I loved writing the “Week in the Life” posts last year. And I love the idea of the project. I’ve loved Sarah Rosemary’s posts. I’m just not a scrapbooker; I don’t aspire to be one. I do, however, compulsively document my life and always have…just, in other media besides paper and stickers.
Given the nature of this week, however, it seemed as good a week for a Week in the Life as any.
I left New York on Sunday after injuring my foot at the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I called the injury a “freak accident.” The idea of such an accident made me think of that George Carlin routine; something to the effect of: The other day I saw a freak accident — three freaks in a van collided with two freaks in a station wagon.
But this was one freak on foot. Rather, Freak on one foot.
Before leaving for the airport, I had to clean out my wallet. I’d tried paying at Starbucks in Hong Kong Dollars so many times in the last month, it was time to clean the damned thing out anyway. I’d bought the purple purse with a mind to organise currencies and have proper pockets and slots for avoiding the (rookie) mistakes I’d been making for years now. Mindfulness, Meredith.
The shade on my nails is called “Dramatic Drachmas,” which, for a girl who works in finance, is actually quite un-funny. For about twenty minutes at the nail salon, I thought it was hilarious — both to paint my nails some colour other than plain, old Essie “Mademoiselle” or “Ballet Slippers,” and to make a bold statement about the European sovereign debt crisis and the potential breakup of the Eurozone.
You know, because that’s totally what I was doing. In nail polish.
Once I ditched the HKD and RMB, I set about sorting through the Euros and Sterling in my change tray:
The Australian dollars in there always throw me off. I’m still not sure why I just tossed them in. Notice, also, my beloved perfume tray. The inscription in Hebrew — I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine — is the most glorious thing. So important to remember. It was the most beautiful wedding gift, though I never saw it as a wedding gift — I always thought of it as a gift to me. The family friend who gave it pulled me aside and asked if I would be offended; weirded out by the very Jewish nature of it at a Catholic wedding.
Of course not, I said. I was so grateful. The tray is one of my most prized possessions.
Once the currency sorting was complete, I packed and was on my way. I asked my doorman to snap a photo of me on my way out.
I can do this.
I made my way to JFK. Is that the space shuttle in the hangar? The thing says NASA!
(Can you see the nose cone peeking out? Mysterious.)
For once, upon my arrival at the terminal, British Airways let me down. The aircraft for my flight was a 747; my seat was upstairs. They didn’t want to let me on the plane on crutches.
Well, that’s a bit like killing a fly with a sledgehammer, isn’t it? I said. It would be one thing not to let me on the upper deck. It was another thing not to allow me on the plane. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t just switch my seat. But they finally allowed me to board. They’d put me in an aisle seat, which meant I couldn’t put my crutch near me — if I had to get up to use the toilet or something, I was out of luck.
Is this a very full flight? I asked the steward. He affirmed that it was. I wonder if the guy in the window seat will switch with me then? I wondered this aloud. The steward said I could ask. In response to my wondering, said hypothetical guy’s wife turned out to be behind me, and she took that opportunity to jump down my throat.
My husband won’t switch with you, she snarked, We don’t sit together because we both always sit in window seats. Don’t you even stress him out.
A small melee ensued when Hypothetical Windowseat Guy appeared and informed in me no uncertain terms that he never changed seats with anyone and then called me some names because I’d even dared to make a request of him (which I never actually made. I just wondered aloud if Hypothetical Windowseat Guy might make the trade).
That was why New York had rubbed me raw. There were so many angry people; so many furious men; so many uncharitable women. I supposed it was true of any city, but in New York, people felt free to let their rage hang loose. I wanted, in that moment, to be in England as quickly as possible, or even back in Hong Kong.
But the steward got us settled and I accepted my aisle seat fate.
The flight got underway without further ado, and I fell into a restless sleep — my weird dreams harbingers of what would undoubtedly be a wacky week to come.