CURLY FRIES AND PROSECO
“We don’t take cash,” the odd very greyish skin toned woman with the unlikely poor color choice of foundation said at the Enterprise desk as I went to check out. I have been on a no spending plan going on three months and for the first time was going to pay cash for my rental car. I have been doing a quasi kind of David Ramsey envelope system just to prove that I could handle the discipline and was excited to actually use real cash for a large expense.
“Really?” I said with a slightly surprised and confrontational tone. In case you didn’t realize this by now, I am sometimes a lot like the Alayne version of Elaine on Seinfeld in these precarious situations. The woman didn’t even crack a smile and this added to my annoyance, but I surely wasn’t going to end my lovely trip on a sour note so I put Elaine back in my pocket instead of going south. Progress.
I used my debit card. Same as cash as long as I don’t start spending the cash I put aside for the rental car at the Spanx store I just walked by at the airport. Why would I do that anyway, buy a contraption that sucks you in like your grandmother’s girdle. I recently heard a great podcast about Spanx owner, Sara Blakely and it planted the meme in my head that maybe I should own a pair. Then I remembered that all I ever wear is yoga pants and turtlenecks and I think those are clingy (and comfortable) enough.
Back to woman at the Enterprise counter. When I called to reserve it they told me they don’t take debit cards either to reserve the car unless you want to put a $450 hold on your card. It is the principle of the thing and for some reason it annoyed me when they told me this. Maybe it is a control thing or a service thing, but probably more like both combined. I didn’t want to put this on my charge card as part of my discipline for the past three years has been no charging. Period. Yes, I know, but all those points I am missing out on. I get plenty of points through my business charges and I am no longer part of the vortex of thinking that charge cards are going to give me bonus items. More times than not, the points are a pain in the ass to redeem and most consumers don’t likely know that all of those points come off the backs of small businesses, not the generosity of the credit card companies. Fuck them. I see how much they charge me as a business owner when someone uses an awards card, never mind the corporate rewards or American Express. This is a different topic for another piece at a later time though, back to the no cash thing.
I settled up with Enterprise who I ultimately really enjoy doing business with because they have their language of service down to a science and make you feel like they are taking great care of you as you charge $500 for a two week car rental. Off to the Southwest counter where I tried for at least the tenth time to scan the barcode on my phone so that it would register. It didn’t. Again. But then again, my thumb print never works with my I Phone so maybe it is just my techno energy resisting it all. The Southwest woman came over to assist and tried to patiently demonstrate how it works. I told her I was a helpless cause and was happy she was standing by. On that note, I took my paper boarding pass (I have a fear that the bar code will not come up on my phone at the precise time the person at the gate will try to scan it, call me old fashioned) and the two foot luggage id streaming out of the machine that had explicit instructions on how NOT to wrap around the luggage handle promptly to the baggage drop off counter for the other very kind Southwest lady to wrap it. The last time I made the attempt I must have missed the super bold size letters telling me what NOT to do and was scolded accordingly, but not in a mean way in a nice Southwest way. Has everything become semi self serve?
Onward to the bathroom, one of at least two times I use it before boarding the plane. This I can confidently say is not a menopause thing but just an Alayne thing as this has been part of my female family tribe since I was about seventeen. As I waited in line I watched a young woman move from sink faucet to sink faucet to make the automatic water come out to wash her soap laden hands with no luck. Finally the water activated and I thought about how confusing it is to go to the bathroom these days. Does the toilet auto flush? (if it does it usually does before you are finished because I am assuming here that male engineers who likely designed the auto toilet likely did not account for the no butt touching the seat squat position women do over a toilet seat so as to not butt to seat touch). The slightest movement and lets face it, squatting, peeing, then wiping while squatting does require some occasional movement hence the auto toilet flush begins when the whole situation has not been completed. This makes for some serious wet toilet water splashing, but this is just too much to explain here. If you are a woman who has done any traveling anywhere at all, enough said. You know what I mean. Of course to add to this, the bathroom stall planners add insult to injury by giving us a Lucite bag holder, humorously called “The Pouch,” with a kangaroo logo. Really? Attached high up on the wall to the left of the toilet seat to supposedly give us a place to put our purses. Once again missing the mark because I am guessing they are basing their measurements on some evening bag Doris Day carried when she went on a date with Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk. The bags we carry especially on a plane are not evening bag size and we are forced to put them on the floor between our squatting legs because take note here, they are too heavy for the hooks on the back of the door too. Remember we squat which just like the boys pee standing, a wet floor in the exact spot your bag must be placed is highly likely. Ahhh to be a man in a bathroom, just once.
I am always confused by what is now auto and what is not. Toilets. Mostly. Sinks occasionally, but then sometimes the soap dispensers are or not and I have found myself standing like a fool with my hands under a dispenser that is not auto waiting until I wake up from my slumber and actually pump the soap. Then there are the auto paper towels, but sometimes not and the alternative is the hand blower. As of late it is these snazzy yellow Dyson numbers that blow your hands so dry that your skin looks like it is going to blow off with the force reminding you that yes, you are getting old and the creppy skin blowing looked a lot better before you decided on a wind tunnel to dry your hands.
After I managed to get out of the bathroom in one dry piece off I went to the gate with two hours to spare and decided to head to the bar, plop myself down and write this piece. I am fifty three now and made a decision today to order a nice glass of Proseco and a bowl of curly fries. Why not? I had a great vacation, I am alive and ordering a glass of Proseco as I wait patiently for my gate to be called sounded so decadent, so female, sipping it out of a champagne glass on a Sunday afternoon. I seldom drink before flying or during flying for that matter and blew all cares to the wind on this last day of a ten day solo vacation of reading, writing and hanging with my grandfather. The hell with the self imposed rules and regs, I am tan and rested and this is the sign of not only a great vacation, but of a great life well lived and thoroughly enjoyed.