Is airline travel for the faint of heart?

PH-BQC KLM  B777-200  & sunset

The Significant Other, the Son, Roxy, and I recently visited the city of Prague. After years of staring at this city’s name on my bucket list, I thought it was time.

The Son wasn’t too keen on going but I played the mom card. You know, the one that induces so much guilt, the child in question (or young adult, in this case) has no option other than comply.

“Honey, mom needs this. You’ve been talking about moving out and I’m struggling. I really think this trip will help with the transition and who knows, it might even prevent  “empty nest syndrome.”

Of course he caved and just like that, I was busy searching for a way to fly for peanuts.

To my delight, KLM had a special fare and we snatched it up. Unfortunately, our good luck didn’t last. Little Roxy’s ticket cost more than our own and came with a list of travel stipulations.

The day of the flight, they asked for her passport (dogs in Europe have a document called a passport where all vaccinations and health notes are recorded), microchip card, and health certificate. They asked that she stand, turn around, and lay in her bag. The procedure was so thorough, I thought they’d call the pilot to do a rectal exam on the poor pup.

Aware that we were irritated, the KLM associate said, “You understand that it’s important that our furry travelers are comfortable and meet flight criteria, don’t you?”

I replied, “With what you’re charging, why don’t you give them their own seat?” The Significant Other chimed in, “More importantly, why don’t passengers get treated to the same considerations?” At this point, the Son walked away and pretended not to know us.

I’m convinced airlines do their best to annoy customers. “Will you be stowing that in the overhead bin?” the woman handling our tickets asked, pointing to my purse.

Tempted to say, “No, I’m wearing it on my head,” I nodded. Exasperated, she sputtered, “No, no no! Small items must go under the seat in front of you.” The Significant Other asked, “Isn’t that where Roxy’s going?” Rolling my eyes I turned to him and said, “Yes, which means my bag will be under your seat. However, if that leaves you with little leg room, perhaps Roxy can wear it on her head.”

Meanwhile, the Son, who was standing ten feet away but still listening to our exchange, sent me a text that read, “For sure this is the last time I am flying with you freaks. Never again, mom!”

Boarding passes in hand, we approached the line at security. I turned to the Son who was sporting both dark sunglasses and a beard that would make Moses proud and whispered, “If they pull you over for a ‘random’ security check, don’t make a fuss.” Sighing deeply, he inched forward.

“Ma’am, ma’am, can you please step to the side? You’ve been selected for a random security check.” A fast approaching middle aged woman with a ten pound dog and a purse the size of an envelope and I was being pulled to the side? The irony was not wasted on the Son who laughed under his breath as he waltzed past me.

I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the size of airline seats. “Honey, are these seats getting smaller or are my hips spreading wider?”

“Is this a trick question?” asked the Significant Other.

“Don’t answer that!”, warned the Son, “No matter what you say, this will not end well!”

Muttering “idiots,” I squeezed my ample, yet fantastic hips into the “torture chair” and prayed the arm rest wouldn’t have to be surgically removed upon arrival.

An hour and a half later, we arrived in Prague and folks, it was worth every irritant that lead up to it. Pictures do not do this city justice. I believe it is by far one of the most beautiful places in Europe.

There is much to say about our trip, but for now I’ll leave you with a few captures. Stay tuned for more posts about our travels.

Prague 1

Prague 2

Prague 3

What’s your favorite European city?
Continue reading “Is airline travel for the faint of heart?”

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Who wants the joined-at-the-hip type of love?


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by helen sotiriadis

Last night, the Significant Other and I were invited for coffee by acquaintances I’ve nicknamed the “kiss kiss” couple.

The nickname alone should give away the fact that these people are of the “joined at the hip” variety.

You now the type.

They’re the couple who’s always blowing kisses at each other, hugging for no reason, and finishing each other’s sentences.

Visits to their home result in my spending half the time in the bathroom–fighting off the need to hurl, or employing visualization to transport me to faraway places; places where I don’t have to hear them coo and whisper to each other.

I should clarify that the Significant Other originally met them while on a walking holiday in France.

A walking holiday?

Who the hell walks on a holiday?

Again, that should give you an inkling of how “eccentric” these people are; the Significant Other included.

But I digress.

Their names are Lou and Sue.

No, they’re not, but let’s pretend they are for the sake of this post.

From the moment I met Lou and Sue, I knew they would bring strife to our relationship.

They’re the kind of couple who sits so close to each other, anyone who doesn’t know them thinks they’re conjoined twins.

When Lou’s cold, Sue throws on a sweater, and when Sue’s hot, Lou takes off his shirt.

Whenever Sue leaves the room, Lou follows, and if Lou has to go to the bathroom, Sue goes with him.

Watching them makes me break out in hives.

The Significant Other, on the other hand, deems their behavior romantic, and labels mine cynical and childish.

But really, how many Kodak moments and PDA’s should we be forced to witness before opening the balcony door to jump to our death?

Sadly, it matters not how many times we visit Sue and Lou (thus far, only twice), we’re made to witness the same performance every time.

