Tag Archives: united

The blokes, the beer, and the bobby………..

Today this little corner of the blogosphere is going to be called “A Reason To Light(en up).”

It’s been a little heavy around these parts and my snarky side went on a vacation. She’s back today. There will be no talk of poverty or sadness.

Just the tale of the blokes, the beer, and the bobby.

Number One Hubby is a big fan of major sporting events so when he heard that Manchester United was going to play Barcelona in an exhibition game, and that we had the chance to way overpay for tickets and sit in traffic for two hours with 80,000 of our new soccer-loving best friends, he signed us right on up. He even bought us shirts for the game.

Nothing like a little in-house rivalry.

The shirts actually made the (two-hour) drive to the stadium very fun because we watched for other idiots fans who overpaid for their tickets and shirts who were showing their team spirit and waved to them. We looked for license plates to see who was traveling the furthest and we laughed. A lot.

We all went to bathroom right before we left the house – which of course meant that Angel had to use the restroom when we were stuck in traffic looking for a parking spot, along with 80,000 other people. And, nope, she could. not. wait.

Hubby dropped us off near a porta potty and even remembered to give us two tickets. We’d meet him inside.

That all went well. We reconnected inside the stadium, collected the free giveaways, overpaid for pizza and french fries, made a down payment on a souvenir brochure and signed a commitment to bring back 8 bars of gold to own the entire book outright, and found our seats. We even had a few minutes to take some photos. Yeah.

Slowly other fans started to trickle in and soon it was crazy crowded. Then I overheard this conversation between the two men sitting in front of us.

Fan #1: No, we’re good.
Fan #2: You sure?
Fan #1: Yes, if they were coming, they’d t0tally be here by now.
Me: This is totally going to be a problem later.
Fan #2: At least we got seats together.
Fan #1: Yeah, we’re good.
Me: Good luck with that.

Then about five minutes into the game, 8 brawny, bearded blokes came walking down the aisle way donning Manchester United shirts and trying not to spill beer on their tickets. And already cheering very loudly.

Fans #1 and #2 shifted in their seats and leaned closer into each other. Now, I am not a scientist or an engineer but I was pretty sure that two fatter than average men who did not have tickets squishing up closer together was still not going to make room for 8 larger than average blokes and their beers.


So the 8 English men scrunched into the space of the 6 remaining available seats – right in front of us – and tried to do the math while drinking more beer and standing up. They quickly theorized that if they drank their beers quickly it would free up their fingers for adding. Guzzle. Guzzle.

Shouts of “down in front” rang out from all over the section.

I got to explain to my children why the middle finger is not an appropriate response to “down in front”. And that, really, some words are better left unsaid.

Now, before you start defending these lads – please know that I understand that in anywhere in E.U.R.O.P.E. they would totally stand up the whole time. They would be expected to stand up. Heck they would probably climb on each others shoulders and cheer from the rafters. But they were in America and we don’t stand up here. Something about “When in FEDeX Field, do as those in FEDeX Field do”. No one else was standing up in the entire section and they were making it impossible for about 200 people to see. Namely me and my family.

Finally, I got one of the ushers to help sort it all out. As entertaining as it was to watch these drunkards figure out how it was possible that they had purchased 8 seats together but still did not have 8 seats, I wanted to watch the game. (Look to your right dear fellows – there are two men sans tickets trying to disappear into your paid for seats.)

The usher came – also apparently not an engineer or scientist and certainly not a math major – and managed to get one of the unauthorized fans to leave. The other guy had a ticket. Well, that makes perfect sense.

Musical chairs had gotten less complicated but the blokes were still minus one seat and that made them very confused and not at all pleased.

They remained standing and, unfortunately, continued drinking. As hard as they tried, they could not divide 7 seats into 8 tickets or 8 men evenly.

So, in my best “my children cannot see the game” mother voice I could muster, I asked the “gentlemen” to please sit down. This was amid the screams from the people behind us for them to plant an arse in a seat.

