Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Marriage 501, Lecture 423: Coat of many colors
SH and I went to Pittsburgh over New Year's. Had the usual great fun visiting our friends, although there is always the Damoclean sword of, "If you can visit them, why can't you spend more time with us?" threatening SH's vacation time.
But fie on them.
Minimal drama, except for the flight there. There, we had drama.
This was after we had spent 15 minutes in the Delta lounge, trying to figure out how to snag the little Nutellas, which the Milwaukee Delta lounge people very wisely now keep on the front desk where they can watch them. I might be a shameless little Nutella snatcher, but I am not shameless enough to do it under the watchful eye of a middle-aged midwestern lady and in front of a sign that states that snacks are to be enjoyed in the lounge, please.
But snag we could not, so we settled for Delta lounge coffee, which is not very good, but which is enhanced considerably by the addition of Bailey's.
Which is not kept in front of the Delta lounge people. Which makes no sense to me because hello this is Wisconsin and booze is valued more than chocolate here.
We flew to Detroit to get a connection to Pittsburgh. The passenger behind us on the Detroit flight was very anxious about making his connection. He kept asking the flight attendant which gate the flight to Boston left from. Would he make his connection? Would he? Would he?
The flight attendant kept trying to reassure him that our flight would arrive on time and if he had scheduled the entire trip through Delta, they would have allowed enough time for his connection.
But no. He wanted her to ask the pilot what the Boston gate would be. Please please please please pleasepleaseplease.
I'm sorry, sir, she repeated. We can't get that information any more. But our flight is on time.
When we landed (on time), the guy jumped up, grabbed his things, and rushed to the front of the plane. At least, he rushed as much as you can when the doors are not open. As in, there is no point in rushing because you can't leave until the doors are open.
SH and I waited. He had scheduled a two-hour layover just in case. SH is smart that way.
We let the people ahead of us leave and then we stood to leave.
SH reached for his coat.
He grabbed a coat. The one remaining coat.
It wasn't his.
SH started to freak out.
I, of course, remained calm. As is my wont.
SH freaks out, I stay calm.
Which of us do you want around in an emergency?
So. SH is freaking out. I am saying, "We'll ask the gate agent to call the gate for the Boston flight and get the guy."
Which I tried to do, but the agent said that the Boston gate was just three gates away and I could walk there just as fast. Which made me roll my eyes. I knew I was going to have to go there anyhow, but would it have killed him to call?
No it would not have.
SH started to hyperventilate.
"This coat is not nearly as nice as my coat! This is a cheap coat! What are we going to do?"
"Calm down," I said. "We'll get it back one way or another."
SH moaned. "He'll want to keep my coat. My coat is nicer."
While SH waited for his gate-checked suitcase, I strode briskly to the Boston gate. Everyone was in the pre-board, haven't gotten anywhere near to boarding disarray. I looked for the guy. Even though I had no idea what he looked like.
So I did what was necessary.
I said, in my loud, outdoor, also useful for getting children to stop doing what they shouldn't be doing, commanding the attention of a crowd voice:
"Who's the guy who just got off the Milwaukee flight?"
Heads popped up, startled eyes looked at me.
I lifted the coat into the air and spoke again.
"You took my husband's coat by mistake."
A man came forward. He was holding no coat.
Crap. Maybe it wasn't the guy behind us who had taken the coat. Maybe it was somebody completely different whom I would never identify. SH would be very cranky.
The man shook his head. He looked distracted.
"Oh no!" he said. He looked at the coat I was holding. "That's mine!"
He reached for it. I pulled it away. Not so fast, buster.
"Oh," he said, chagrined. He turned to a teenage boy standing behind the seats. "Get me that coat."
The kid handed him SH's coat. We effected the exchange. Nobody was harmed. I walked back to our arrival gate. Met SH, panicked, half way. Showed him the coat. He melted in relief. I asked him why he couldn't just trust me to get things done. Honestly. I am very good in a crisis.