Two weeks ago, my mom and I flew to California for my cousin's memorial service.
On the way there, we didn't have seats together, but at the gate they let us switch seats. We had two seats together in the very last row--the one that doesn't recline. But we were together, and I was on the aisle, which is always my preference.
But immediately I started worrying. I mean, more than usual. Because you know I expect death on a flight.
Was it bad luck to change seats? What if the plane broke in half? We were both in the middle, near the wings, but in middle seats, before I switched us. But wouldn't the middle of the plane be more likely to survive?
Had I jinxed us by switching?
A friend said the plane breaking in half was unlikely, but I wondered about a water landing. The pilot lands the plane in the water, and then the back half, with us in the way-back, cracks right off.
And there we all are in the death and drowning and sharks.
My head can be an exhausting Mordor disco rave sort of place, I tell you.
Anyway, we landed safely, and then our bags were nowhere to be found. My gate-checked bag and her checked bag.
I finally located Betty's, which was so much bigger and heavier than I remembered. I dragged it to her, and then she insisted it wasn't hers, and I insisted it was, and we went back and forth in front of all these people in the American Airlines WHERE ARE MY DAMN BAGS line, which had two agents and a million people.
Finally, after much crabby, tired back-and-forthing, I opened it to show her.
The first thing I saw was a giant thing of lotion. I pulled it out and was like, "Look! This is...uh...not your brand of lotion. And not your bag. Sorry."
I skulked back to the carousel with it as quick as I could.
And then we got up to the front of the line. And the guy put our info into his computer and was like, your bags are on the second carousel. And I was all, "But the first carousel says IAD."
He said, "Yes. But you flew from DCA. Which is carousel two."
And then on the way back, we thought we lucked out! Two seats across the aisle from each other!
All was well until a couple hours into the flight. At which point a woman hurtled herself towards us. I was reading (Guns of Autumn), and saw her forward motion out of the corner of my eye.
Listen, if we'd been up front and she'd been sprinting for the cockpit, I'd have been all ninja warrior. But we were toward the back and she was running that direction.
Our seats were about six from the back. Exactly the point at which she began projectile vomiting.
She vomited on lots of people. Starting with us. And then all down the aisle.
So Betty and I, in our lucky lucky aisle seats, both got puked on. One arm each. The back of my seat. The ends of my hair. MY HAIR!
And, I discovered when we got home and I went up to scour my whole self with Clorox (because plague! Ebola! Cholera!), I had dried puke on one of the arms of my eyeglasses.
On the upside, we didn't crash.