We are currently at cruising altitude, flying high above the East Coast as we return from a delightful Florida vacation (without the kids...special thanks to my in-laws!). I am seated in First Class, which is a new experience for me.
In a gesture of pure unselfishness, my dear, sweet husband has used his frequent flyer miles to upgrade my ticket -- and now, my petite five-foot-one frame is comfortably sprawled across a cushy chair, while his six-foot-three body is crammed in a teensy seat in the ass end of the plane. His knees are probably in his face at this very moment. I think about him with love and feel a warm, tingly feeling in my belly.
No, wait... I just really have to pee.
Dammit, this happens every time I fly. I don't know why, but no matter how many "pit stops" I make before boarding, my bladder inevitably decides to assert itself the minute we are in the air. It doesn't help that, for some reason, I always seem to wind up in an inside seat; if I am flying with my husband, he needs the aisle because of the legroom. In today's case, I just happened to be assigned to the window.
And, of course, it is also inevitable that the person next to me should be sound asleep by the point in the flight at which my bladder revolts. So here I sit... again, contemplating how badly I would need to pee before something, um, undesired would happen. I know from watching my son, who chronically avoids using the potty, that it's quite possible to postpone urinating for an extended period of time. I am considering trying one of the many tactics that he employs to accomplish superhuman pee-avoidance, but I think the other passengers might be alarmed if I suddenly crouched to the floor, hid behind my seat, and bounced up and down while emitting an "uhhhhhhhhh!!!!" sound.
I glance over at the traveler who is quite effectively blocking my exit and wonder if he is really asleep, or if he's just "resting his eyes." Just as I am contemplating tapping him on the shoulder, his mouth falls open and he begins to snore quietly. Damn. I am thinking that I really should have studied meditation when I had the time and interest -- perhaps some deep breathing and an "ommm" chant could distract me from my exploding bladder. Enduring this can't be that different than swallowing fire or walking on hot coals -- and aren't there monks somewhere who sit completely naked in sub-freezing temperatures just to prove they can? I really need to look into some....
Ugh... turbulence.... I feel like an over-filled water balloon.
Oh, wait! ...
Hooray! The gentleman next to me got jostled awake and let me out to pee! Crisis averted!
I must say at this point that I am somewhat disappointed to find that the first class restroom looks like all the other bathrooms on the plane. I was kind of hoping it would be a posh hideaway replete with roses, scented candles, and perhaps a decorative chaise. Considering the fuss the flight attendants make about passengers using only bathrooms assigned to their "class," I thought I'd at least get a mint.
But here comes one of the genuine perks of First Class -- free alcohol! I ordered a rum and Coke a little while ago, and I've just been presented with a tiny cup filled with ice, a can of Coca-Cola, and two airplane bottles of Bacardi. I'm doing the math -- the bottles appear to be about a shot and a half each... that means if I fill my plastic cup twice and use both bottles, I'll have ingested three shots of rum in about an hour's time (it's only a two-hour flight). Hmmmm....
I used to be able to drink "like a fish" -- in my early twenties I could do shots like there was no tomorrow (and often, there wasn't... because I'd be spending the next day in bed with the covers pulled over my head). Now I hardly ever drink alcohol, and I subsequently have the alcohol tolerance of a fruit fly. My husband loves this, as it makes me both a very cheap date and an easy target for harassment.
I decide not to tempt fate; I use only one bottle and toss the other in my carry-on.
I enjoy my drink, which still tastes ridiculously strong to my unpracticed palate. I think I will try and take a nap.
Oh no... I have to pee again. Maybe the drink was a bad idea. We're landing soon... I fear I'll have to tough this one out...
(insert half an hour of crossing legs and holding breath here)
And, we have arrived. I bolt to the bathroom, and then I wait inside the terminal for nearly twenty minutes while my husband struggles to extract himself from the seat and make his way out of the plane. I greet him with a smile that I hope communicates both appreciation and sympathy.
"Did you get a nap?" he asks.
"Um, no... I was too busy trying not to pee myself."
"Hmmmfff," he responds. He seems grumpy.
"But look! I have something for you!" I say and excitedly present him with the bottle of Bacardi. (Before the flight, he had actually instructed me to order a drink and pocket the alcohol for him to enjoy later, since I don't drink much. I had dismissed the idea, asserting that this behavior would make me look like a first-class imbecile. I therefore think he will be quite pleased to see I've saved him a bottle).
He rolls his eyes. "Great..." he says. "My wife gets to fly First Class and all I get is this lousy bottle of rum!"
Ahhh, it's good to be home.