We have already established how I feel about weddings on holiday weekends so you can imagine my chagrin when I was invited to one such event held this past Memorial Day weekend. When the invitation arrived I felt confidently “off the hook” as the wedding was in Nashville. Case closed, right?
Wrong. The bride’s doting uncles wanted me along for the ride – and the fun – and proposed an all expense paid trip to “Nash-Vegas” for the wedding. First-class airfare, hotel and EVERYTHING. How can you say no to THAT? I sure as hell could not so I decadently packed a whole suitcase (not having to share space with Joe!) and learned the ways of First Class air travel. It was like a dream.
The first stop was priority check in where I checked my big honkin’ suitcase…. with no fee. Walked down to the boarding area carrying my only my ticket and a big purse. Boarded first. Sat in the first row (all 4 segments). Was treated with courtesy and offered my choice of beverages and nibbles. (Sidebar – I don’t drink on airplanes. Bummer.) (Sidebar II – I can’t pee on airplanes. Seriously. TMI, I know. )
As a 25 year veteran of flying steerage I found the entire experience A-MAY-ZING. The worst, most hated part of taking a trip became positively pleasant. It made me think back to the long ago days when EVERYONE could check a bag – nay, 2 – without a charge. When seats and spacing between rows was reasonable. When you could climb in and out of your coach seat without the use of WD-40, a crowbar and a colon compactor.
I am sure my next trip will be absolutely miserable by comparison. I resent that. I don’t expect the First Class experience with what I can afford but there were aspects of this trip that were once commonplace to those of us who routinely do the walk-of-shame past the First Class passengers on our way back to the goat pens.
I don’t fly much anymore because flying has become such an ORDEAL. I never fly to New York anymore, I take the train. I’ll take a train anywhere, even if it costs more and takes longer. It’s worth it. It is worth it in civility, personal space and fees. It is especially worth it since you don’t have to deal with nimrod TSA agents with a power complex.
The wedding? The service was lovely and the bride stunningly beautiful. (She spent 2 summers here and I was the pseudo-Aunt). The soloist sang Schubert’s “Ave Maria” which usually reduces me to tears but since she totally American Idol’d it I was left more annoyed than moved. ( Luckily I managed to restrain myself and not stand up and beat a tempo on my leg and yell, “knock off the Mariah Carey shit, girl.”) When Laura came up the aisle on the arm of her Dad I flashed back to my own dear Dad taking that walk with me……and I burst into tears. Bark-like-a-seal tears. Whatever. Oh yes, do let me report that Nashville had RECORD HIGH TEMPS the entire weekend and the reception was not air-conditioned. Jeebus. We survived, it was wonderful fun and we all had a fabulous time. Nashville is a blast – I highly recommend a visit but do it in October or November…..