Tuesday, September 12: The One With the Flying Mother

I mentioned last week that my middle sister moved to California to attend art school. Last Tuesday my mother flew out to help her get settled. Her flight pattern was Charlotte-Atlanta-Orange County. At least it was supposed to be.

She arrived at my house late Monday evening, as I’m about an hour closer to Charlotte than she is. Her flight was scheduled to leave at 8-something the next morning, but with all the new flight restrictions*, and considering she doesn’t fly much, she wanted to get there extra early. It was a breeze–she was over an hour early and had plenty of time to relax before her flight left for Atlanta. More than plenty, as it turns out: her flight left Charlotte late, and she missed her connection in Atlanta. The rest of the day is sort of sketchy for me, but this is what I think happened based on the frantic call I received from my sister in the middle of the work day**: they booked her on another flight, but lo and behold, it was overbooked and she got bumped. Her luggage, however, did not, so it went on to Orange County without her. She was then booked on a flight to “somewhere in Utah.” Since SLC is the only city I can think of in Utah right now, we’re going to assume that’s where she went. Her flight from SLC was to LAX, not Orange County, so the plan was that the airline would arrange shuttle service to OC once she arrived at LAX.

She was originally supposed to land in OC at 12:30 PT, but when she finally called me once my sister had collected her from the Shuttle of Death (it seems Mom doesn’t care for the 12-lane 70-MPH madness of the Southern California highway system), it was almost 5:30 in Orange County and she was stressed. She claims the shuttle driver tried to kill her by not paying attention to his driving; she confessed that she actually entertained the idea of slapping him with her shuttle voucher. And my sister’s boyfriend’s car has no AC, so not only were they flying down Death’s Highway at frightening speeds, but they were doing so in a hot car. She had to hang up because she needed to concentrate on driving. And she wasn’t even the one driving.

The sequel to this episode, “The One With the Flying Mother, Part II” aired yesterday, and it was much less eventful. No missed connections, no major glitches. She landed in Charlotte at 11 and drove back to my house. Piece of cake. Well, sort of. See, we have this new road in G’boro that allows highway travelers to completely bypass G’boro altogether. If you’re actually trying to get to G’boro and you’re not careful you could miss the G’boro exit and end up in the next town over, which is exactly what happened to my mom when she was trying to get to my house in G’boro at 1 in the morning. She arrived eventually, and all was well, but I think it’s safe to say she won’t be going on any long trips any time soon.

*It seems that you’re not allowed to take a bottle of Jergen’s lotion on a plane these days, but pack all the personal lubricant you want. Mile High Club, anyone?

**I was already worried enough about my mother flying across the country–it’s just my way to worry–but when I got my sister’s message that went something like, “Call me. I have to talk to you about Mom’s horrible plane experiences” I sort of freaked. A word to my family: if you are going to leave a message on my phone in the middle of the workday, please either give me more detail, or give me no detail at all. Another case in point is my mom’s voicemail message on Wednesday: “H., I can’t find Megan. I don’t know where she is. See if you can get in touch with her. Call me.” I’m not sure which category that one falls into–too much or not enough–but I sort of handled it badly.


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