Monday, April 18, 2011
We’ve heard about how much fun RT was and I will echo the others who’ve blogged here and say it was just the BEST time. But my trip home was a day from hell. In fact, I was pretty much in a fog for the rest of the week after RT.
Going to RT, I got up at 5:00 AM to go to the airport for my 7:30 flight. I stayed up until 2:30 AM that night, or rather Thursday morning, which is 4:30 AM my time, which means I was awake for 23 ½ hours. Oy. After five hours of sleep, with a little caffeine and some under eye concealer, I was good to go. I did it all over again. And again. And again. My lack of sleep didn’t seem to have a big effect on me.
But by Sunday when it was time to go home I began to see the effects of sleep deprivation. Here’s how my day went:
1. Get to the airport. In a last minute decision, I decide to check both my bags because my carry on is really heavy. All I need out of the small bag is my laptop, even though I don’t have anything to put it in. I figure I’ll just carry it like a book. However, my bigger suitcase is overweight. The West Jet girl says I can move some things to the smaller suitcase. With people all lined up behind me, I try to move things. The zipper on the big suitcase is stuck. I wrestle with it. The tab breaks off. I use the other zipper pull. Still stuck. I start to get flustered and sweaty. Finally get it open and move some things around. Now I have to get my bags from there to the conveyor and with my purse, laptop and two suitcases, I don’t have enough hands. The West Jest girl helps me, which is very nice, but embarrassing.
2. I get through security and am sitting in the waiting area. I’m wearing a new jacket I bought just before RT. I had never worn it until Thursday when I went to a publisher party and dinner with my agent and a whole bunch of big NY authors. I now see that the new jacket still has paper from the store covering some of the buttons. Greeeaaat.
3. While I’m sitting there, I realize there is a bottle of wine in my carry on suitcase that has now been checked. I don’t think it was packed very well and I have visions of everything in there being soaked in Ménage a trois red wine by the time I get home.
4. Then I realize I had my big canvas Nine Naughty Novelists tote bag that I could have used to put my laptop in. Stupid! Why didn’t I think of that?! Oh well, too late to get it now. I can get it when I get to Calgary as I have to claim my bags to go through customs.
5. A while later I have the brilliant idea that I could also get the wine out of that suitcase, assuming it’s still in one piece in Calgary, and put it in the tote bag too! Why didn’t I think of that?!
6. An hour later, I realize I can’t take a bottle of wine onto the plane. What the hell was I thinking? In fact, if I’d taken my small bag on the plane as carry on as I’d originally planned, they would have confiscated the wine. Still hoping it makes it home without breaking.
7. I get to Calgary. Get my bags. Break two fingernails wrestling them off the conveyor. Then I have the same problem I had in LAX – not enough hands to pull them. I try to stack them, but only make it about four feet. This isn’t working. Once again I’m getting all flustered and sweaty. Then I spot luggage carts. Why didn’t I think of that?! I try to make my way close enough to safely leave my bags and snag a cart. I drop my laptop. Crap! It seems to be in one piece, though, so I get my cart and seem to be on my way.
8. Clear customs no problem although I’m sure they have my records and they KNOW this is the first time in my entire life I’ve come home from the United States so far under my duty-free limit. I’m surprised they didn’t haul me in for questioning because of that.
9. Security is perplexed by something in the tote bag I’ve taken out to use, which still holds an assortment of promo items. I’m hoping it’s not the miniature flogger, which would be fun to explain. After searching through everything in the bag, it turns out it’s the little heart-shaped tin of candies from Samhain. WTF? All seems good until the security girl picks up my lap top and the battery falls out. She says, “I didn’t do anything!” I assure her she didn’t, and pop the battery back in.
10. I’m hungry so I get some French fries. I drop ketchup on my cream-colored scarf.
11. I turn on the lap top to kill some time. I can’t enter my password for some reason. Can’t figure it out. It seems half the keys aren’t working. I restart it. I push some random buttons. I don’t know anything about computers. The battery falls out again. This clues me in to the fact that dropping the lap top might have something to do with this. I push the battery back in. Still not working. I’m getting all flustered and sweaty again. What if my precious lap top is broken?! I take the battery out again, brush off some dust, put it back in and then thank heavens it works! No idea what I did to fix it though.
12. I pass the next hour and a half happily blogging, Tweeting and texting my husband to let him know I’m in Calgary. Then I get on the plane. I know I have to shut my phone off so I start digging in my purse for it. I can’t find my phone, my precious BlackBerry that connects me to the world. I take everything out of my purse. I am panicking. The people beside me are watching me panicking. My phone is not there. I must have left it on the seat in the terminal. I'm getting all flustered and sweaty yet again. I can’t get off the plane because the aisle is full of people still getting on. I push the call button. The flight attendant can’t get to me. We are trying to communicate with hand gestures but she insists I have to wait. I sit down with a sick feeling in my stomach and racing heart, and decide to look in my tote bag and…yes, dammit, there is my BlackBerry. The flight attendant arrives and I have to smile nicely and tell her, “Never mind” .
Somehow I managed to make it home safely, but I think I left my mind in Los Angeles.