Monday, March 3, 2008

Travel Time

We were waiting to board a flight to Denver. The flight was overbooked, and our family of seven was not helping. The woman at the desk was determined that as many of us that could sit together would sit together. She gave me our boarding passes: one was seat 2B. That was sounding awfully close to the front of the plane, a place we hadn't ever been before. "Is this first class?" I asked carefully, thinking she would gasp, snatch the pass from my hand and reassign me to row 35, right by the bathrooms. "Yes," she replied. "You can switch with the person in row 7. Then you can sit by your kids." 

Now that one took me a little while to consider. Wouldn't any good mother gladly exchange a first class seat in order to sit by her children? I wavered, I'll admit. Then it occurred to me. We have a Lap Infant. Everything changed. 

The term Lap Infant is sort of endearing. It sounds cuddly, sweet, desirable. What it actually means is Really Hot Squirming Baby In Your Personal Space For a Really Long Time. Given that reality, I decided that I could legitimately take the first class seat because there were going to be 2 of us. 

The 7 of us staggered onto the plane. I plopped down in seat 2B with my computer, my diaper bag, my backpack of lame tricks to keep my lap infant happy and my Lap Infant. The man I was sitting next to smiled. The rest of first class did not. Suddenly I realized. There is an understanding among first class seaters. 1. You will not be loud. 2. You will not jostle nor bump the seats around you. 3. Your stuff will fit neatly under the seat in front of you. 4. You will not touch the back of the head in front of you. 5. You will only touch the tray table when there is a reason to touch the tray table. 6. You will not be a Lap Infant. My right eye developed a twitch. My "I'm A Really Good Mom In Control" persona switched into high gear. I knew I suddenly needed to be Martha Stewart Entertains A Baby for the next 2 hours so that the people around me, who paid about 10x more for their seats than I did, could feel like their ticket was worth it.

All told, we did all right. We broke every rule but not on a continual basis (number 6 aside). I had a good conversation with the man next to me. I learned that in first class I would get a single Twix bar, a bag of pita chips and my garbage picked up more often. 

I learned that economy class is forgiving and smily. I learned that being scrunched together gives a little more grace. I learned that the temperature of a baby does not get cooler even in first class. 


Jenna said...

so glad zeke had recovered from hives...boy, they would have loved that in first class. hey marty, you're a first class friend. hope you enjoyed every morsel of that twix bar.

Emma said...

ummmm, i can't really think of anything funny to say, but i want to comment on your blog so that you don't feel bad (especially after my profile has had 116 hits).

Krysty said...

Aw, i would have enjoyed sitting next to you have having my head touched by Lap Infant for 2 hours. I'm sure that everyone's life was enriched for the time with you...
I'm still waiting on that book from you, so when you have a chance, I suggest "I'm a Really Good Mom in Control" for the prologue!

Krysty said...

Oh yes...since you and Emma are in competition for profile hits...I just gave you 10 more. It was fun to read...10x in a row. I have it memorized. Can I add you to my blogroll now? :-)

Esther said...

Hi Marty--I have been catching up on your blog. It has me laughing as much as a David Sedaris novel.

Love to you--Esther