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  • Writer's pictureDana Starr

Do I Smell Cotton Candy?

If you have ever, even for just five minutes, felt like the most uncool person on the planet then you will be able to relate to this little travel tidbit. The Spousal Unit and I had just started our much-anticipated trip to the Côte d'Azur. Of course, to get there from the middle-of-nowhere, which is where we live, is no easy task BUT I just kept telling myself, "It will be worth it. It will be worth it." That's what I kept saying to myself as I squeezed into the dreaded middle seat in preparation for the nine-hour flight.

I whispered my mantra, "It will be worth it," to myself as the Spousal Unit to my left and the very large, hairy man to my right left me not one inch of room on the shared arm rests. "It's okay, I'll just cross my arms over my ample chest for the next nine hours. There are worse things," I whispered to myself.

I almost snapped when the small child seated behind me began to vigoursly kick the back of my seat, but I just whispered my mantra and flexed my arms in order to retain at least a tiny amount of blood flow in my upper-limbs.

It was about that time that the lovely, young woman seated in front of me decided to recline in my lap for the next eight-and-a-half hours. "It's okay. At least we are not sitting next to the toilet this time. It will be worth it," I once again uttered to myself.

We finally landed at Heathrow with plenty of time to spare to catch our connecting flight to Nice. Bahahaha, famous last words. By the time we were shuttled across the entire length of England in order to catch our connecting flight, we had 30 minutes to spare. Well, guess what? British Airways gave our seats to two other folks because we were not at the gate with an hour to spare. Seriously? Yes, seriously. No problem, just put us on another flight. Well, there's not another flight for another six hours. Okay, okay just repeat my mantra, "It will be worth it, it will be worth it."

I don't really mind a layover because that's the perfect opportunity to practice one of my favorite activies, people watching. Even I don't really want to stare at people for SIX HOURS; however, we had no choice. Things really can't get any worse at this point, right? Wrong. The Spousal Unit manages to drop his only pair of glasses and then proceed to step on his own glasses. I'm now leading my blind husband through an unfamiliar airport in a futile attempt to find our gate. Of course, there's no real hurry. After all, we have SIX HOURS to kill.

British Airways has such an amusing sense of humor. Just for the fun of it, they don't post gate numbers until the very last second just so they can watch fat, old folks make a run for it. No problem, my blind husband and my fat self found the gate with time to spare. Whoa, wait just a damn minute. That's no fun. Let's throw a wrench in things and make folks change gates, but let's do it in a very subtle way so that at least half of the folks will have no idea where to go or how to get there or that they are even supposed to move to another gate.

"It will be worth it. It will be worth it," I gasped as the Spousal Unit and myself frantically searched for the proper gate. We have a few minutes to spare. It's okay, we've only been waiting six hours for a flight we are probably going to miss. I started crying at this point.

Finally, finally, finally we arrive at our gate and it is heaven. I have to put my sunglasses on because the super-chic, super-skinny, super-rich, super-cool people at this gate are so beautiful it is creating a glare. The air literally smells like cotton candy because super-chic, super-skinny, super-rich, super-cool people smell like cotton candy. Of course, the Spousal Unit and myself do NOT smell like cotton candy because we have been running all over the airport like chickens with our heads cut off.

As we approach the gate, an announcer comes over the loud speaker to announce, in French, that the flight to Nice has been delayed. Of course, we don't speak French; although, the Spousal Unit thinks he does. We didn't really know what was going on. All we knew was the cool people were perturbed. I dare not ask a cool person to explain because they really don't want to make eye contact or, God forbid, actually talk to a not-cool person. To make matters worse, I'm getting a major case of the giggles by now because of the completely ridiculous situtation we are in. I mean seriously, you can either cry or laugh and I had alreay cried.

Eventually, we did board our flight and land in Nice, the first stop of a fabulous vacation. The scenery, the food, the drink, the music, the accomodations, THE PEOPLE. We met four very cool folks, Anne and Jim and Kath and Sandy, who have become great friends to us. So, was it worth it? What do you think?

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