The Lowdown Part I

So - now for the run down.

We awoke early on Sunday morning and arrived at the airport with plenty of time to get things in order, check bags, etc.

Then I kissed Chad goodbye and it was time to wait to board.

When I saw the inside of the plane, my heart sank - it was tiny- a crackerbox. Only two seats per row, instead of the usual three across on each side. I found my seat and settled in. So far, the seat next to me was empty but I knew another passenger would soon be joining me because they'd announced the flight was full - complete with screaming babies and whining toddlers.

So - test #1 - the seatbelt.

I grab one end and then the buckle part. It's about 2 inches too short. I strain and I'm sure my face is turning purple but I cannot fasten it.

This is it! This is the horrific moment I have been dreading. The seatbelt does not fit. I have now become so fat that I have surpassed normal airplane seatbelt maximum size!

I wonder - do I try to hide this. I know the flight attendant is going to catch me - they make that "lap check" twice.

Now - a million things are going through my mind - none of them really good. I'm screaming at myself on the inside for allowing me to become this fat. I'm feeling pitiful. I'm wondering if the airplane is really at fault because they try to squeeze so many people in at once. I wonder if the seats really are incredibly small. I began to get angry at "the man" and the big bad corporate airline. Then I become angry with myself again. Then I feel like I'm going to cry. The flight attendant is doing the lap check. I see that he has a seatbelt thingy in his hand. I remember something about extensions. Perhaps he's holding an extension - just in case. Of course! America is in the midst of an obesity crisis - this probably happens all the time on these flights. Then I think - no, it's probably the one he's going to use to do the demo about how the seatbelts work. Oh shit - it's the demo one! It's not an extension. There IS no extension. I'm going to be kicked off of the flight!

The heart begans to race as the flight attendant approaches. He looks at the laps of those across the aisle. Then he looks to me. One eyebrow raises.

I wrinkle my face, pleading- questioning.... Ah- he says, and very quickly and oh so discreetly hands me an extension. I exhale with relief.

I hastily fumble with the extension and manage to get everything fastened. I refuse to look at the passenger next to me. Instead, I pretend to read the Sky magazine in the seat pocket.

My mind is racing - I can't believe I have to wear an extension! What's next? Wheelchairs? Motorized carts? Will I have to be hosed down to bathe? Richard Simmons is probably circling my house as we speak, I think.

I began to realize that there is some sort of commotion at the front. I look at my watch and see that we are late - the plane hasn't taken off. Uh oh! I began to panic. In classic Ginger-style I instantly begin to think that it has something to do with me and the extension. I began to think - it really wasn't the extension - the guy just felt sorry for me and now he's given away his instructional seatbelt safety device and the crew is angrily questioning him. I do notice that they keep looking at me. At least, I think they're looking at me. I began to tell myself that I am not the center of the universe and that it's ridiculous for me to even THINK that this has anything to do with me! As if!

The captain comes on to apologize for the delay and says some last minute details are being worked out.

We sit for another 10 minutes and the passengers become a little restless.

Then the captain comes on again.

"Weeelll folks." (that's always how they start, isn't it?)

"It appears that the plane is overweight."

My entire body begins to go numb and I think- Oh no - this is it. This is the rock bottom experience. I imagine myself telling this very story to Richard Simmons as we both dab at tears in our eyes "And then they forced me off of the plane and that's when I knew that THIS WAS IT! That the weight was ruining my life!"

I imagined one of the flight attendants storming down the aisle to my seat, cattle prod in hand and demanding me to leave. I imagined him prodding my chubby ass as I waddled out of the plane in horror.

"What we're going to do here folks - is we're going to actually remove about 50 pieces of luggage and put them on another flight headed your way. Not to worry folks- your luggage will probably arrive before you do . . ."

Ok- so there were no cattle prods and they didn't roll me off of the plane. But somehow - I KNEW that one of those pieces of luggage they were wheeling off was mine - and somehow, I just knew that it wasn't going to be waiting for me when I arrived . . .

To be continued . . .

More of the lowdown tomorrow.

8:42 p.m. ::
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