The element of surprise is highly overrated
I had this brilliant plan to surprise my dad for Father’s Day. I would tell him I was coming home on the Tuesday after Father’s Day but show up the Saturday before. It sounded like a great idea. You see since I was a kid I barely got to spend the day with my dad. Either camp started then and he had to drop me off somewhere in the middle of Texas and drive home daughterless, or I couldn’t work the travel in to my schedule. It was sad, and I would always feel terrible about it. What better way to make up for years of Father’s Day neglect than to show up at the door unannounced the night before? Well the universe does not like my joy of surprises and decided to turn the whole plan around on me.
Let me first say that air travel has become something akin to having teeth pulled without anesthesia while particularly snotty gnomes poke at your eyes with flaming daggers. I hate flying. Especially airlines like Continental and American. I hate them. Hate hate hate. This past trip I flew Continental in to Houston, which was a bad idea as flights hardly ever go smoothly when traveling through Houston. Unfortunately this is the only carrier that flies in to my home town. The weather decided to flare up on Saturday when I left New York, which caused my flight out of the city to be delayed by about two hours. These two hours on the runway were spent between a baby with a serious interest in touching me, and the passengers across the row with a very loud infant and a kid who felt that screaming was an appropriate and effective means of communication. Yay! Though I attempted to be productive during the flight it was difficult to muddle though statistical programs with the seat in front of me fully reclined (through take off and landing I might add). Bourbon and David Sedaris had to suffice in order to keep me occupied. For anyone wondering, those two are a great combination.
Despite the fact that most airlines put at least an extra hour in the anticipated flight time, we were pretty late landing in oh so stinky Houston. As our plane landed I was able to wave goodbye to my connecting flight – but I didn’t quite know this yet. I booked it to my connecting terminal and breathlessly asked the ladies at the gate what the status on the flight was. In the irritated manner of a seasoned airport employee one of the women informed me that I was 25 minutes late and the flight was long gone. I then asked if they had been informed by my flight from NY that it would be late and if they had been asked to hold the flight. They said yes but the pilot just decided to leave anyway. Now I’ve been delayed by late passengers before, and I was a little pissed that they couldn’t hold the LAST PLANE TO MY DESTINATION for a few minutes. When I asked about options I was told the first available flight would be at 9pm the next night – Sunday night. Now let’s get back to the point that I was trying to surprise my dad for Father’s Day. After some tearful haggling I realized the jig was up, and I’d either have to call my parents to ask for their advice.
Surprise Dad! I’m stuck in Houston! Maybe I’ll see you on Wednesday!
I am extremely lucky to have a father who can speak to anyone with an intimidating authority. Houston is a 6 hour drive from my home town and it was about 8 pm when all of this was going down. We worked it out so I was able to fly to San Antonio (only a 3 hour drive) in one of the first class seats that had opened up at the last minute. Flying first class makes an astounding difference in flying. They make you feel like a real person, you have leg room, and the drinks are free. Even though my first first class experience only lasted 45 minutes I managed to get two glasses of wine out of it. I was much happier.
Long story short my father kept up the ol’ tradition of traveling a long distance because of me on Father’s Day. This time he just didn’t have to drop me off. It ended up being very nice, and I even got to buy a new outfit since my bag didn’t get in until a day and a half later!
Boyfriend had a much more pleasant experience in his travels today. Yes he did cross state lines to meet my parents. And no we didn’t have to pick him up from Houston or San Antonio. I guess when you aren’t trying to surprise anyone flights will be on time and won’t leave you.