Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane... CRAP! I Missed It!

Anyone knows me knows that I tend to be late. A couple of weeks ago, one of the comedians on Last Comic Standing Said "Why is it people can never tell the truth when they're late? Why don't they just say 'I'm late because... I left late'"

And I've always had a theory about being late. You can be late to meet your friends somewhere (I know, it's rude... And I feel bad every time I do it). You can be late for work (especially when you hate it there). But my exception to my rule is, you can NEVER be late for a flight. Simply because planes don't wait for you.

And because of my flight attending past, I am extremely anal about arriving at the airport extremely early. Sweetie Pie hates the fact that we get to the airport at least two hours before our flight. You'd think that having to put up with his whining for 120 minutes would lead me to let us arrive later, but my peace of mind is worth the price of my annoyance at his whining.

Anyway. To make a very short story long, I missed my first flight today. If work asks, I was bumped because of the (thank you EDS!!!!) computer glitch on Sunday. But truth is, that I got to the gate exactly 10 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave.

That's plenty of time you say? Yeah, I guess under normal circumstances I COULD have still made it on the plane. Except that the airline I've dealt with enough last year to qualify for gold benefits (I still can't tell what that gives me except for the opportunity to boast about it) changed gates between the time I checked in online (the previous night) and the time I ran to my gate wild eyed.

And if you think gate B10 sounds like it's close to B2, then you are an ignorant buffoon like I am my friend. In fact, it doesn't matter how fast you run in four inch heels, you can't make it.

And so I got to my real gate just as the plane was happily cruising away to the runway.

I stood there dumbfounded. Could my horrible habit of always leaving 30 minutes later than I wanted to actually have turned around and bitten me in the ass? I couldn't understand.

The good news is that all's well that ends well. I missed one of my appointments, but luckily, with no boss in tow, no one but me (and you guys) will ever know.

I also realized something very sad while I sat in that airport terminal for an eternity, waiting on standby for the next flight, clutching my boarding pass with no seat assignment like someone on welfare may clutch a lottery ticket as the numbers are called.

My realization is that I was a much better person at 20 then I am at 30. OK, I know, I'm not quite 30 yet. But there it is, standing at the end of my driveway, grinning at me like Paris Hilton's ex-boyfriend with a sex tape. And I don't care how many people say that 30 is better than 20. I'm calling bull crap on it.

Because the truth is, at 20 you don't know anything. And that's a hell of a lot better.

At 20, I was a size 2, who wore Ally McBeal short skirts and rolled my eyes at those at work who commented about my appropriateness. Now, at almost 30, I'm nowhere near a size 2 and the only way my skirts are too short is if I split them (a true incident of two weeks ago).

At 20, I had no fear. I called fancy executives from Europe by their first name when everyone else called them Mr. Whatever. At almost 30, I worry about not sounding smart enough every time I meet someone at the VP level or above.

At 20, I got drunk at work functions, flirted with all of the men in the office and was loved and respected by all. At almost 30, I cut myself off at one drink, have a miserable time and feel like except for the few people who become my friends outside of work, I'm not very respected.

At 20, I thought I knew it all and didn't. But it never mattered. Because I didn't know that I didn't know anything. At almost 30, I've got a lot more experience and yet every day, I doubt myself, I doubt that I'm in the right career and I seem to manage to always screw up, whether it's by missing unmakeable deadlines or by not having done it the way somebody else (a.k.a. the big boss or the client) wanted it done.

And it makes me sad. Because at the rate I'm going, by 40 I'll be dying to get back to the internship level and praying that I can do that job. And by 50, I'll have a sign on my windshield reminding me which pedal is the brake and which is the gas.

Isn't the whole purpose in life to keep getting better about oneself and to feel better about oneself's purpose in life? I thought that was the trade off for the crow's feet, cellulite and all that other crap that comes with not being 20 anymore.

I hate to say it, but I think the best years of my life are behind me. I think that's why women's biological clocks start getting loud as they approach 30. I think they figure out that life is going to suck from this point on and so a baby will allow you to live vicariously through another life.

So I have three words about that: Knock Me Up!!!!



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