Sunday, December 31, 2006

Lessons Learned This Holiday Season

  1. It is not enough to bring your toothbrush and medications in your carryon; you should also bring your passport. Because even if you are not flying through, say, Denver, it may happen that of all the flights going out of your airport the Saturday before Christmas, yours could be the one that is cancelled for “maintenance.” (Now, to me, “maintenance” implies routine things like changing oil or rotating tires. Things you would never do on one of the busiest travel days of the year. Couldn’t they just admit that the flight was cancelled because the PLANE BROKE?) On such a busy day, there will be no extra seats on any of the rest of the flights that day, unless you are willing to fly via a complicated connection THROUGH ANOTHER COUNTRY. Hence the need for passports (which TrophyHusband was able to drive home and retrieve in time).
  2. You might also want to bring a few changes of clothes in your carryon. Because even if you are checked into a flight three hours early, it may happen that none of your luggage makes it on the plane with you.
  3. Don’t pack a suitcase for each person; mix it up a bit. This way, when all of the bags eventually show up except yours (which does not arrive until the night before you are leaving to go back home), you will still have something to wear.
  4. My mother really needs to update her wardrobe. Since I had no clothes to wear, I had to borrow hers. She is somewhat shorter and wider than I am, so I couldn’t comfortably wear her things the whole trip. And when I braved the mall wearing her clothes and asked the sales clerk where I might find jeans, she looked me up and down and sniffed, “Well, you wouldn’t want the Juniors department,” and took me to a rack of Mom Jeans. I couldn’t decide whether to slap her or spontaneously combust from embarrassment, so I just slunk away. (I did find an awesome outfit, in the Juniors department, so there, judgmental salesgirl.)
  5. It is truly is better to give than receive. You become acutely aware of this when your gifts are stuck in your lost suitcase and you have to unwrap others’ gifts and then say, “Thanks! I hope my gift to you isn’t being sold on a corner in another country!”
  6. My husband is a trophy and a mensch. OK, I already knew this one, but he proved it over again. My family has a tradition of giving most gifts as “stocking stuffers,” which creates an absurdly huge stack of gifts to unwrap Christmas morning, but is pretty cool because you never know who gave what; it’s quite freeing. But many of the gifts were stuck in my suitcase (see #5). Then my brother (whose awesome girlfriend recently broke up with him, probably with good reason) announced that he had bought no stocking stuffers at all. I thought it was going to be like Whoville, only without the singing. But my husband, despite being Jewish and finding this whole Christmas thing incomprehensible, had gone out on the sly and bought a heap of cute and thoughtful gifts, and the pile of loot was not appreciably smaller than usual. (HellBoy, when he saw all the presents, said, “It’s Hannukah morning!” which pleased my husband greatly.)
  7. If you are very tired and have just eaten a big Christmas dinner, do not lie down with the child while putting him to bed. Because it may happen that you wake up the next morning with fuzzy teeth, and your parents and their guests will be very perplexed as to why the hell you never came back to the table.
Happy New Year, everyone.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ain't air travel fun? The gaming tables in Las Vegas got nothing on the airlines in terms of sheer gambling...

Happy New Year indeed.

jpn

Cecily said...

Oh god, how dreadful that flying issue must have been! Hilarious about falling asleep after dinner. You must have felt refreshed the next morning!

Leggy said...

Oy- gotta love holiday travel, don't you. Glad you got your clothes back- eventually. Hopefully you didn't run into any old high school boyfriends wearing mom's duds.

Rayne of Terror said...

Those are some awesome and large stockings!

Anonymous said...

Okay, did you fly through Canada? Were we nice to you?

Esereth said...

Huh. Stocking stuffers with no 'from' on them. That is a good, good idea.

Old MD Girl said...

You should be grateful you didn't get, "What size are you, hmmm? About a [8 sizes larger than you actually are] (I'm not kidding)?" from the saleslady. I've gotten this one or two times, and I just laugh at them and say, "It's obvious you're not on commissions," and exit the store.

Maderine said...

"It's obvious you're not on comission"--I'm going to file THAT one away! Priceless (literally).

Happy NY.

TheTundraPA said...

Hello! I've just found your blog through a referral on my blog, and have very much enjoyed your last several posts. I love your voice. I'll be back to browse through your archives for more, and will add you to my bloglines and blogroll. Stop in at Tundra Medicine Dreams sometime and say hi.

Gallaudet said...

I am going to stop complaining about our holiday flying. We didn't have to leave the States.

Ottoette said...

Airplane travel is just the pits anymore. It used to be such fun! Glad you survived and enjoyed your time with family.

ozma said...

OK, advice taken although I will have none of it. I forget everything the day I have to leave for a trip. There is always some crucial item missing. This year: Shirts for my daughter and several gifts.

Glad you made it and even got a juniors outfit out of it.

My husband is very amused that my daughter sings the Menorah lighting song when people turn off lights and light the tree but it's even funnier when she says "Everybody sing!" to her Christian relatives and tries to lead them in some Hebrew singing. (I'm sure there's some word for that candle lighting song--Baruch atah adenoi, etc. Please forgive misspellings, Jewish people.)

E. said...

For some reason, I'm imagining you flying through Mexico, but then anonymous says Canada, which is also a strong candidate.

We actually stayed home for the first Christmas since O. was born, and the in-laws came to us. Bliss.

C. said...

Hey there DoctorM:

A while back you mentioned S.A.D. and your purchase of a light box. I am convinced I have S.A.D. (all symptoms and happens every year), and wanted to know if you had success with the light.

I just put in my order and hoping it works.

C.

SharoncB said...

OMG, Could you not have written this earlier. Would have saved me a ton of time. Apparently we were on the same darn plane. I thought my luggage was the only one that didn't show up. At least we remembered to pack our passports in the travel luggage. Sure enough we had to fly through Toronto to get to Buffalo. Ugh.

E. said...

P.S. on a side note, your comment (prediction?) on Oral Hygiene Queen has me curious, and so please tell me what sorts of writhe-worthy tactics you as a medical professional thought my midwife was going to suggest (when you get a chance).

Happy New Year!