Monday, July 20, 2009

Why Certain People Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Have Kids

Dog in kimono

Everyone who has been a big bummer the past two weeks raise your hand!

Oh, I’m the only asshole raising my hand? Real nice, guys. Reeeal nice.

Long story short, I was in New York (you may have heard of it). Brooke was there, too, and we traveled to exotic places like Long Island and downtown Manhattan. Because Puppy (on principle) despises all things exotic, we left him here in Miami with a professional dog sitter. (And to everyone who is like, “HOW COULD YOU LEAVE PUPPY ALONE TO DIE LIKE THAT?” it should be noted that he slept snuggled up in the dog sitter’s bed with her every night like it was Don Cheadle’s Hotel for Dogs. Clearly Puppy isn’t putting as much thought into the situation as we are.)

travel essentials

So Brooke came home on Wednesday because she had a few friends visiting Miami this past weekend, but I stayed in New York a few extra days to see friends and eat pizza. I also spent some time in The Office (my work building, not the fictional sitcom), which is kind of like a grab bag of awesomeness. At one point, one of the girls that works there handed me a messenger bag full of travel-sized stuff for men: toothpaste, q-tips, tissues, a shoe horn (score?), etc. She’s like, “Hey, do you want this?” and before she can finish the question I’m rifling through the bag, pulling out a lint roller like it’s Christmas morning.

The only problem was that my suitcase was already overflowing, to the point where when I tried to stuff it in the overhead compartment on the flight to New York I had to stop midway through, take out a pair of shoes stuffed in a front zipper compartment and kind of balance them – half hanging out – in my computer bag instead. (I could tell Brooke thought it was really classy because when people looked at me funny she kind of hid her face like, “I feel so bad for those people who don’t understand how cool it is to carry shoes in your computer bag.”)

So when it came time to pack everything back up and leave New York, I was facing a seemingly untenable situation: overpacked suitcase, nearly overpacked computer bag, and now a handy shoulder bag full of travel essentials – a particularly biting bit of irony wherein these “handy travel essentials” are precisely the things that are making it so difficult for me to travel.

But then I get a brilliant idea: I’ll empty out the travel essentials from the shoulder bag and put my computer in it. Then I will put the entire shoulder bag into my computer bag like Russian nesting dolls. Everything fits perfectly and I am so pleased with myself – until I notice the pile of travel essentials emptied out on the floor next to me. Apparently my capability to think more than one step ahead is terrible, like in action movies when the hero kills the terrorist who has hijacked the plane, but now has no idea how to fly the plane.

My first thought is, “Do I really need a mini sewing kit and a packet of tissues that look like $100 bills?” to which I immediately reply, “Of course I need a mini sewing kit and a packet of tissues that look like $100 bills. Don’t be stupid.” So I start stuffing these items in to my suitcase and computer bag anywhere they will fit. After 15 minutes of trying numerous combinations to make everything fit together (like one of those IQ tests, which apparently I would fail miserably) I achieve some sort of acceptable conglomeration. The suitcase zips closed, and nothing is blatantly falling out of the computer bag, though if it is jostled or tilted the wrong way it would be like a travel essentials piñata explosion.

Flash forward to me at the airport. I’ve managed to make it through security, although when my bag took extra long going through the conveyor belt I was sure they were going to be suspicious, like “This dude’s got a lot of toiletries.” But I made it through, boarded the plane, and got to my seat. There was no available overhead bin space near me, so I had to proceed a few rows down to find some. When I did, I hauled my suitcase over my head and attempted to slide it in. Not happening. Hmm. Try again. Nope. Fuck. The shoes.

Being the idiot that I am, I packed the same shoes in the same outside pocket that prevented the bag form fitting on the plane the first time. Talk about learning from your mistakes! This time though, things are a bit dicey. My seat is three rows away, and there are a line of people that need to get past me to their seats. The stewardess is looking at me with that particular brand of glare that can only come from a woman who routinely deals with people that make her job harder by failing to perform simple tasks like putting a tray table up or buckling a seat best. There’s no empty space nearby for me to slide into, so a woman offers to move from the aisle seat to the widow seat so I can use the aisle seat to sort out my shit, which sounds great until you remember that you’re still on a fucking plane and now you’re just wedged into a tiny space with a huge bag that needs to be opened up with nowhere for it to open up to. Oh, and my computer bag is on my shoulder. That is, until someone walks by and bumps into it, sending sundry travel essentials flying through the aisle. For a split second I think, “It does look like a piñata!” which quickly turns into, “Fuck, it does look like a piñata.”

The very nice people around me all helped clean up the mess. It was like, “Here’s your lint roller. Here’s your deck of playing cards. Here’s your Listerine Pocket Mist still in it’s wrapper.” Whether I was viewed as the biggest asshole ever or the most proficient packer ever is debatable, but one thing’s certain: Brooke never has to worry about me inadvertently attracting women with my irresistible air of charm and self-confidence.

Anyway, I got back to Miami yesterday and Brooke’s friends were still here. Their flight out wasn’t leaving until 9:30, so we all decided to go out for dinner together, Puppy included. It was a lovely meal, seated outside in the unseasonably mild summer air, a few bottles of wine and lots of dessert sharing. It was so nice, in fact, that we completely lost track of time and suddenly the girls’ flight left in an hour. Whoops! We rushed to pay the bill, gather our things, and leave. As we flew out the front door of the restaurant the waitress said “thank you” and “goodnight” and then “Where’s your dog?”

We all paused as though she was talking about an umbrella. “Well I thought you had the umbrella.” “I thought you had it!” Except we were talking about a living thing, which we inadvertently left tied up to a café table out back.


In hindsight, he did jump up and put his two front paws on my lap a few times throughout dinner, which I wrote off as a sign of intense affection from dog to owner, but could very well have been Puppy’s innate survival instincts kicking in as he tried to communicate non-verbal reminders that he was there and we should not, under any circumstances, leave without him. WHOOPS! That’s nature for you – totally fallible. But it all worked out (like what could have been if the McAllisters had remembered Kevin before peeling away from the house in their rental van) and Puppy seems as genuinely happy to have me home as I am to be home. And the next time I go away, I’ll be sure to bring Puppy with me – because at least then I can’t lose him, even if I accidentially dump him out all over the plane.


Blogger Allison Hatfield said...

that is an exceptionally cute picture of puppy. he looks like a toy. good to see he got that weight off.

July 20, 2009 at 7:23:00 PM EDT  
Blogger A said...

LOL. This is the kind of thing that's funny to read about, but not to experience. ;) Though packing abilities and raising kids are not necessarily connected. :)

July 21, 2009 at 8:22:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Packing is like tetris, only there's actually something riding on it.

Guess who's awesome at tetris? I took a 10kg bag on a week-long trip last week. I'm unnecessarily smug about it.

July 21, 2009 at 9:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jessalyn said...

I have a pretty good mental image of you trying to fit a baby into an over-head compartment, but getting angry because its feet keep hanging out.

July 21, 2009 at 5:47:00 PM EDT  

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