York's Rolex clocks.
So tell me your travel stories, good and bad.
What's the strangest thing you've carried home on an airplane?
Ever gotten through security with your Swiss Army knife?
Strangest thing you ever brought home for the family as a souvenier.
OH!! And if you're traveling - or even if you're not! - pick up a copy of this month's Cosmopolitan Magazine! An excerpt from my Deadly Little Secrets is featured as the RED HOT READ for April!