Emotional Baggage Check

August 12, 2010

in Blame The Sudafed, How to be a Housewife, OldSchool, Taking the Scenic Route

Growing up in a military family, we took plenty of road trips.  There were your standard road trips for Thanksgiving, Easter, and summer vacation.  There were the slightly-less than standard road trips in which we piled everything we could legally fit in a station wagon and followed a moving van across the country to our next assignment.  And then there were the global road trips.  In which we piled everything we could possibly fit into suitcases as old as the heirloom jewelry my mother inherited from my grandmother’s mother’s aunt and schlepped our butts through enough airports to qualify for our own pension plans with American Airlines.
It goes without saying, we amassed about as many road warrior stories as we did frequent flier/driver miles.
And yet, out of all the times we traveled across the country or around the globe as a child, there has always been one particular instance which stayed with me.  The military had decided to send us on an all-expense-paid two-year “vacation” in Korea, and we were making the migration from America’s East Coast to Korea’s Gucci Knock-Off Shopping District about as fast as a LeatherBack Sea Turtle starring in its own porn video on the Discovery channel.
Of course, my father had escaped gone on ahead, so it was up to my mother to transport two children, a surly pre-teen, and enough luggage to clothe a small village half way across the globe.
We’d made it all the way to California and were attempting to board our final flight when we had the misfortune to run into a helpful airline attendant who was rather intent on actually doing her job.  
Her job?  Was to weigh our bags.
Our bags?  May or may not have been carrying, in addition to our entire wardrobes, enough books to furnish our own wing in the Library of Congress.
It was there, in the middle of LAX, surrounded by three whiney children and a pile of open luggage she was frantically trying to repack to redistribute the offending weight and magically lighten the load enough to avoid an extra $50 fee, that my mother launched into the finest impression of Scarlett O’Hara hysterics that I have ever witnessed outside of a movie theater.  Complete with her own vow of “Never Again.”
The end result, in a pre-9/11 world, was that we and all of our bags ended up receiving a complimentary escort onto the plane – and my mother may or may not have received a complimentary prescription of prozac.

{ 1 comment }

luckydame August 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Oh your poor Mother! I hope she got a comp cocktail on that flight. I've seen my mother do the same thing when we were kids….moving items from one piece of luggage to another to avoid the fee. All in the middle of the airport….

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