time warp: 26 nov

sunday morning went by so quickly. we got ready, packed, said goodbye to gramma and headed to my uncle’s house (by way of arby’s, a delicacy we cannot seem to find in california). dad and melissa had a long drive ahead of them, so they left shortly after dropping us off. chad and i went to the mall with my aunt, and were pleasantly surprised to find a wizards of the coast store where i started my christmas shopping. i bought chris a little something and it looks like that’s all he’s getting this year, since we found out last night that he bought himself the other present i was going to get him. ah well.

the mall was packed, of course, and i became panicked after about a half-hour of browsing. moving through tiny spaces like prodded cattle triggers my claustrophobia like nothing else. i get very embarrassed of this reaction because i have no control over it, and i despise bringing the mood of a day down because of my weird behavior. chad and i waited outside for my aunt while she stood in a long line, and that allowed me to regain my bearings. it was going to be a long night of travel and i didn’t want to start it off badly.

my uncle dropped us off at the airport sunday evening, comfortably early for our flight, so we could relax. thank goodness for that: the trip between detroit and phoenix will go down in bad passenger history. first of all, one of the flight attendants could not walk past chad without bumping into him. then they did not give us the infamous “snack boxes” like we thought we were getting, which may be a blessing in disguise but even chewing on fiberglass would have sated our hunger a bit. then they started playing the in-flight movie, “the kid”, over the loudspeakers (instead of on the $5-headphones-only channel). someone caught that about ten minutes into the movie, thankfully. i don’t think i could have slept through a disney-fied bruce willis.

and then the game-players started.

i like seeing couples have fun together. i don’t like it when they shuffle their cards right by my head, however. and then they got out the yahtzee.

you know how yahtzee is played, right? lots of dice, shaken in a plastic cup. a percussive sound. not a sound you want to be woken up to, not a sound you want anywhere near your already-tenderized-by-air-pressure-changes ears.

chad and i were in tearful hysterical laughter by the time bumpy, our uncoordinated flight attendant, could be nudged into saying anything. the game-players carefully removed their dice from the plastic cup and shook them in their hands, instead; still, an annoying sound, but it was a compromise i could at least doze through.

we were so glad to get off that plane that we ran down the jetway. away, run away! little did we know that we were running to another miserable flight, this one delayed for an hour, then an hour on the tarmac doing absolutely nothing. our traveling companion this time was a very sniffly, phlegmy young man who took his shoes off as soon as he sat down. didn’t these people have mothers?!

our baggage was, of course, the very last onto the conveyor belt. we grabbed it and trotted out to the jeep, were overcharged for long-term parking, got lost in downtown oakland at 01:00, and finally arrived to an unperturbed yet pre-trip-messy home. i have never been so glad to see that mess in my whole life. if someone can be exhausted yet rejuvenated by a visit with family, i am that someone. i suspect chad is just exhausted.

the end. aren’t you glad? :)

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