Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Travel Jitters

As I sit here at the airport waiting for my flight to board, I realize that I am worrying about ridiculous things. Did I bring the right clothes for my work trip to blue-collar America? Will the hotel have a hair dryer? If I get hungry and need a snack on my break, will there be anything other than Cheetos to eat?

Good grief! I’m going to Jeffersonville, Indiana, for a 2-day conference on key-from-image versus key-from-paper, the methodology for capturing the data from our national survey of 3 million households a year. Although Jeffersonville is not a thriving metropolis, I’m sure I could buy anything I forgot to pack.

Then there are the anxieties induced by airports. For security reasons, there is no bathroom in Legal Seafood. I was sure the waitress had absconded with my government credit card because it took her so long to come back. The 2-bag rule is in full force here. In order to get through security, I had to expand my single suitcase so I could pack my purse since I had my laptop. What exactly is the difference I ask?

They just cancelled a flight to Providence. What if my flight got cancelled?

The plane isn’t huge. They will undoubtedly make me stow my one suitcase in the baggage compartment. What if something like my mousse explodes?

They were predicting thunderstorms this afternoon. What if…?

STOP! There is not one legitimate worry in this list. But this is my familiar pattern. It actually stops the minute I board and fasten my seatbelt. At that point I am finally at peace, resigned to whatever the flight brings, not even thinking about whether there will be a snack, because I now know that there won’t be.

More from J’ville, where the salt of the earth do all the jobs that no one wants to do any longer at the headquarters offices of my government agency.


Blogger Kristin said...

I know what you mean. That's me in the morning as I wait for my flight to Seattle. I know I'll worry about finding space for my bag in the overhead bin. I wrestle my bags into the bathroom stall with me. I'll worry about getting hungry at my aunt and uncle's house or forgetting my license or not bringing the graduation card I'm sure I bought three weeks ago.

Just preflight jitters. Annoying. Temporary. Real.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Maybe all this worry is about leaving our familiar patterns of living. We are really creatures of habit after all. It's nice when it lifts and you realize how silly it all was!

6:50 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I'm way more at ease when I'm with my husband! I've never traveled much by myself! I bring all my own food!

8:17 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Airports have awful vibrations.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hmmm, Reya......they must bounce off me. I get a rush as I approach airports. If I am not flying, I dream where I would be going. If I am flying, I feel "chosen." And in the airport the great vibes keep penetrating my pores.

Now car rental places......there I freak out. Anytime I rent a car there is someone at the desk returning their vehicle because a tire looked flattened, the rear end makes roaring noises, or the convertible top won't go down. This morning was no different: 1) woman with oil light burning brightly, 2) man who couldn't get the car to shift to third, 3) young man and woman with "thunking" noises coming from under the hood. But...I persisted and got a convertible for my last two days in LA. Why not, said I?

Enjoy downtown Jacksonville, IN, Barbara.


2:12 PM  

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