Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Long Journey Home Brings Doubt

Doha to London—fine.

London to DC—even better because it was first-class instead of business.

DC to Home State City—we have a problem.

As I fly back to Home State City, Hubby is stuck in DC’s Dulles airport, hopefully getting arrangements made for a hotel stay for the night. Somehow, somewhere along the way, the British Airways system failed to confirm his United Airlines flight back to Home State City, and when we arrived in DC, the flight was already overbooked. Tired, ready to get home to my kids, bursting with hormones and throbbing with the pain of cankles the size of canteloupes, I. Was. Done. My ticket was fine, but the thought that Hubby might not get a seat on the flight back was more than I could take. Actually I didn’t break down at first. I was frustrated, but I really thought we’d get everything fixed somehow after calling the travel agency our university used and getting assurance from them that they’d try to get it taken care of.

Yeah, well, it turns out that even travel agents can’t make seats magically appear when they’ve been overbooked.

I called my mom to let her know what was going on, mainly just to give her a heads up. I have an uncle in the DC area, so it wasn’t like Hubby would be completely stranded, but we had no idea if he was home, had plans, etc. I made sure to let the travel agent know that it was their responsibility to find an alternative flight and cover any accommodations necessary. While waiting to hear back from them, my mom’s reaction is what put me over the edge.

Mom to Me: “Sh*# happens. It happens to everybody. You seem to think nobody makes mistakes and nothing bad ever happens to anyone but you. But one of you better get on that flight because I told your daughter you’d be home tonight.”

As I started to break down in tears, all I could mumble was that I’d call her back when we knew more. Hearing me cry, all she could say was, “What is wrong?”And she really had no clue why I’d be so upset. All I needed to hear was “Gosh, I’m sorry this is happening to you guys…that sucks.” Or, “I can understand how frustrating that would be after so many hours travelling already.” Or, anything else that showed a modicum of empathy and compassion for our situation. Any of my friends would get why I’d be upset and how exhausted we both were. So why can’t my mother? Why does it seem like she’s never on my side? Even though I’m not surprised by her reaction—it’s actually quite typical of her—I never stop being hurt when she does things like this.

After everyone at Gate A1 saw my ugly-face cry, and as many people as one could expect willingly gave up their seat for comp tickets, I hugged Hubby, gave him the cell phone, and boarded the plane by myself. Things only got worse after that. I’ve spent the entire flight convincing myself this is the wrong decision. I can’t bear the thought of taking the girls away from their grandparents. I can’t stand the idea of my parents missing out on birthdays, special occasions, or just being close to be with us in case of an emergency. My body and mind are completely overwhelmed with sadness just thinking about relocating. I’m scared. No, I’m terrified that I’m making a bad decision, and I can’t imagine going through with this.

1 comment:

kenandbelly said...

That sucks-- the airport situation and the less-than-empathetic response. You have my empathy if it helps.

Get some rest, hug that kiddo. You'll feel so much better (and less hormonal) soon. Everything's going to be fine-- including your adventure. :)