Here we are, on an airplane at 35,000 feet. I am on vacation….well, I am supposed to be on vacation. But right now, I am on the verge of tears. Ah, fuck it, I’m crying. Full on weeping and thank god I have my lap top to write it all down or I might explode. Why am I crying? Well, I’m crying because I am frustrated, I am crying because I am embarrassed, I am crying because I am angry and I am crying because I am hungry. In my 37 years upon this orb, I have yet to find another response to those emotions other than tears. Don’t you dare think that I am some weepy emotional wreck, I really cry very little. I am not a drama queen and I despise those who cannot take things in stride. I, right now, cannot take things in stride.
I am flying to Cancun to watch one of my favorite people marry one of my other favorite people. My favorite person of all, Trev is at my side and my children are at home with another fave, my wonderfully, supportive sister. I have a glass of wine, a lap top and a week of child free relaxation ahead of me.
So you may ask, Jesus, Laurie, could you be more of a fucking whiner? What the fuck?
Quit crying for the love of God. What could you possibly have to cry about?
I agree and am going to stop crying quite shortly. I just need sometimes to wallow in my own self-pity. And that’s okay. Okay? So, let’s break this shit down and get to the bottom of my tears shall we? Won’t this be fun? Hey? Who ever said I wasn’t good to you?
Why am I frustrated?
Because despite the fact that I booked a gluten free meal on this flight 7 months ago when we booked, I don’t have one. The lady across from me has one, some guy three rows back has one but not me! I am frustrated because I confirmed my Celiacs on more than one occasion with the airline and the travel agent and yet, I sit here starving. I am frustrated because sometimes it fucking sucks to have Celiacs while everyone around you has a hot pizza or a Montreal smoked meat sandwich.
Why am I embarrassed?
Because now the people around me have heard the word CELIACS about fifteen times. They are trying to eat their food, enjoy the movie and start their liquor fueled vacation. Instead, they have heard me tell now, four flight attendants that I have Celiacs and need a gluten free meal. They heard me confirm with the flight attendant BEFORE TAKE OFF that I needed a GF meal, they heard me ask about it when the lady across the row got a GF meal, they watched as the flight attendants all stood around our row humming and hawing about who was going to give me the bad news and they had to watch my face as they tried to hand me a banana on a tray, as my gluten free meal. I’m not even REMOTELY exaggerating. They put a browning banana on a tray and tried to hand it to me like it didn’t see three other people get a cute little airplane box full of a “meal”. Now, the poor suckers in rows 15,16 and 17 are listening to me cry. I am embarrassed. The lead flight attendant has been loud and verbal and everyone from rows 6-10 knows that I have Celiacs. I don’t like making a big deal about my Celiacs. I beg of you, notice me for my cute shoes, my pretty face, my funny lines, my writing, my hair, my random 30 second dance parties, my need to tuck in the shirt tags of strangers…. but DON’T notice me for my Celiacs. EVER.
Why am I angry?
Because I asked and asked and asked and the flight attendants tried to pass off a banana on a tray as a “meal”. I am angry because they didn’t acknowledge me, they just shrugged from one to another, each of them avoiding the fact that I CAN SEE THEM and their awkward whisperings to each other about my lack of meal. I am angry because when the lead flight attendant came up to talk to me she shrugged at me and said, “I have nothing for you. The GF meal isn’t even that good.” And then when I refused the brown banana replied like I was a petulant toddler, “Oh so now you aren’t going to eat anything?” I am especially angry because when she shrugged and said loudly, “there is nothing I can do.” I had to reply, “You could apologise.” And she muttered, “I apologise.”
I am angry because I did my part. I fulfilled my part of this bargain. I checked with the travel agent three times, I confirmed on the phone yesterday and I confirmed with the flight attendant before we took off. I am angry that no one else has to hold up their end of the bargain and its okay.
I am angry at myself for falling for it all. I should have known better. I should have brought something. Things like this have happened to me before and yet when the travel agent told me I was going to get a GF meal on the airplane I giggled in glee and shivered in the indulgence of it all. I fucking fell for it and I, of all people, know better. I just wanted it to go so well, I wanted it all to be so nice and worry free and yet, here I am, hungry, angry and frustrated and no one can do one thing about it.
Why am I hungry?
Seriously? You have to ask?
One flight attendant did stop and sincerely say, “Ma’am, please let me get you something to drink. What can I get you to make it better? I really am so sorry, I would be upset too if I were you.”
And I thanked her for saying that because if the “LEAD” flight attendant had said that, I would have thanked her for her honestly and moved on.
I hope that the resort does a better job.
Okay – so the resort did do a much better job. I had fantastic meals and lots of Gluten Free love. Of course, I was also three sheets to the wind by noon so they might have just fed me lay chips and pickles at every meal and I’m not sure I would have noticed. I shall blog more about this when someone fills me in on the details.
I had a fantastic time and, despite conversations with three Sun Wing reps, did NOT get a gluten free meal on the return flight....shocker