Last night my mother drove me to LAX to send me off on my 9:30pm red-eye flight back to soggy DC. She dropped me off and I went inside to check in on one of the self-service stations. I swiped my card, clicked "Yes, that's my flight." ...
Rejected! "Sorry, you can only check in 24 hours or less, prior to departure." Um...what??
I run the card again and ohmygodmyflightdoesn'ttakeoffuntiltomorrow!! Ahh! I call my mom, who's a few blocks from the airport, and she swings in a gas station until I can make my way to a service person who tells me, Yes, my flight is tomorrow night, not tonight, and No, I can't get on tonight's wildly overbooked flight.
That's not quite the worst part: the worst part is when my mom comes back to pick me up and as I get in the car I say, "I'm feeling de ja vu...has this happened before?" She turns and gives me the "look" and says, "Yes, this has happened before."
That's right people, not once, but twice
I've totally mis-read my itinerary and gone to LAX on the wrong day
for my flight.
Quick aside, if you please. When I was a young tot, I was often referred to by my family as the Absent-minded Professor. My youth was filled with a myriad of stories such as this one, which captures the nature of my absent-minded-professor-ness best:
In third grade, I took the IQ test to be admitted into G.A.T.E.
. That day I was wearing an adorable romper and matching shoes (I was taking a test, I had to look good!). There wasn't a mass testing period, instead, those of us taking it were called out of class one by one, for an individual interview/testing time. So, right when I was just about finishing the feathers on my racist, mimeographed
Native American, with which we were to decorate our refrigerators for Thanksgiving, the teacher called my name.
I stood up and got all the way to the classroom door before I realized...I left my shoes underneath my desk
. See, they were cute, which means they hurt my feet, so I had slipped them off while I was coloring. Of course, it didn't occur to me whatsoever that it was weird walking all the way through the classroom in my stockinged feet, until I hit the cement outside the door. When I turned around, I realized that the distance back to my desk had suddenly telescoped to around 100 yards, and paused at the door so my 9-year-old mind could contemplate what kind of embarrassment I was about to suffer due to my fairly ridiculous forgetfulness.
My teacher noticed me standing there and said, "Heather, what's the matter?" Wherein I broke the hold of my paralyzing shyness and ran out of the room. If you think my interviewer noticed immediately that I was sitting there with no shoes on, having walked across half the school in my tights, you'd be right. I'm pretty sure they didn't even grade my test; the interviewer just told them, "This one's totally
eccentric enough to fit in with those gifted kids, just sign her up."
These and other similar stories still go 'round the table at family dinner parties. Why? Because I'm adorable
, people. Adorable!
And this is exactly what I had to remind my mother as we merged back onto the parking lot that is the 405 Freeway, only to turn around and do it all again tomorrow.