Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Look Boss! Da Plane! Da Plane!

So, just yesterday, I learned how truly unqualified I am to go to the airport...and this was just a trip to fetch hubby from his week-long stint in PA (Yes, he was there and had to endure it when the Steelers won. I'm not a football fan or anything, but Go Steelers...or some shit like that). I wasn't even going anywhere which I can only imagine would've sent me screaming into the night.

When hubby got deposited at the airport last Monday, it was the first time I had been to the airport in like 5 years (Literally the last time I was there was like July '01). Everything had changed. They did some pretty heavy remodeling since 9-11, I think. The signs were all confusing and everything, but we did manage to get him to departures with only one minor problem...there was a security guard snarling at me (hubby's back was to him) when I kissed hubby goodbye on the curb. This didn't seem right to me, so the PDA was cut short and I got the hell out of there.

This is when I learned I was totally qualified to leave the airport. Piece of cake. Yesterday though, going back to fetch hubby, was a completely different story.

Hubby ended up working all weekend so he could come hme early (He was supposed to come back 1/26/06) and he was really excited. Lucky for him, he picked a day when I hadn't already been awake for 60-some hours and could actually see straight. If he hadn't, he would probably still be at the airport.

Anyway, he said to just look for the sign that said 'arrivals' and that's where he'd be. I said I would be there to get him. I also remembered how much they frown on curbside PDAs so I decided to keep my tongue in my mouth and head out.

First, we had this freak snowstorm (6 inches) a couple days before. I hadn't left the house since the snowfall and basically in the days that had passed since, the snow had been melting a little at a time during the day and re-freezing into ice at night. I spent about an hour chiseling my car out of ice and then was on my way.

Hubby called when I was just about to the airport to tell me that his plane had landed, but that they were still on it, waiting for an open parking space. I was all "Otay panky." But really, is it that hard to park an airplane? I'd think you could just park it anywhere and little people will get out of your way. I went with it though and continued on my mission of retrieval.

I got to the airport just fine...but this is where I learned just how unqualifed I am to get into and exist inside of it.
First, everything seems to be moving at the speed of light at the airport. Is this new? Was everything always this fast? It certainly doesn't help the girl in the bright yellow SUV looking for the 'arrivals' sign he husband spoke of and had claimed, at that point, would be his eventual location. I don't know how you're supposed to be able to find anything, let alone read the signs with twenty fast-moving cars behind you honking their horns when you're apparently going to slow for their liking. I swear, I nearly had an anuerysm from all the pressure of seemingly being in the way.

After a near panic attack and deciding it was probably in my best interest to drive faster, I nearly ran over an entire flight crew in 'Baggage Claim' when I missed a stop sign. They didn't really look like they wanted to give me directions after that, so I kept going. I nearly missed another stop sign just a few feet away, but I managed to slam on my shitty brakes, making them squeel, just in time to avoid side-swiping an airport shuttle pulling away from the 'Baggage Claim' curb. Clear of the shuttle, I put my foot to the pedal and sped out of there.

I still couldn't find 'Arrivals'. I found 'International Arrivals' but I didn't recognize anyone there, which was probably a good thing, cause if I had I probably would've picked up whoever it was and fled the airport leaving hubby to fend for him self. And there weren't any cute boys there either, so hubby was not in gright then of being traded in for someone adorable and easier to pick-up from the airport.

After leaving 'International Arrivals' I mistakenly took another tour passed 'Baggage Claim'. The flight crew I had very nearly taken out only a short while before was still waiting there...snarling at me. Seems they still weren't ready to forgive me for their near-death experience, so I once again didn't stop to ask them for directions to 'Arrivals'. I continued passed them at a decent pace showing that I had matured since my last pass and was not likely to take them out.

I still couldn't find 'Arrivals', and once again wasn't paying enough attention, and I ended up in the 'Hourly Parking' ramp. This was not a good idea either, since I didn't have any cash on me (I was beginning to pray to Joe Pesci that Hubby had some kind of money with him) and with my sunglasses on, it was too dark. Apparently, I was driving the wrong way, which caused a foreign man (East Indian I'm thinking) to literally stop his car in front of my SUV (as though I couldn't have just driven over it and him) and proceed to yell at me at the top of his lungs sending the echoes of his voice throughout the parking structure! This scared the bejesus out of me and pushed me towards that panic attack again. Finally, he left me alone and I nabbed a parking space with enough time to spare to actually have that back-burnered panic attack and smoke 2 cigarettes back-to-back to calm down.

I'm such a space cadet sometimes. I should just trade the SUV in for a nice Schwinn. At least I'd be less suspect on a bike than tooling around scaring and nearly killing people in my bright yellow SUV. Who can you kill with a ten-speed?

I watched a plane land with 'NWA' on the side. I don't know what this really means, but all I could think of was Dr. Dre. I assumed the airport also frowns on bustin' rhymes, so I kept that to myself, as well.

Hubby finally called me again and I told him where I was and that it wasn't entirely my fault. I regailed him with the entire story of my not being able to find 'Arrivals' and apparently also not being able to tell my ass from a hole in the ground. He said he'd just meet me at the car to save me the embarrassment of having to drive around anymore. This is why I love him.

So, he gets to the car. I was still reeling from the crazy foriegn man yelling at me. Hubby loaded his stuff up and decided he was going to drive (at the speed of light). He also decided we were going to find 'Arrivals', which in the end was really 'Baggage Claim', an area I knew well already and where I was definitely not liked by the dwellers. Luckily, this time around, the flight crew had already departed, so we were not snarled at.

And finally, I got to go home, which was certainly easy considering how good I am at leaving the airport. Not that I don't have to do this shit all over again next Monday morning when he goes to Virginia!

MORAL OF THE STORY: I am not qualified to go to the airport, and secondly, never listen to a man when he gives you directions('Arrivals' sure sounds like 'Baggage Claim' to me). He more than likely doesn't have a clue what he's talking about anyway!


Blogger Ms_S1n1n said...

WHen you take a midwestern girl who is used to driving on staight roads lined with corn...transplant her to Japan so she can drive on the other side of more narrow roads lined with rice ....then , yet again, transplant her to England to encounter roundabouts lined by wheat....it makes for stories just like yours when finally transpnated to suburbia outside Baltimore. Just add..."am I on the right side of the road?" to it. Airports suck when you are me. Even if you only lived 15 minutes from it.

1:12 PM  

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