The response?

They paid a lot for their tickets F-U very much and if they wanted to stand (right in front of God and thousands of other fans who paid for tickets) then that is exactly what they were going to do. One man answered that he still could not figure out why they did not have all of our seats.

I kindly explained that since our seats were right behind his, he could imagine that I paid pretty much the same as he did and would love to be able to actually see the game. As entertaining as he was, I could watch his antics for free on any fraternity row in any college town, but I was truly here to watch a soccer game.


Did you say soccer? This is futbal you sorry excuse for a fan.

Okay – then could you please sit down so that I can watch the FUTBAL game? Pretty please with beer on top?

They finally, thankfully figured out that they had dropped one of their tickets on the ground and the schmuck who stayed in their seat and lied to the usher about his right to be in a seat had picked up the ticket in all the fuss and was claiming it to be his. Then when he realized there were 8 drunk Englishmen v. him, he rethought his commitment to sacrificing his face for a good seat and left. And yes, he did move right behind us into another empty seat. Pretty sure he didn’t have a ticket for that one either.

Thank heavens. Now we can enjoy the game.

The men were singing and laughing and, for a brief bit, sitting. Albeit still drinking.

When something exciting happened in the game, the crowd naturally leapt to its collective feet and cheered or boo’d. As soon as the action was over, the crowd lowered into their seats and remained there. That is when one of the blokes decided he was going to get even. He turned to me and asked me to sit down. (Yes, you remember correctly that I was sitting behind him.) I wasn’t sure I heard him and said, “excuse me”. Could you please sit down, he repeated proudly. Clever this one.

I chose to largely ignore him and took advantage of the opportunity to explain to my son that this is what “drunk” looks like and that it is never pretty when testosterone meets beer. My husband told the chap to stop talking to me. And gave me a look that said “honey, I love you very much and if you could also kindly shut the hell up stop talking to the drunk in front of you, he might stop talking to you. Pretty please, with diamonds on top.”

But he persisted. To the point where he even changed seats with his friend to “sit” in front of me and encouraged his neighbor to also sit stand in front of me and Bear. I switched seats with hubby and then the guy moved again to be in front of me. He kept asking me to sit down and called me a popcorn fan. I am sure that was a tremendous insult but I love popcorn, so hmpf.

So now, he wasn’t watching the expensive game – but harassing me. Fabulous. And most of his friends were standing again. People were yelling for them to sit down – they were screaming obscenities back – and some idiot in the snack shack continued to sell them beer.

I went and got the usher again and told him to get help. The men were drunk and belligerent and were not sitting down. He probably didn’t want to take this mess on by himself.

And it is here that I have to ask that why it is always the mother in the crowd who is left to do the dirty work. Augh.

The usher came and brought in a guard from the stadium.

The crowd cheered. And not for the game.

The guard told them to sit down or they would be asked to leave.

The ones who had been sitting decided to stand as well.

The guard called in reinforcements.

The blokes stood.

Finally the police came and eventually escorted the men out of the stadium.

The police got a standing ovation.

The man sitting next to me told me that he had flown his grandchild in from California just to see this game. He missed 75% percent of it because of the drunk arses in front of us. We fist bumped when they got escorted out. And I gave my new bff a little tinkerbell wave just under my chin and smiled like a chesire cat that ate the canary, just so he would know how much I would miss him. Really. It was a sad glorious moment.

I got to explain lots of other things to my kids on the way home – drunk in public, arrest, jail, obnoxious. Things like why it was such shame they spent all of that money and wouldn’t remember most of what happened – and how we would probably never forget it.

All in all, it was money well spent. 😉

How did you decide who to help……….

Talking to my youngest child is like having a conversation with a racketball – in the middle of an olympic match with gold medal implications. She comes at you from all different angles at one hundred and ten miles an hour. It’s really too bad that Johnny Cochran is no longer with us because she could have given him a run for his money.

