Saturday, November 20, 2010

Off we go into the BIG BLUE yonder!


I should probably be eating some pineapple or parking my sweet patootie under a palm tree right now. Instead, I’m sitting on the patio of my hotel room, looking at the Pacific Ocean, and posting a blog I wrote, for the most part, on the flight from LA across the ocean. It’s a 5 hour flight, by the way, so that explains why it might take you 5 hours to read it, but still, I wanted to let all my buddies back home know we made it to Maui, safe and sound.

I know you’ve all been worried.

The trip here went really well. Well, it went well, if you’re able to overlook the fact that my sister’s iPhone got lost at LAX. The way she handled the misplacement is a perfect example of why she is the sainted Stultz sibling, and I am the sinner. That’s why I bring the whole thing up. I want the world to know - though I’m pretty sure it already does - that Leslie Nunnery is the quintessential counterpoint to my frantic, crazy self. God gave my parents her super-sweet yin to balance out my heapin’ helpin’ of yang.

Here’s what happened: soon after we boarded our flight, Sissy realized her phone was nowhere to be found. Calmly, quietly, she informed the flight attendant, who informed the gate agent. Having done what was reasonably possible, she then went about her merry way, listening patiently and smiling politely as Lila said, “Hey! Hey! I have to tell you something” approximately 1,678 times between take-off in Los Angeles and touchdown in Kahului.

You don’t have to have known me for very long to know that this is not how I would have handled the situation. Had we still been at the gate, I’d have bounded down the aisle and up the jet way with the approximate subtlety of Yosemite Sam. With his hair on fire. Had we been airborne, I’d have parachuted back to Earth. I mean, what if I’d gotten a text – and, even more unimaginably, what if hadn’t responded within 24 seconds of receiving it? What of my emails – that bulk spam doesn’t just delete itself, you know? And, most importantly, without the UK Sports app, how in the world would I ever have found out the Kentucky / Portland score immediately after landing?!

Trust me: should I ever lose my phone, the poor folks around me will find out just how crazy I really am.

Sissy’s philosophy, however, was “it’s a thing, not a person.” Yeah. Whatever that means. She’s not even on Twitter, so clearly, she’s not talking as someone who knows the pain of getting behind on her feed. At any rate, crisis was averted about midway through our long, second flight - Lizzie Gray was digging through her “backcack,” as Lila calls it, and what to her wondering eyes should appear but … Sissy’s iPhone. Imagine that.

To be honest, though, the whole thing sorta reminded me of that Brady Bunch episode when the happy clan went to Honolulu. For those of you who didn’t plan her days around SuperStation/WTBS’s 4:35 p.m. weekday time slot, I’ll recap the plot for you: Bobby finds an ancient tiki, and boy, did he live to rue the day he picked up that bad boy. That thing went on to wreak colossal havoc - Greg got hurt while surfing, Alice got a hitch in her hip during an oceanfront hula class. In other words, the whole Bra-cation was nearly ruined.

Yeah. So I’m not saying it’s a completely pure analogy, but both families went to Hawaii, and in both instances, things were found. So there’s that.

There’s also the fact that I wondered if we’d even be allowed on our flight from Atlanta to LA. Camden insisted on pulling his hood up and wearing his shades. Recently 11, he thinks he’s being cool. I – and 97.6% of the TSA personnel at Hartsfield – think he’s looking a little too much like a man who lives in a shanty and writes manifestoes about blowing up government buildings. I thought it’d be clever to call him the "UKaBomber;" I was careful, however, to only whisper that thought - or text it (see why I so desperately need my phone?!) - ‘til we were safely on the plane.

And that’s another thing. Remember when a four hour flight followed by a five hour flight meant an afternoon of watching your twiddling thumbs, while your grandmother blew through a carton of Virginia Slims in the smoking section at the back of the plane? Back then, your only form of in-flight entertainment was waiting for the beverage cart to roll by and coming up with fresh ways to con the stewardess out of an extra pack of peanuts.

Watching for that cart was kinda like waiting for The Wizard of Oz to air at Thanksgiving every year. In those pre-VCR days, if you missed it, it was, like, “Ah, well. Suck it up, Kid, and see it next year.” Parenthetically, that was just fine for my best friend Erin. She was the kind of kid who back-flipped through life. Literally. Only two things in the whole world scared her:

1) Dogs and
2) the Wicked Witch of the West.

Oh, wait. Only three things scared her:

3) she would never watch Jaws with me, either.

But I digress.

The point is, of the two of us, Erin was most definitely the brave one. If she was only scared of three things, I was only NOT scared of three things. Lucky for her, one of those three things just so happened to be … the Wicked Witch of the West (talk about relational yin & yang!), so every year, I - and my mother’s mauve-upholstered Queen Anne chair – protected her from a celluloid villain filmed some 40 years earlier.

The days of in-flight ennui are no mas, however. There are iPods and iPads and iPhones (assuming you don’t lose them). There are laptops and Kindles and personal-sized television sets, each with on-demand ESPN. It’s absolutely, positively crazy how endlessly we must now be entertained. I say that as the chief of sinners. I am the girl who sits at stoplights, staring at her cell phone, so the 27 seconds pass faster. I really want to detox from my high-wired life, though.

That’s what I’m hoping for from this trip, I think. That – and a ton of super awesome snapshots - and a tournament championship for my BIG BLUE Wildcats.

Now THAT would be something to be thankful for!

1 comment:

  1. I have two thoughts...

    1) Maybe I should start hanging out with your sister more often. It might offset my friendship with you.

    2) April Fool’s Day can't get here soon enough. I am already planning an iPhone disappearance sequel.

    Now that I think about act might take care of the other.

    Glad you made it to Hawaii safe and sound. Mele Kalikimaka!!