Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Week 14

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! This week's topic: What's the funniest thing that even happened to you while traveling? This can either be an actually funny story, or something that was terrible at the time but is funny when you look back now. (Thanks to Jessica at Sweet Green Tangerine for the topic idea!) As always, you are free to write about anything travel-related; don't feel obligated to answer my prompt. And, of course, don't forget to link up below!

Travel Tuesday

I'll have to admit, I had to text my sister last night to ask if she could remember any funny stories from our family vacations because I was completely blank. Luckily, she had a good one for me. My mom was a central part of this story, so I wanted to ask her permission first, but of course she's living the expat life in Switzerland right now, so by the time this all happened she was already in bed. This afternoon, she told me it was fine to identify her in the story as long as I made it sound funny. Well, I promise to try:

It was Thanksgiving 2001, only a few short months after 9/11. My mom, brother and I were flying to Pennsylvania to meet my sister and dad for Thanksgiving with some of our extended family. Of course, security was very strict around this time, and rightly so ... or at least we thought. Another family on our flight did not agree.

My mom and I had been randomly selected to have our carry-on baggage searched at the gate, along with several other passengers. In front of us in line was an older redheaded woman and her 20-something, platinum-blonde daughter. (Of course I remember their hair colors; is that something that is ingrained as important information in all young girls?) The daughter was whining about how she didn't want the gate attendant to touch her underwear, and the mom was going on and on to anyone who would listen about how ridiculous the whole thing was, and how violated her daughter felt. Unfortunately, she then decided my mother was the right audience for her very loud and very abrasive venting session. After a while, my mom said very politely, "Well, at least it's better than the alternative." The other woman looked at her with something between horror and indignation and answered, "Oh no! I certainly don't think so." Even at 11 years old, I was thinking, "Hmm, so you'd rather get blown to bits than have a TSA agent touch your tighty-whities?"

Anyway, you would think this woman would have realized my mother was not sympathetic to her point of view, but that wasn't the case. She continued to complain about the indecency of it all, and how traumatized her poor daughter was about the whole thing. (Mind you, I'm pretty sure this daughter was at least college-aged, though my young age could have made her seem older.) My mom finally smiled and said, "Your daughter must lead a very small life."

Well, that was it. The woman started yelling at her, telling her "well if that's what you think, you can just get out of line, no one wants you here..." and the dad turned around to glare at us as well. I'm sure my brother had no idea what was going on—he was only 8 and was probably distracted by something shiny on the floor—but I remember looking away uncomfortably and seeing a man sitting in the waiting area. He smiled, looked at us, and said, "Thank you." We didn't get out of line; the lady got the hint and stopped complaining, and no one punched us (which the dad appeared to be contemplating). And Mom, I don't know if you saw or heard that other man, but I'm pretty sure every other person at that gate was grateful to you for getting that woman to finally shut up.

And that's it! At the time it was uncomfortable, and there was a 30-second window where I was afraid I was going to see my mother get assaulted, but today it is a very funny story to tell. And whenever I overhear someone complaining loudly (and obnoxiously) in a public place, I like to turn to my mother and say, "She must lead a very small life." And we both crack up.

So, Mom, what do you think? Is my 11-year-old memory accurate?

Next week's topic is pretty easy and casts a wide net of possibilities: Share an old trip. This can be anything: A domestic or international trip. A long or short trip. A trip you took last year or a trip you took when you were 9. You can share pictures, tell us a story or two, or do both. Have fun with it!


Alyx said...

What a fun idea! I might have to do this next week!

Jessica Bucher said...

Oh my gosh! What a B---! Good for your Mom!

Patty said...

Ha, yup, Megan. That is pretty much it. Although, just to be clear, I really did think the dad was going to hit me.

Carenpants said...

Wow, I can't believe that family got so upset. Obviously it's not the most pleasant situation, but it is necessary for safety. My mom would have done the same thing. I'm glad no one got assaulted! I could not think of a story yesterday to save my life and last night in bed I thought about when my whole group got food poisoning in France, but it would not be the most reader friendly post.