The other day we are riding in the car – just me and her – on the way to swim practice. Her mind is racing about anything and everything and we have this conversation…

Angel: Mom, remember the other day when we were riding in the car and we saw that lady in the middle of the road?
Me: Yes.
Angel: Why was she there?
Me: She was asking for help.
Angel: Why was she doing it there?
Me: Don’t you want to give me your Christmas list? Seriously, now is a good time to ask for just about anything because I will promise the moon if we can talk about regular old 9-year-old stuff.

We saw this woman in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was begging in between cars at an exit ramp right off of 495 – one of the busiest roads in this area. She had a severe limp and was bundled up not so warmly on a pretty cold and very windy day. I asked the kids if they had any snacks. They didn’t. So we drove by carefully and quickly, leaving her standing still empty handed right in the middle of the road.

Apparently she made an impression.

Angel: How did you decide who to help?
Me: You mean that lady? We didn’t have any food to give her.
Angel: No, in India.
Me: It just depends, honey.
Angel: But sometimes you gave them money. And sometimes you gave them food. And sometimes nothing.
Me: (humming All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.) Any progress on that Christmas list sweetie?
Angel: No, really. Remember, there was the one guy you gave money to. The one on the corner on the way to school. And then you stopped giving him money. How did you decide who to help.

That conversation made me realize that I still have a lot to reconcile and digest about living in India.

My husband suggested the other day that maybe we should stop talking so much about it with other people. It always seems to creep into the conversation and he thinks maybe people are tired of hearing about it.


But it is part of who we are now. It will come up.

And I hope to spend the next few weeks reconciling the effect that seeing so much poverty had on me. Some of the posts will surely be tough to read – believe me they will be tougher to write. And I will write them comfy and cozy from my office knowing that it is harder to exist in poverty than write about it from a distance.

But I do hope that we can stick through it together. I hope that I can articulate with clarity and compassion what we experienced in a way that captures your attention. Because simply clicking away from these posts will not diminish the existence and impact of poverty.

This should be fun, right?

Just in case you are wondering………..

Queso has a place to go for the next four months. Thank you Chris and family! This makes me very happy – even more sad – and very, very thankful. If I ever re-open the doors to A Reason To Write – you will have free cards for life. Queso Peso – I am going to really, really miss you. Maybe you can start a blog so I can keep up with what you are doing. I know, I know, it’s hard to type with paws. Sigh.


This arrived yesterday. I heart Orvis. Yes, that was (extremely) fast. They are serious about this whole keeping the customer happy thing. They mean it.


United Airlines has not responded to my email. I do not heart United Airlines. One suitcase has arrived in Delhi. That’s great – except – wait for it – number one hubby left the U.S. with two suitcases. I was no math major but I am still pretty sure that one plus zero does NOT equal two or 🙂 me.

United Airlines in Delhi would like to meet with Number One Hubby. They are very concerned about our experience. (Remember they tried to help us – it was their sister station in the U.S. that was more than unhelpful.) I am sincerely impressed with their concern.

Our passports arrived today with our Visas. It looks like Delhi (India) will allow live humans into the country.


My children discovered that my laptop has a camera. This was because I waited to take a picture of my new sweater until after they got home from school. That was (not) a brilliant move.


Left to their own devices, my children are perfectly capable of entertaining themselves – without killing each other and without the assistance of electronics. Ripley’s might actually believe it – or not – so I took a picture. Please notice nothing is plugged in and everyone is alive.


This is what my cats think of their future trip to India. I am exploring the possibility of them riding under the seat with us on the plane. I wonder, do they make kitty diapers? They must. If not, maybe I can invent them.


