Today Has Been The Longest Week Ever

Booking an evening flight to Florida was a mistake. I see that now. Far too much time to twiddle my thumbs and think-up ridiculous ways to miss the flight accidentally.

I have a new dogsitter for Harlow. A is a very nice woman who works from home who I found through Rover, an online site to find and hire dog sitters and walkers. While we have met once, A is basically a stranger, so I’ve been nervous about it. Will Harlow be a friendly girl? Will she be upset with a stranger? I hope A likes her!

Yesterday, A sent a text confirming drop off time, adding “I can’t wait to spend time with Harlow! We’re gonna be best friends!” And her seeming excitement eased some of my worry.

Leading up to today I tried not to pack much before dropping Harlow off with A. I knew it would make her more anxious to see that rolling box with a handle come out and watch it get filled with stuff that smells like her human. Just the same I have no doubt that she reads my stress, and also she watched as I packed up her things last night, so she knew something was happening.

This morning while I killed time waiting to take Harlow to her 11am drop off to A in Boston, I would look at her, nervous that she was nervous, and she’d look back at me…nervous cause I seemed nervous. We were a pair and I’m a bit part of the “problem”. Really I don’t know why I wring my hands so much over this ridiculous creature. SHE IS FINE!

It finally was time to take Harlow to A (I woke at 5:30 involuntarily, so it had been a long day already). I looked forward to this task being completed so I could come home and truly pack for my trip without worrying about hurting the damn dog’s feelings.

I piled Harlow into the car (did I mention we got snow and ice last night so my morning also including clearing my sidewalk and fretting more about how bad the roads could be? Would I get stuck in horrible traffic? For real, my concerns were as mountainous as they were stupid), and we were a few houses away from our own when I knew something was wrong with the car. Then I realized I had no glucose on me. I considered that A’s house wasn’t too far and I was sure it would be fine, but the stress of not having something should my glucose levels drop was enough to cause my glucose levels to drop so I returned home. When I got out I walked around the car to investigate. Flat tire. A very flat tire.

I quickly thought through next steps and brought the dog back into the house, got myself some Swedish fish which are great for glucose correction, put the hazards on the car and drove at a snail’s pace to the mechanic who is thankfully very nearby.

(And before you even think it, yes, I know it’s unwise to basically drive on your rims, but I knew there’d likely be a wait for a tow considering the weather conditions)

When I arrived the mechanic looked closed, but I knew they weren’t because, well, there was an OPEN sign glowing in the window, but also I could hear the boss in the closed-up garage screaming and yelling, every other word the F bomb, to his employees. Someone was in a baaaaad mood! Eventually he came out and I waited for an hour while they patched the tire, did an oil change (while you’re at it…) and fixed the right brake light for the 456,230th time. I worked on meditative breathing, reminding myself that my plane doesn’t board until 5PM and it was only 11:30am at this point.

That unexpected chore complete, I returned home for the dog who was BESIDE herself over the excitement of getting in the car then mysteriously being put back into the house and being abandoned with her harness on. She whined and a-whoooed and barked until she was back in the car.

The roads were blessedly clear and the traffic light, and A, the dog-sitter, met us outside her apartment. We chatted briefly, and I opened the door, Harlow jumped right out and greeted A. I had fretted about Harlow being hesitant about going with her. Would she tuck her tail like she sometimes does? Would she look back at me with concern?

Well, once A had Harlow’s bag of tricks and treats on one shoulder, her bed under one arm and the dog’s leash in her hand, she headed back to her place, and Harlow was literally like “SMELL YOU LATER, MOM!”

I’ve never been so happy to see my dog not give a crap about me in my life. About twenty minutes later, A sent the following photo with “She’s settling in fine!”

Needless to say, I feel she’s in good hands. Also, I love that yellow chair.

I finish packing, deciding against trying to pack the paint roller we’ll need for the festival (these are the things we have to worry about!), eat a late lunch, take out the trash, start the dish washer, and call myself a Lyft. I debate whether I really wanna wear the pants I’ve chosen to wear, deciding in the end to take a risk and stick with them!

I’m really being brave, mixing up my travel outfit!