And I say performance because I have a hard time believing people like this really exist.

Lou cracks a joke we’ve heard at least three times, and Sue laughs her head off like he’s Steve Martin doing stand up.

Sue brings out a tray with coffee and store-bought cookies and Lou gushes like she’s serving orange duckling flambé.

Lou talks and Sue sits riveted on the edge of her chair.

Sue giggles and Lou says, “Your giggle is so cute!”

Witnessing the spectacle makes me dry heave, a reaction which results in frustrated sighs from the Significant Other.

Fortunately, leaving Lou and Sue’s stifles my desire to light myself on fire

Unfortunately, it compels the Significant Other to psychoanalyze my behavior.

“Does Lou and Sue’s loving relationship threaten and intimidate you?”

“Don’t you mean, does Lou and Sue’s loving relationship make me want to scratch my eyes out?”

“Is it so hard for you to believe that two people can care about each other like that?”

“Is it so hard for you to believe Sue and Lou might be under the influence of carbon monoxide poisoning?”

“Be cynical. It’s what you do best.”

“Be foolishly idealistic. It’s what you do best.”

I’m convinced Sue and Lou are the reason mainstream couples fight.

It’s like they use their “kiss kiss” behavior to purposefully wreak havoc in people’s relationships and laugh in the process.

I can almost hear Lou and Sue now.

Sue: “How long before they’re giving each other the silent treatment?”
Lou: About sixty seconds.
Sue: “I’m so glad we’re not like them.”
Lou: “I’m glad you don’t spend that much time in the bathroom.”

Imagining this scenario makes me want to bring brownies to Lou and Sue’s the next time we visit; brownies laced with laxatives.

That ought to show Lou how much time Sue can spend in the bathroom.

Do you know a Lou and Sue?

Disclaimer: This post is written for entertainment purposes only. I’m not hating on love, folks. I’m simply portraying how I see it from the other side of the room.

The return of the Speedo?

Last summer, I wrote a post titled, “Is that a banana hammock I spy?

In it, I addressed the “Speedo” controversy, or certain men’s misguided impression that they look hot and sexy in swim trunks that resemble the bottom half of a woman’s two-piece.

At the time, I thought this fashion faux pax had been an isolated event; a time where the fashion police had gone on summer break.

As a result, a large amount of clueless men had taken to strutting their stuff in underwear-like garments capable of making George of the Jungle blush.

Fast forward a year, and what I thought was a one time flux, is once again a reality.

And ladies, we’re not talking Matthew McConaughey in a loincloth.

Instead, we’re talking specimens like these:

Don't have a Speedo? Improvise and make your own!
To ride a bike? Why not? But don't forget your helmet! Safety first!

Something tells me that if Freud were to come back from the grave to perform psychoanalysis on me, he still wouldn’t be able to make me forget the horrors I’ve seen.

Hence, I feel it my civic duty to create awareness to the dangers related to Speedo exposure.

Why?
Because I don’t want anyone else to go undergo this traumatic experience.

No one should have to wake up in the middle of the night screaming and bathed in cold sweat; wondering if it’s inevitable to witness another man in a Speedo.

Therefore, I’ve written the following letter, in the hope that men who insist on wearing this type of suit will take notice and stop the senseless pain and suffering they’re causing onlookers.

Dear Man in a Speedo,
You, the one wearing the swimsuit which has only been acceptable on the body of Olympic athletes back in the 1970’s. I’m talking to you. Times have changed. We now have something available to you called “board shorts.” This type of swim suit will not only make you look more fashionable, it will also prevent your junk from playing peekaboo. It’s no longer necessary to wear a polyester/Spandex fabric scrap in public, or show off your package like you’re auditioning for a parcel company commercial. Speedos are not sexy and do not make us want to rip them off your body. On the contrary. This type of garment is best suited to be worn in the privacy of your own home, or if you’re ever trying to bring your wife/girlfriend out of a deep depression by inducing laughter. They can also be worn in your private jacuzzi, shower or bathtub. They might even be a good idea if you want to dress as a Chippendale model for Halloween, or if you ever run out of clean underwear. You should know that if you insist on wearing one, the majority of women will mock you, laugh at you, and snap photos of you to post on their blogs. We surely hope you’re not wearing this hideous garment, hoping to be spotted and featured in the next Calvin Klein perfume ad. We’d like to understand why you insist on wearing a Speedo. Do you hate yourself so much or do you hate us more? Is this your way of liberating your naughty boy side and showing us your “goodies”? If so, you’re wasting your time. You’re wasting your time because we want you to stop. We want you to stop exposing yourself in this manner. Stop forcing us to be unwilling audience members to your personal version of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Please. Just. Stop. Do yourself a favor and buy a pair of board shorts. We’re begging you.
Attentively,
A woman, who after seeing you, will never be the same

The brighter the Speedo, the better!
Who needs pants when you're wearing a Speedo?
Nothing brings a couple closer together than almost matching suits!

When was the last time you had a close encounter with a Speedo?