I have been spoiled by my blogging friends who are both funny and write well. Not all blog writers are creative equally. Some are really bad. And they have books published. This bothers me on a number of levels. Someone is making them think they are good, so now they are going to continue writing. I have not figured out what to write a book about (details) or how to get this unwritten masterpiece published. More details. But I really, really want to. Isn’t that enough? Maybe I should be encouraged. If she can do it…….   And, nope, I won’t tell you who they/she are/is because she has gotten enough attention already. I will give you a hint – she is not on my blogroll and she is not nice. So even if someone kindly sprinkles magic writing dust on her and she suddenly gets all Shakesperian on me she still will not appear on my blogroll. That’s how I choose to impose my own little poetic justice.

Apparently my -ER friend does have time to read my blog after all. Well, let me be fair, her two-year-old most likely read it to her while she was baking 500 dozen homemade (decorated by hand) sugar cookies for the school bake sale. And, yes, she will buy them all back – she is generous like that. Anybake, she called me yesterday. Holy moly you say – oh, have no fear. None whatsoever. She thought it was hysterical – who is she, she asked? Oh yes she did. She asked who it was. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she is (nearly) famous. She knew it wasn’t her because she HATES people like that. That really makes me laugh. A lot of people have asked me how I think of things to write about. Oh the heavens rain ideas upon me all the time. It really isn’t hard – with friends like this, who needs life experience. I can write vicariously through the insanity of others. Thank you writing gods! And, please keep it coming.

Or the exact opposite of that…………..

Orvis rocks. They really, really do. United Airlines – get out a pen and paper and take notes. I’ll wait. Really, you’ll want to take notes on this. It is an example of how customer service is done better than it has to be. Not really, really badly – not barely enough  – not even just enough – but actually better than it has to be.

For Christmas, my parents got Number One Hubby a very nice watch  from Orvis that was advertised to keep time in two different locations – a dual time zone watch as it were. It was brown – yahoo – it was large – yahoo. It was great. However, my hubby is a gadget guy – so about two seconds after opening the watch, he starting figuring out how to set both times – here and Delhi.

Well, it turns out that Orvis made a mistake. The watch will not actually keep times in two different locations. So, they included a very nice note that said they made a mistake and that this watch could absolutely be returned. Okay. It happens.

Off we go to the Orvis Store. For those of you have never been to an Orvis store, it is very much like an Eddie Bauer store with maybe a little Talbots mixed in for the ladies. Lots of outdoors stuff. And cool watches and pretty sweaters.

So, we walk in and I get in line. The salesperson actually apologized to me for not being able to help me right away. He had someone else waiting and it should not take long. Okay. Really, I am very sorry. Seriously, it’s okay. We can certainly wait our turn.

He never spelled his name for me (you can see what this is important here). He just hurried to be helpful so he could return and be helpful again. Wait just a minute. Let me say thank you now. Really it was impressive.

So, it turns out they happily accepted the return. And because it was a gift, they gave us a store credit. With 25% added on. Seriously, I am not kidding.

We looked in the store and saw some things we liked, but nothing we had to have immediately. Well, okay, I saw two sweaters – they were on sale and that gets me EVERY TIME – but they were the wrong size. So on-line shopping here we come.

Number One Hubby found a watch he really liked – and lo and behold – the sweaters were available on-line too. Alas, they were not on sale. Bummer.

So, I did an on-line chat with the Orvis rep on-line. He was also very helpful, polite, and professional. Really, these people are good. He could not honor the sales price on-line, but the store could order everything for me at the sales price.

Yep, that is the sound of me tripping over myself to get to the phone. Calling Orvis. Another very polite and helpful salesperson answers the phone. Yes, they can do that. Oh, but no, they cannot do it over the phone. I must come into the store.

Hmmmmm. I am moving to India – I now have to figure out how to get my cats to India and my luggage to Delhi – oh yeah my kids are coming too – it’s raining – I don’t really have the time/energy to go back to the store. So I order the items online.

