Early Friday afternoon I hopped on a plane for Oklahoma City. Well, really I hopped on a plane for Atlanta, and then I got on another plane for Oklahoma City, but I guess the point is that I utilized air travel in order to get to Oklahoma City for a Ministry Wives’ Conference.
I had the best time at the conference, by the way. The women were so kind and warm and welcoming. I spoke Friday night and Saturday morning, and then I went back to the airport as soon as the conference was over. Now that I think about it I wasn’t even in Oklahoma City for 24 hours, but I managed to laugh a lot AND consume two large drinks from Sonic in that short period of time. So I’d call that a win.
Also, at the conference they kept a beverage station up and running the whole time, and here is what they offered: iced tea, lemonade, lemon water, lime water, and coffee. This is pretty much the best idea in the history of the world and I have since decided that wherever two are more are gathered, we need to do this for each other. I mean, I’m not planning on setting up an actual beverage station in my house or anything, but I do think the third shelf of my refrigerator can serve in a more practical and intentional way with the inclusion of some lemon water and some tea. The water was so cold that it almost hurt to drink it, and I drank approximately 8 glasses of it. Give or take. It was so enjoyable.
Saturday was my birthday (I’m 32!) (Thanks so much for asking!) (I just lied!), so David and I decided before I left for OKC that the three of us were going to have a birthday / dip party when I got home Saturday night. We actually went out for a really nice dinner one night last week when Alex was at a camp with his whole 6th grade class, so the low-key dip idea totally appealed to me. Plus, I haven’t said anything on the blog, but I haven’t been eating gluten for the last couple of months (I know – I feel like such a cliche’ – but it has been a necessary and super-helpful change for me), so birthday cake was out of the question. There’s actually a gluten-free bakery not far from our house, but I don’t really want to get a taste for that kind of stuff because not eating gluten has helped me cut way back on sugar. And I really didn’t mean to discuss this particular dietary tangent so I guess this is what I get for overexplaining.
I had a little time to kill when I got to the OKC airport for my return flight, so I watched a little OU football and then played a significant amount of Candy Crush. After a pretty hectic week it felt like a luxury to just sit at my gate while crushing some candies, and before I knew it my flight was boarding. I had checked my bag because I didn’t want to have to fool with my suitcase during what was sure to be a sprint through the Atlanta airport, so I was feeling pretty light and breezy considering that I only had a purse and an iPad. I found my seat on the plane, opened my iPad so that I could crush lo, even more candies, and prepared myself for a relaxing flight.
And then I heard it.
The person behind me was cracking her gum.
Not chewing. Not smacking. CRACKING.
And of all the peeves that could possibly become my pets, this one is at the top of the list.
It’s fingernails on a chalkboard for me, the gum cracking.
Also, it makes me want to throw things.
And furthermore, it makes me want to scream.
Fortunately, I remembered that I had headphones (real live headphones – not earbuds) in my purse, so I plugged them in my phone and cranked up some music. Every time a song would end, though, I’d hear the gentle gum cracking of my neighbor behind me, and I’d ponder the irony that I had traveled all the Oklahoma City to ENCOURAGE WOMEN WITH SCRIPTURE and yet I was on the verge of damaging my personal testimony OVER SOME GUM.
I got a little tickled about that.
When we finally got to Atlanta, I had to switch terminals, and when I finally made it to the gate (which, of course, was at the very end of the new terminal), I plopped down in one of two remaining seats and pulled out my phone to check football scores.
(This was before the Aggies put the hurt on my Bulldogs.)
(I was mainly checking to see what was happening in the Florida / Ole Miss game.)
And y’all, I’m not exaggerating even a little bit when I tell you that the guy who was sitting beside me at the gate? He let out a big ole belch just like he was at home in his recliner.
He didn’t say he was sorry or beg anyone’s pardon or anything like that, so I just figured maybe he got a little too comfortable, but then a few minutes later it happened again, and he wasn’t even a little bit fazed by it.
And a few minutes later? Big ole belch #3 – still with no acknowledgment on his part.
Well at that point I had no choice but to text my sister.
I mean, I hope he doesn’t have any sort of medical condition that causes that, and I certainly hope he isn’t dealing with anything serious, but I thought, Well, this is where we are, America. The once-glamorous world of air travel has degenerated into a herding process where we openly share all of our worst habits with our fellow passengers and basically expect them to just deal with it.
Don’t even get me started about how it’s like Lord of the Flies trying to get off of a plane. There used to be a little bit of decorum about men letting women out of the rows first, people helping each other with carry-ons, folks stopping to let the rows ahead of them exit – but now it’s like survival of the fittest. You snooze, you lose. You expect that the people behind you will be patient as you remove your bag from the overhead bin, but you turn around and realize that everyone has painted their faces and someone has stolen Piggy’s glasses and the parachute on the mountain looks like a monster.
You can blow that conch shell all you want to, sister. Nobody gives a rip.
It turned out to be another hour or so before my flight left Atlanta; something was wrong with the first plane and they had to bring in another one from the hangar (?!?!) and naturally, of course, we had to change gates. Finally, though, I made it to home sweet home. Alex told me all about his camp trip, and David had made several varieties of dip even though he does not really enjoy dip, and we cheered on the ‘Dogs to no avail. It only took about ten minutes before I reminded myself that basically any form of transportation is a-okay as long as it gets me home again.
No matter where I go, home is always my favorite place to be.
Hope y’all had a great weekend!