Monday, November 14, 2011


I don’t mind flying.  It’s like shopping – a necessary evil.  The best part of both being the overhead fluorescent lights found in airplane toilets and dressing room cubicles - perfect lighting for blackhead squeezing. 
I have passed many a shopping hour digging out those hard-to-see-under-ordinary-household-lighting-chin-heads.  I may not have a dress to wear to the wedding I was meant to be shopping for, but at least I know I’ll be going with clear skin. 
It’s a fabulous by-product of an otherwise expensive and rather boring activity, though you do cop a few stares from irritated passengers when you finally come out of the airplane toilet. 
Obviously, due to your time behind the locked door, they think you’ve been getting rid of some seriously hazardous material and they know they’ve got no choice but to head on in there and suffer the scent. 
But I don’t think anyone actually poos on an airplane on account of the bread rolls they serve.  It is like eating a block of mildly flavoured sandstone, guaranteed to wedge in your colon and halt the passing of any solid waste. 
I think it’s a deliberate ploy on the part of the airlines. 
I don’t care which celebrity chef does your airline’s food, every meal contains the sandstone roll to prevent in-flight toilet blockages, overly long queues and potential diarrhea. 
I have contemplated telling my fellow passengers what I’ve really been up to in there, but somehow I’m not sure they would consider my mini-facial worth the fifteen minutes I made them wait.
This time round however, I arrived in LA with the same clogged skin I had at take-off on account of my child only sleeping 3 out of 14 hours, and spending the other 11 hooning up and down the aisles, finding the long legs of only good-looking, single men to help her stand up when she wanted to.
She took a particular liking to a gent in 47A.
Seriously, it looked like a stitch-up. Like I’d deliberately sent her his way.
Luckily she didn’t stay put long enough for me to have to engage in embarrassing small talk. Although I must say, my girl has excellent taste.

What’s that phrase? An old bird like me can look at the menu, I just can’t order.

And so we landed in LA, my skin none the better for it, and the first leg of our journey to the Big Apple over.
It had been our thinking to give Q a chance to stretch her legs by breaking the trip in LA, but since she stretched them the whole way there, she was then ready for a little shut eye, and literally fell face forward into my lap on the cab ride to the hotel, where we were shortly meeting friends, thereby making it impossible for me to nap and leading to a 36 hour stretch of wakedness which seriously blew.

Wakedness is not a word as far as I can tell. Which should indicate to you just how tired I really was. Am.

There is a reason the Army uses sleep deprivation as a means of torture and punishment.

Two days later we boarded an American Airlines flight bound for my favourite town, NYC.

Typically, I am not a fan of AA, but I was a fan this time because I had used my points through Qantas to gain free flights and free makes me a fan of anything.

But it wasn’t just that. Someone in the marketing team, or perhaps is was customer relations, maybe HR, I don’t know, but someone had alerted the flight attendants to the notion that it is in fact their job to serve people, that a pleasant attitude is pretty much mandatory and that ironing your uniform has the dual purpose of making it look like you care a bit even if you don’t, and reassuring a nervous flyer that there is some sort of attention to detail within a company responsible for flying you through the air from one location to another.

Well done American Airlines. I will stop besmirching your name.

In an effort to tire Q out, we let her crawl madly about LAX (the most boring airport in the universe, which meant Q was interesting to all and forced me into more banal conversations about my daughter, parenting and whether or not we’ll try to manipulate the sex of our second child) until boarding time.

The flight wasn’t full, but bulkhead seats are the popular ones, so we had another family across the aisle with a daughter who looked to be about four, and a woman next to us who we immediately apologised to on Q’s behalf.

‘Oh don’t worry,’ she says, ‘I’ve flown with my sister’s two children, I understand. Do you breastfeed? My sister did. Does. Her children are four. She’s still breastfeeding. Oh no, I think it’s weird too, don’t worry. She’s into attachment parenting do you know what that is?’

Gregory was still looking horrified at the four comment, so I shook my head on our behalf.

‘It’s when you never say no to your children, you just give them other suggestions instead.’

Excuse me please Quinn, before you go crawling off that veranda there, might I suggest you read a book instead.’
Yeah right.

After we’d overcome our shock, we got ourselves comfortable and it occurred to me as I watched the woman with the daughter wipe down every surface with a sterile wipe, that Q was currently munching on snacks from hands I’d forgotten to wipe clean after crawling on the airport floor.

The fact that I forgot to wipe her hands makes me a bad parent.
The fact that she was eating organic kale puffs with dirty hands makes me a good parent.
They cancel each other out.

‘You have a little baby girl,’ says the woman’s daughter, immediately identifying herself as a genius for not thinking Q was a boy.
And so we begin to chat, I ask her about the toys she brought along, the bible colouring-in book she’s working on and her favourite thing to do at school.
‘Circle time,’ she says to me proudly.
‘What’s that?’ I ask, adding that I thought it was probably something like pass-the-parcel and that that sounded like fun to me.
‘Oh no,’ says the mother, ‘it’s word and picture recognition time. She loves it. She’s homeschooled.’
And then she gave me an ‘I feel sorry for you because it is clear you’re not going to offer your daughter the same opportunities smile’ and stopped talking to me.

Well I made Q a book of the alphabet and numbers. 
If that’s not word and picture recognition I don’t know what is.
Clearly this is a zig-zag & zucchini for the letter Z,
I know, I should be an artist.


  1. Oh I loved this post so much! Also the rear view mirror in the car is great. Just gave myself a facial right now as the kids play tennis xx

  2. Thanks lady. I'm a chin-hair plucker in the rear view myself.
    Gross. And embarrassing.


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