But I am disappointed by this, so  after I place my order, I write to Orvis and tell them that I wish they could have honored the sales price on-line. I tell them that I won’t bore them with how busy I am because everyone is so busy and that is why on-line shopping has been invented and embraced. So it’s a bummer that I would have had to travel to get the discount. It’s just that I simply do not know where I would squeeze in the time right now to get back to the store. I did not ask for anything. I just wanted to let them know. Maybe they could think about it for the next time.

Within a few hours, I get a note back saying that my shipping costs on my order will immediately be reimbursed. That was nice. I thanked them. Then I got another message from customer service saying they were so glad they could help me.

Door open. So, I reply, yes, that was indeed nice. But the shipping costs were incurred by me because of a mistake by them. And the savings on the sweaters would have been $40. The shipping costs were $14. But, I did appreciate their responsiveness and it was a very nice customer service gesture. Thank you again. You can be sure Orvis is on my list of places to continue shopping.

United, is your pencil sharpened? Do you have a piece of paper at the ready? They wrote me back again. Customer Service is apparently very important to Orvis. They are sorry for the trouble. Really, they are. They are going to reimburse me $40 for the difference in the sales price of the sweaters.

I just want to add here that I did mention in my letter that we will be out of the country soon and for a while. They know I am a customer who will be out of the country for quite some time. This makes this even more impressive.

Stop the presses. I did not ask for anything at any point. I just outlined my experience for them. They stretched their customer service arms way out and wrapped them around me like a big we-appreciate-you hug snuggled in a whisper soft plum colored sweater that can tell you the time in two places at once. AHHHH.

They have a fan for life! I bet if I asked them really nicely, they could get my cats to India for me, complete with a baggage claim ticket.

So, get your credit card out and go shopping. www.Orvis.com. Number One Hubby got the dual time zone watch. I particularly like the whisper soft sweater. I got it in green and plum and now I am getting it in bone. Yippee for me. Clinton and Stacey would never approve of the multiples. But I roll like that.

Thank you Orvis! I will continue to sing your praises.

One more note – I just went back and looked at the emails from Orvis today. They had 5 different wonderful people working to help me – and the left hand always seemed to know what the right hand was doing. Amazing. I do not want to forget the two very polite store employees. I might just apply for a job when we return.

Karma is Haunting Me – Wrinkle One………..

A blogging friend of mine Lola blogged about her dog “helping” her sled down a hill and right onto a stick which ripped her pants – her very favorite pants. The ones that she has never been able to find another pair of. You can read her story here. She’s fine – so now her readers are left to enjoy a pretty funny rendition of events. Her dog and her butt survived but her beloved blue jeans did not. So in her comments section, I suggested that maybe she needed a furry pair of jeans to replace her ripped jeans. She is sassy – she knows I was kidding. But, I am afraid the Cosmos were left completely unaware.

So the Cosmos and Karma joined together to conspire against me. I am sure it is because I made a little joke about a friend’s dog – there is no other reason on this planet that Wrinkle Number One in our plan to move to India makes any sense at all. So, I am adding “being nicer to the animals of others” to my new years resolutions list. In fact, I am moving “being healthier” to the number two spot. PETA watch out – I am going to out-love you on all things animal.

It went a little something like this…..

Hold on one minute – I am going to get myself a glass of wine to relax as I re-learn to breath. I would invite you to grab a cup of whatever it is you fancy. This is a long one.

Okay, now I am set and I am pretty sure I am breathing again – panting maybe – I put my wine in a water bowl just in case –  I told you PETA watch out.

Number One Hubby left tonight for Delhi on a United Airlines flight. Yes, write that down – the airline not to use when flying your cats to India. United Airlines. Number One Hubby was taking two of our furry children with him. We arrived at the airport well outside of the requisite 2-hour time allowance to check in, kiss the furry ones goodbye, hug Dad – twice, and tearfully wave goodbye until we meet again in three weeks. Thank God we are timely folks because we spent well over an hour at the ticket counter. Can you guess what part of this did not happen?

