Overbooked

I tend to cut things a little close. I don”t want to waste time being early and waiting, waiting, waiting. (This stems from a childhood with earlybird parents. We once got to a junior high drama production BEFORE the janitor showed up to unlock the building with the keys clipped to his belt. Then we helped him setup chairs in the cafeteria-turned-theater. Needless to say we had the front row to ourselves for an hour, which gave me time to plan out my “cutting it close” philosophies.)\n\nI booked some tight appointments today (of course I did), and the first one was at my “Remedez office.” I seriously believe it saves me time to get my hair professionally styled once in awhile. With my laptop and iPhone, I can process e-mails and organize interview notes during the round-brushing. Bonus! It looks much better than my “I”m-running-late” attempt to straighten the frizz.

Jeanette and laptop working at Remedez.

With my ”do all done, I drove to my interviews at Nu Skin (made it just in the nick of time) and later headed back to the office where I reviewed our plans for the September/October issue of Utah Valley Magazine. The 10th anniversary issue, mind you. Ten years!\n\nAnd then I did it. I cut things too close to pick up photographer MaryLyn Linge and my husband, Matt, for a 5:06 flight to Chicago for an upcoming magazine project. We risked a speeding ticket and took full advantage of the carpool lane. Then Matt dropped us off at the skycap and headed to long-term parking, aka “the time warp.” MaryLyn then headed to the gate and I waited for Matt. And waited. And texted. Me: I”m upstairs by security. Short line. Matt: 23b Me: Getting close? Matt: I”m in the middle of the economy parking lot. Having a fun bus tour. Meeting new friends.\n\nMe: That does sound fun. OK. See you soon. Matt: Made last stop. Heading in now.\n\nMe: I”m starting to worry about time. Matt: No need to worry. Stopped to change bus drivers. Looks like we”ve got a driver in training. Me: Yikes. Matt: OK. Moving again. Me; MaryLyn says she boarded the plane. I don”t think we”re going to make it.\n\nWhat happened after that involved flailing our way down to C11 with heavy bags over all four shoulders (we”re too cheap to pay for checked bags). My recovering stress fracture was screaming as I made my way past business travelers, newsstands and missionary tags. But. It. Was. Too. Late. Thirty seconds ago they gave our seats to some very happy standby-ers. Apparently, being at the gate at 5:01 p.m. isn”t good enough.\n\nAnd so for the first time in my 35 years, I learned what it means to miss your flight. It means frustration. It means waiting on hold with the Delta helpline. It means getting five different answers from five different Delta agents. It means hearing every detail of how another woman needs to be in Chicago for her son”s 6 a.m. graduation.\n\nAnd for me, it meant sincere prayer that there would be two spots on the 7:45 flight to Chicago. Which, ironically, was delayed. We watched several passengers flail themselves toward the gate at 7:45 but then smile when they saw “DELAYED” flashing. We groaned. At 8:30 my prayer got partially answered because one seat became available. Matt and I had talked through this scenario during our 3.5 hours of downtime and decided that I would go. So I handed over my crumpled boarding pass and avoided eye contact with the graduation mom by my side. I eased my guilt by believing she made up that story to get sympathy from people above her on the standby list. A graduation at 6 a.m.? So I waved goodbye to Matt who walked away to face the Delta gods on his own to beg his way to the windy city. Hopefully the graduation mom stays by his side to keep him company. My text to him from the runway: So sorry. Lesson learned. If you go home, squeeze the kids for me. If you end up being routed through Memphis or Portland, have fun meeting new friends like you did on the bus.

Two frustrated passengers.

Leave a Reply