All Is Well


Howdy from Texas.

I don't really have much to report, yet. My mother and I met at the airport, took a cab to our hotel and then wandered out for a very nice lunch on the Riverwalk. Upon hearing that my mother had just come in from DC our waiter told us that he was thinking about going to Washington in July for a soccer game.

I am not ashamed to admit that I squealed. Then I checked, "Which one?"

"Barcelona is playing Chelsea... " and I almost invited him to take my mom's chair.

I asked if he favored Barcelona or Chelsea and he said he followed the Mexican league (ah, Liga MX, I nod, knowledgeably) but he just thinks it will be a great game. I lamented the fact that I was going to be in Canada at the time (as much as anyone can ever lament the fact that they are going to be in Canada - which is to say, not much) but just as I was about to expand on why I think the May Barcelona team would disembowel the May Chelsea team he was called to another table.   

Anyway. Another reason I like football. You can go almost anywhere and find common ground.

Oh! And I had the nicest thing happen to me on the flight out. When I went to check-in online I was given a boarding pass but no seat assignment. This happened to us the last time we flew with the family and it meant they had oversold the flight. When we boarded the five of us were scattered like the teeth of the Drakon of Ismene and we had to beg people to trade until we had gotten the children somewhat herded with at least one parent nearby.

This time, of course, it did not matter but I checked in with the gate agent when I got there and asked if he was able to assign me a seat yet.

He said, "I'm just working on seats right now, if you could give me a moment?"

I said, "Sure."

And he said, "Oh, is it alright if I seat you... "

I cut him off, "You can put me absolutely anywhere. I'm good. If you have a row of screaming babies and an extra seat in the middle? Feel free."

And I meant it because I was not traveling for business, needing to concentrate on getting work done; I was not traveling with children, responsible for keeping them civilized; I was not sick or particularly tired or depressed or any of those things that can make travel burdensome. I have been a high maintenance traveler before but now was not one of those times. I had my Kindle and short legs and I was on vacation. It's all good.

But he smiled and said, "I was just going to ask if you are OK with an exit row."

I said, "Yes! How nice! Exit row. Roomy" and went to pay $8 for a bottle of water before the flight.

Forty minutes later they called for my zone and I handed him my boarding pass when I reached the front of the line.

"Ah Ms Hippogriffs!" he said. "I found you a seat in that crying baby section after all" and he took away my ticket and handed me a new one.

I was halfway down the jetway before I realized he had put me in first class. It was the nicest thing that has happened to me since... well since that woman paid for my sausage biscuit in the McDonalds drive-through line.

People are really, really very kind. And for the second time in almost as many weeks I found myself being asked if I wanted anything from the bar, replying that it was ten o'clock in the morning and being offered a Bloody Mary in deference to the early hour.

It's really rather funny:

"Would you like a shot and a half of vodka?"

"Good Lord, no! It's 9:30 in the morning! What's wrong with you!"

"What if I put it into some tomato juice?"

"No! Of course not! Yuck."

"What if I added spices and maybe a pickle and some olives and a celery stick.. ?"

"Oh. Well, OK then. Thanks."

"You want a lemon slice, too? They're full of vitamin C."

And the next thing you know you feel like you're downing a kale smoothie.

PS Yeah. I had the Bloody Mary. But! I waited until 10:30.