A while back I invested in TSA-PreCheck. This is awesome for me because it allows me to go through a metal detector and not a body-scanner. The body scanner can render my medical devices useless. I can’t put the pump through the x-ray, either, so this always resulted in me having to get a pat-down. Time wasting and somewhat humiliating. TSA-PreCheck eliminated this for me.

I put my carryon and backpack on the belt, pull out the zip lock bag of back-up medical devices, and hand them over to a TSA person, asking them to please hand-check it. They seemingly absent-mindedly put it on the x-ray belt and I ask them to please not let the items go through the x-ray machine while doing my very best to sound friendly and not let on that jut the thought of this happening blooms panic within me.

Recap – metal detector – fine for medical devices
The body scanner and x-ray machines – bad for medical devices.

I go through the metal detector and my pump sets off the alarm. I forgot that this can actually be hit or miss – sometimes it sets it off, sometimes it doesn’t. And as a result, for the last few trips I’ve done, I’ve been removing the pump and putting it in the ziplock with the other devices for hand check. But this time I forgot.

I would have to get a pat-down. The TSA agent asks me to walk through the scanner and I decline, telling them that it will damage my devices. There was discussion about which machines I could walk through and which ones I couldn’t. I let them know what’s up without literally saying “Believe me, I know which machines I can walk through and which ones I can’t”

Meanwhile, I don’t know where my belongings are or what’s been done with the zip-lock bagged back-up devices. The very nice TSA lady checks me over and swabs my pump for explosives (don’t worry, lady, it has potential of only killing me and that’s if something really goes wrong!), and I go over to collect my things.

At this point I see that the ziplock bag is on the belt in one of those x-ray bowls. To set the scene, there are a lot of people coming and going and bags are piling up. Things are a bit chaotic, so quite honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if they somehow got run through. I ask the TSA person, “Excuse me, did this go through the x-ray?” because I need to know if they are now useless.

She seems annoyed at the question and says “no.” While her tone disappoints me a bit, I remind myself that we are all humans and we do our jobs and watch other people and have our judgements, and we may not know that the nervous person who’s just double checking something is doing so because her scientific miracle medical devices have become so much a part of her body that she doesn’t even consider them not being there. But, she is acutely aware in times like these what a snag it would be if one of these things that have become a part of her body simply stopped working.

I collect my things and get everything back in order. Phone in hand, gate number at the ready. As I make my way to C7 I suddenly wonder f I packed my insulin. Then I reassure myself that it’s become so second nature to pack it that I literally don’t remember doing so.

I people watch and pass an orthodox Jewish man with a black hat and long gray curls and suddenly I wonder Does he use a curling iron to curl them? He must, right? And then I’m envision him in his bathroom somewhere with a pink curling iron, curling his very serious, religious symbols which bookend his face. What about Saturday? That’s the sabbath. Do they just end up falling straight on Saturdays?

My thoughts move on to food, knowing that I will eventually get hungry. I buy some fruit, cheese and crackers for the flight. I am sure they’ll suck but not as much as the turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich which I passed on.

The plane starts to board. My group, Group B, is called, and I am astounded at how people push to get in line. It cracks me up considering we all end up standing on the gangway or whatever it’s called for a while anyway. It’s like speeding around people on the road only to stop with them at a light.

I find my seat and try not to listen to the sixty-something-year old white man blow hard who’s conducting a clearly very important business phone call. I know it’s important because he makes sure everyone knows he’s doing business on the phone by speaking at a decibel that makes it impossible for everyone to not know he’s very busy and important.

Then, over my right shoulder this other blow-hard sixty-something white guy says to someone “Better watch your back pocket because I may steal your wallet!” He thinks this is just the funniest thing anyone has ever said since words became a thing, so he makes sure every new person who walks down the isle gets to hear it.

Soon, two young men in fluorescent vests come down the isle. They look like they might work for JetBlue, and Mr. I Might Steal Your Wallet takes advantage of the forced captive audience by announcing that these two guys are about to do some repairs on the plane “They’re gonna fix it with tape!” he announced with a big laugh, making sure all can hear his wit. Then he adds, and I shit you not, “Hey how much is it for me to buy that tape from you? I’m gonna be stuck with this one for a week!” He guffaws, referencing the woman seated with him.

And now, kind reader, you may be happy to know that I am out of words.

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