I know all of you out there in Baristaville have been worried sick about me and my travel plans. “Oh, no,” I could almost hear you collectively say. “What is to become of Stacey and her trip to Paris?”
It’s cancelled. But don’t worry about me. I’m fine. If you could, please pray for Kevin. He’s sinking into a deep depression, and I fear for him.
We made the decision to cancel our trip Monday morning when Charles de Gaulle Airport still hadn’t reopened, and we were due to leave in 5 days. Plus, I saw the photo on the front page of the Sunday New York Times, which displayed hoards of people crammed into a Parisian train station and yet another on their website showing trapped passengers sleeping on cots in a European airport.
While I’m sure European airports are beautiful, as everything in Europe seems to be, I thought our celebration might have lost a little of its luster and even more of its romance had we spent our last nights there stuck in a terminal wedged up against strangers.
And, anyway, my experience two weeks earlier traveling with Kevin to Ft. Lauderdale had ominous implications for our Parisian vacation.
We went to Florida for the wedding of a good friend and for a reunion of sorts with old college buddies. All of us flew in for the weekend. Without kids. The good times started Friday night at the rehearsal dinner and continued right up until our departure Sunday morning, and in the midst of all that laughing and goofing around we got to witness two people so in love they wanted to commit themselves forever to each other.
Over that weekend we heard many speeches about the bride and groom’s devotion to each other, their complementary nature, and the happiness they brought one another. Watching the pair exchange vows, I delighted in Michael and Tiffany’s joy and was reminded of that blissful period in my own life.
The next morning Kevin and I set out to catch our flight back home. When we arrived at the airport we found the plane was crowded, and we couldn’t arrange seats together. I made my way back to the very last row on the plane as Kevin took his seat up front. When we landed, I reunited with Kevin in Newark airport, which is when he informed me he spent the entire flight in first class.
Apparently, right before take-off the flight attendant offered him an upgrade. I imagine him leaping out of his seat and darting into first class before the attendant even uttered all the words, but he claims that’s not how it happened. He insists he tried to persuade the attendant to give me the seat, but the attendant refused, saying only that the flight was about to depart and he had to make a decision. The decision for Kevin was clear.
Although we had just come from a weekend of effusive love, adoration, and dedication, Kevin could not find an opportunity during the three-hour flight home to offer me the seat. The thing is Kevin frequently gets upgraded because he travels often. I, however, have never sat in first class. But for one reason or another Kevin was barred from sharing his good fortune with his love, best friend and partner of ten years. Not to mention mother of his children.
I guess I no longer have to worry about what this incident portends for our Parisian vacation. Although today, one day before we were to leave, the AP reports air travel is proceeding normally across Europe, except for Iceland, which is now for the first time since the April 14 eruption being affect by ash from its own volcano.
I hear you can get cheap flights to Iceland now, but we’re going to wait. We plan on attempting the trip to Paris again next year – if we’re still married.
(Photo: Flickr/Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester)