Day 1: our heroine's journey begins

I’m back, and I have so many stories to tell, I don’t know where to begin. I also have a lot of pictures, which I need to upload. It’s all sort of overwhelming, so I suppose I’ll try to recap each day of the trip separately. Here’s the story of day one.

The flight down was pretty uneventful. I flew from Seattle to Denver, and then from Denver to Little Rock. The second leg of the trip was more noteworthy because I had the misfortune of sitting next to a man who was quite possibly the biggest asshole I’ve ever encountered. Examples of his assholishness:

1. A couple and their toddler sat down across the aisle from us. The little boy was completely adorable, and I said something like, “oh, he’s so cute,” loud enough for the parents to hear, and they turned and smiled at me. Dude next to me said (also loud enough for the parents to hear), “I hate kids on planes.” I think it’s worth noting that the child hadn’t done anything at that point, except follow his parents and sit quietly in his seat. Um, ooookay.

2. The flight attendant asked him a couple of times to raise his seat back before take-off. Now, I’ve always thought that was kind of a stupid rule, but it’s an FAA regulation, so you just do it and shut up about it, right? And honestly, how much of a difference does lowering your seat back really make in your comfort level on a plane? It’s what, a difference of two inches? Anyway, dude ignored her requests to raise his seat back. Finally, the male flight attendant came over, pushed the button and raised the guy’s seat himself, and said, “Sir, I’m sorry, but we need you to keep your seat up while we take off.” As soon as the flight attendant walked away, he pushed the button and lowered it again. Argh.

3. He had a pack of Marlboro Reds sticking out of his shirt pocket, and he had a ginormous belt buckle to perfectly accessorize his Wrangler jeans. I’m just sayin’.

4. During landing, he said something about how he had to drive a long way after we got to Little Rock because he lived way out in the boonies of Arkansas. (Shocking!) I was trying to be polite, so I said yeah, me too, I have to rent a car and drive to Memphis. He asked why, so I explained that my best friend was moving to Seattle, so I was flying down to drive up with her so she wouldn’t have to drive 2400 miles by herself. He asked what route we were taking, and I gave him the rough draft – major cities and interstates we were going to hit, that kind of thing. This is the conversation that ensued:

Him (giving a disgusted look): Well, just make sure you avoid St. Louis.
Me: Why’s that?
Him: It’s a dark town.
Me: Um… sorry?
Him: You know what I mean.

I honestly had never heard that term before, so it confused me to no end. In my head, I was thinking, “What, there’s a big goth scene in St. Louis? Why would that be scary?” Then it hit me. Riiiiight. Because the trip wouldn’t have been complete without some kind of racist remark from that asshole. I tried to keep myself from calling him an ignorant moron, since I still had to sit next to him for at least another 15 minutes, so I explained that I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and I lived in Memphis for several years, so I’m really not scared of black people, and I don’t fear for my own personal safety or anything of that nature. I quickly went back to my book and ended the conversation. Afterward, my mom told me that I should’ve told him that I’m one quarter African-American just so I could’ve watched him squirm and backpedal. I so wish I had thought of that myself.

Driving to Memphis was uneventful. I took some pictures through the car windshield, some of which turned out halfway decent. (They’ll be online soon, I promise.) Finally I met up with Kris. We dropped off my rental car, picked up Lucky from the groomer’s, and headed back to her house. We hung out with her folks and a couple of our friends for the rest of the night. We ordered in food – barbeque, since it was Kris’s last dinner in Memphis and you can’t get decent BBQ here to save your life – and we all helped her finish up some last minute packing and cleaning. That’s about it.

Stay tuned for future posts, which will include stories such as: getting pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving (I wasn’t, I swear); chasing a dog through a truck stop parking lot with no shoes on, just socked feet on snow and ice; and pathetic attempts at flirting with Mormon mechanics in Utah. Good times.

2 thoughts on “Day 1: our heroine's journey begins

  1. Nice to hear that you’ve got back safely. I think I would have punched that guy on the plane though.

  2. Welcome back! Hi Chris! Holly Carp, that guy on a plane needed an Intervention. If you know what I mean. And I think you do. 🙂
    It never ceases to amaze me that there are (a lot of) people who think that, since they´re light-skinned, and you´re light-skinned, that you are both members of some implicit secret racist white people´s club or something, and that they can say all kinds of intolerable things and expect you to agree with them.

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