And the winner loser is – the cats are not on the plane. I wish I could completely explain to you all of the pieces of the puzzle that did not fall into place but I am not absolutely clear on all of this myself. And, do not ask the first counter attendant, the second counter attendant, the counter attendant standing by watching,  the supervisor (who is not a supervisor, but a manager – so sorry), or the actual supervisor who only makes ghost appearances via the telephone (think of the banker in Deal or No Deal – only minus the shadow and minus the million dollar potential – but annoying all the same). None of them can explain it either. Some of them did not even try.

We have had these pet reservations for weeks. Oh yes, United allowed us to book these pet reservations thru Dubai and on to Delhi. We called this very morning to confirm our said pet reservations and were given the okay – your pets are booked – two thumbs up. We have the right crates (well minus the holes on all four sides – that was easily fixed), we had the right bowls, the right paperwork, we thought we had done everything, well, right. WRONG.

First, there was a lot of discussion about whether the cats would be considered cargo or freight or baggage and whole lot of other stuff whispered that we were not (supposed to be) privy to. So, I won’t go into how nerve-racking that was for my three little children who were standing there listening to whether or not their cats would actually be allowed on the plane or if they would be strapped to a wing. Hey, they have fur coats, don’t they? I completely lost my sense of humor at this point.

The first problem is that this airline does not interline pets. WTH? Interline – English please. We are still in America right? Interlining pets apparently does not mean putting little skates on them and letting them figure it out on their own – that would have been funny. Welcome back sense of humor – but, oh no, not so fast. Interlining means that they do not transfer pets from one airline to another. Okay. So, number one hubby can go pick up the cats from United in Dubai and hand carry them over to the connecting flight for Delhi. Right? Oh silly you. That’s what I thought too. Nope.

Dubai does not accept live animals. Then why were we allowed to book live animals on a flight that goes to Delhi – oh yeah, via Dubai? Good question – still no answer to that one. Why were we allowed to confirm live animals on a flight that goes to Delhi – via Dubai –  just this morning? Oh, you little pink panther you – another good question. No answer to that one either. Why do United regulations specify that each passenger can check two live pets with their ticket that goes to Delhi – say it with me – via Dubai? Oh you are really good – a criminal justice degree is certainly in your future.

Just as a side note – there was another couple standing right beside us with pet problems. Seems prevalent with United – at least tonight. And there was a United Representative going out of her way to help them. GASP. And I am not kidding when I say this – I really am not – she got written up for her (very helpful) actions. She helped the passengers – who were pleading with her for help – make their crates compliant. The couple had flown on United just a week before and several times before that with the very same crates that had passed inspection every single time. But tonight – well, they must have made fun of a friend’s dog too. Or they got caught in my wrath. So sorry.

But did you read that? She got written up for helping passengers follow United Airlines guidelines. Yes, my dear, something is very wrong with that. And now future passengers who are foolish enough to book their pets on United probably won’t be helped by her either. She is surely not going to want to lose her job in customer service just because she helps people get their furry family members on the same plane.

But, back to us and hold on a second, we thought we had progress. Ticket agent number one printed stickers for the cats. He was pulling them off the printer when the phone rang. And then he ripped them up. Huh? That’s what we said.

Circles – we danced all night in circles – no answers – not even one. Number One Hubby was actually on the phone with United Airlines in Delhi and they approved the cats – they had every intention of accepting the cats and were very willing to stand by that decision – if they could just be given the opportunity to do so. And still, somehow, the cats are still at home with me. The Delhi employee asked to speak with the United employees on our end. One spoke with him. Okay. Now what – she was looking for a supervisor. And, alas, we only  had a manager who would not even answer our request to speak to him.

