I used to fly a lot. To put this into perspective, I was a gold status frequent flyer member and I knew my passport number by heart.
Then I had kids. Now the only number I retain in my brain is the size of my sweat pants.
For all the times I’ve circumnavigated the globe, only once have I been parked on the runway for more than two hours, prior to today. That was when my husband and I were flying home to Thailand with our seven-month-old twin. It was a snowy day in Vancouver, and our plane was in the queue for de-icing. Vivian and William, our two pudgy airbags, were seated on our laps…in business class. Yes, I had staged a coup when I used the upgrade certificates that came with gold frequent flyer status.
I still remember the corporate stares we were given as we walked down the wide aisle knocking starched shirts and double windsors in the head with diaper bags and baby legs. By the time the de-icer had thawed us out, Vivian and William had played peak-a-boo with every executive. It was a good will gesture that eased the next 12-hour leg of our journey.
Today, I broke that record. In Calgary, our airplane sat on the tarmac for well over two hours. Apparently, Air Traffic Control’s computers were out. Our pilot used 25 acronyms to explain this (which the flight attendants attempted to translate without having listened to the pilot in the first place).
This was not the first time I waited today. I woke up extra early because I had a lot to be excited about: my temporary child-free status, living it up with my sister, seeing pop culture icon (Oprah) at pop culture headquarters (the Kodak Theater in Hollywood), and sitting on Colin Firth’s lap.
I arrived at the Calgary airport early this morning and waited in the customs line up. Even though my passport photo makes me look like a convict (or a woman who’s just given birth), they let me through. Next, I waited at the gate, beyond boarding time. The ground crew told us that they were having trouble connecting the airport bridge to the airplane deck. For a moment I thought I had been beamed to Universal Studios and was on a Star Trek set.
Then we boarded the plane and the computers crashed.
I’m trying to be positive. I watched ten minutes of Black Swan, until I was reminded that watching ballet makes my toes ache and my hair hurt. So I switched to The Fighter and winced every time a fist connected with a face. I enjoyed it because it makes my family feel very normal.
Today’s movie watching experience means that I’ve actually seen 3.15 of the Best Picture nominees: The Fighter, The Firth, and The Facebook. This is the highest number of best picture nominees I’ve seen since I spawned.
Stay tuned for Day 1 in L.A., which I’m now too tired to write.