The man at the airline counter is talking to me. Ok, more like at me. He’s cheerful, pleasant, polite, and I’m too busy plotting ways to get him fired to hear a word he’s saying. As the reality of my situation becomes abundantly clear, I pull myself away from various airport murder scenarios to get real with myself. This man has really done absolutely nothing to cause my current predicament. I got there all on my own. There are approximately 5 and a half reasons I’m upset with myself at the moment:
- I am moving to Germany in 2 hours to move in with a boyfriend I haven’t seen in 9 months.
- The three suitcases heaped at my feet are (shocker) all undeniably over the weight limit
- I’ve completely forgotten to get a visa which means I need to book a return ticket immediately as in right right now at the counter.
- I’ve learned absolutely no German except the word for bread (because, priorities)
- I am not being nice to the airline man, something I’ll inevitably feel bad about for about the next 15 months or so
5 1/2. My mom is here.
Now, my mom is easily the most level headed, supportive person ever so why is that fueling my current bout of self loathing? Because her calm, understanding presence is reminding me of how grown up I am not. It makes the lump in my throat bigger and the reality of my move undeniable. The tears that have been threatening to fall all day are stinging the back of my eyes and I’m finding it hard to breathe. The airport is a wonderful place to have an emotional meltdown, I doubt anyone would even blink in my direction. I even hear SFO has a pig somewhere for this exact cause. However, I’ve just gotten brand new eyelash extensions and am not about to sacrifice them to an ill timed airport fit. What else is there to do but swallow hard and give myself a mental pep talk.
“Ok girl, you’re just going to take these bags to the side and find some cheap ass flight to the US. Anywhere is fine, Minnesota might be cheap. What?? Where did that come from? You’ve got this. Your eyelashes look awesome. It’s totally fine that you didn’t plan your international move at all. There’s nothing wrong with that. Tons of people plan literally nothing like idiots…wait no, no, no keep going with the nice stuff. Your eyelashes look totally awesome. You’re just going to let your mom help you one more time. Like a useless baby…NOPE positive thoughts only. You’ve got this…and great eyelashes…..”
There’s so much people tell you about moving to Europe. A lot of it has to do with what an exciting adventure you’re going on, how jealous they are, and how you’re just going to eat SO much amazing bread. Fond memories and anecdotes about study abroad programs are recalled and repeated often and affectionately. Having studied abroad in Kenya back in the day and evidently missed the rose colored days of a European semester abroad, I was more than ready for one of my own. Adult study abroad anyone? I was more than happy to jump on images of pastries, wine hills, ancient cathedrals, and cobblestone lined streets in the moonlight. I was so taken by these ideas that I totally and utterly failed to do any sort of logistical planning. I thought I’d just figure it out as it goes. As long as there were pretzels to eat and wine to drink, what could go wrong?
So here I am in the airport with, in the plot twist to end all plot twists, everything going wrong. At least as far as I’m concerned. But, of course, because my mom is there everything turns out alright with the baggage and the return ticket. She and my brother (dragged along for most likely this exact reason) rearrange my belongings and book a ticket back for Thanksgiving. Problems solved all around. She’s calm and still convinced there’s a world of pastries and moonlit cobblestones in my future. More than anything, she believes in me (for some reason) and in the wonderful man (for much clearer reasons) I’m moving to be with. What more does a girl need?
I dwell on this as I go through security, just long enough for me to totally forgive the airline man. I’ve even managed to forgive myself a little bit , deciding to direct any remaining aggression at my boyfriend. He is, of course, asleep in Germany and therefore has done nothing at all to deserve it. This makes him the perfect target. I board the plane and am settled in my seat, working up a nice long list of things that I can unnecessarily blame him for when the flight attendant approaches, startling me.
“Would you like a drink ma’am?”
Flustered, I indicate the complimentary water bottle I picked up off my seat.
“Oh, no thank you. I already have one.”
“Oh no ma’am, don’t you want the wine that comes with your dinner?”
What more does a girl need?