So the supervisor who is actually not a supervisor but a manager (I am so glad she could clear something up) was very happy to spell her first and last name for us – repeatedly – would not even come back to the counter until she thought we were gone. The first counter attendant became Houdini and disappeared completely – he could feel our pain but could apparently no longer bear to share it with us. But we fooled that manager/supervisor – we were still there – because we had a representative from United Airlines in Delhi – her sister station – asking why they wouldn’t put the cats on the plane. She would not speak to them. She had gotten an answer from another invisible banker-boss in Chicago. Oh, that makes perfect sense because no part of our journey involves Chicago. So, I could see why she would not speak to the person from Delhi – where the cats were (supposed to be) going. Nor would she even look at us. Except to spell her name for us – again. She was helping someone else now. But sweetheart, you aren’t done with us yet. You should really read my blog on Part B.

Okay – I have one (more) question. Was she (not) helping someone else get their pets on the plane? These pets are a part of our family. Period. We have children – we are not crazy pet people – I am not really going to out-love PETA. But I am standing in front of you with real children who love their animals very much and my furry children who are frankly scared out of their minds. Help me. Find a solution that works. Do not walk away as if you have no responsibility to resolve this. You work for United Airlines. Your little uniform and the whole standing behind the counter thing has completely given you away. You may call yourself a manager rather than a supervisor – but the front-line employees called you because they did not know what to do. Your banker-boss was in another building. Honestly. Do something.

I am not kidding when I say that none of the CUSTOMER SERVICE representatives we dealt with offered any solutions. They only told us what could not be done. We could not put our cats on that plane. Fine. Let’s work with that. Is there another plane we can put them on? Can we reschedule to not go through Dubai? Can you talk to India about this – WE have them on the phone for you. No need to even exhaust yourself dialing the phone. How about a little understanding? Compassion? Alternative thinking?

If I had to pick a worst moment of the night it would be when the first counter attendant tried to finally explain something to us. He actually said to us in front of our three young children that the reason they were trying to be so careful is that his computer has a note right here that says that animals arriving in Delhi might be destroyed. And he, in fact, has known this to actually happen. Yes, he did say that out loud. Angel knows what destroyed means – she’s only seven, so she doubted herself and asked me repeatedly what destroyed means, with very big tears in her eyes. I finally (thought fast) and explained they were talking about the paperwork.  Guess who I won’t be nominating for employee of the year.

Here is the best part of the story. It seems that United in Delhi is very confused and a representative from United (and I believe he is actually a manager and a supervisor who admits to being both) plans to meet Number One Hubby when his plane lands in Delhi. But he won’t get to meet our cats, so this might fall under the “too little, too late, there are no actual cats with me” category.

I am so thankful that we had this little dry run. Honestly, I do not know what we might have done if we were all leaving at this time. Maybe Karma is not exactly conspiring against me but just showing me the ropes.

So, we kiss number one hubby goodbye, because he is now in serious threat of missing his flight, and we took the cats back to the car.  The cats thanked us by pooping and passing gas all the way home. The kids were in stitches.  I heard every elementary school bathroom joke on the planet. As if the night had not been entertaining enough.

There are implications that reach well beyond the tremendous stress that all of us experienced tonight. Changing our flights means changing a lot of things – the day the utilities are switched, the day the kids leave school, the day the kids start school, the day my husband flies home to help us, the stress level of our next trip has already quadrupled, all of the travel arrangements need to be rearranged – you see there is a ripple effect.

The kids are now in bed with cats curled up beside them. There are five (temporarily) happy hearts right now in this house. My heart is (barely) beating – but that is about it. Because in three weeks we have to try this all again and there will not be an exit plan. Five people are getting on a plane – there will be no one left to take the cats home – home is now in Delhi and those cats have to come with. So we have decided to vote with our wallets and are switching to American Airlines.

Notes – I reread this when I woke up this morning and then again just now. I wanted to make sure I did not exaggarate what happened out of frustration. I did not – in fact, I was quite gracious in my depiction of events. Yes, it was that bad. And I want to be clear that Number One Hubby and I did not yell – we did not make a scene – we were certainly frustrated but we were adults about it. Paying. Customer. Adults.