oh my gosh, I'm so excited!

like a G6

Posted on: March 24, 2011

On my way to Atlanta for work. I’m traveling with my boss who is a Gold Level flyer so we get upgraded to first class. I’m giddy with excitement. My first time in first class! I’ll document it for those of you who either haven’t had the experience yet and for those of you whose luster it’s worn off on.

Of course there is a special speedy check in line and we got to board first. I got to experience the full body scanner at Sky Harbor (queue the Jimmy Eat World song) and can I just say to the people who have an issue with these things: Get over it! I’d rather stand with my hands over may head like I’m making a silly face at a 2 year old any day than get a special pat down.

I’m the 10th person on the plane. My boss is talking to another passenger about travel routines. I think to myself, I wish this felt routine.

Seat Pocket in front of you
I sit down and get situated. MY normal routine is a carefully orchestrated maneuvering of personal items. Pillow stuffed in my side while I transfer my iPod, headphones, gummy bears, magazine and lip gloss to the seat in pocket in front of me. Screw the space for the evacuation guide; I need my must haves readily available at all times. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I usually say to the person next to me as I rustle about.

But here, I’ve got 3 spaces worth of room to spread out in and a nifty little center armrest that is at least 7 inches wide at it’s smallest point.

“Can I get you something?” the stewardess’s kind words throw me off and I start stuttering that I would like a coffee. With cream. Oh and sugar, but not really sugar, I’d like Splenda.  If you have it.” My boss must think I’ve developed a sudden case of Tourettes. She says they only have Sweet N Low and I smile and say, Sure no problem. I actually hate Sweet N Low, but feel like I’m about 10 seconds away from being found out. It feels like a game of “which one of these is not like the other?”

I sit in my roomy chair and wait for my coffee as the other passengers file onto the plane. I’m enamored with a curly blonde four year old trying to squeeze her way past her father to get to their seats. I wink at her and smile when she gets stuck in between his leg and the armrest. Her crystal blue eyes send a searing pain to my ovaries and I take a deep breath and look away. My nostalgia is abruptly cut short when I glance up at her already travel-weary mother trying to hold a baby in one hand and a car seat hoisted behind her other shoulder. Its then, that I notice the line of passengers behind her and think, wow, I would really hate me right now if I was her. I feel weirdly apologetic and uncomfortable as they file past our row. Like I need to jump up and say, No really. I’m one of you! This is a freak accident. Damn you residual Catholic guilt! I should just enjoy the moment. Maybe this is why first class passengers generally avoid eye contact?

The stewardess returns with my coffee. It’s yummy. The styrofoam cup says:

Cafe Mystique. Indulge. Escape.

Ok, US Airways, I’ll buy your shtick. You got me.

The pilot begins to welcome us over the PA. “I hope you’re ready for some pure raw aviation excitement*”, he says. You’re telling me, I think.

*I am 100% serious; his statement was not enhanced for this post.

I cross my legs (I cross my legs!) and text my husband, I love you, before we take off. I’m feeling sky high and we haven’t even taken off yet.

Settled in with my seatbelt on, I think I’ll pay attention to the flight attendants little ditty today. Maybe first class passengers get a separate speech informing them that in the case of an emergency, each of them will be supplied with a personalized escape pod equipped with a new Coach bag, 2 weeks worth of double cream brie and sunscreen in case we land on a beach?……..damn no go.

Take off is smooth and I get my iPod back out. I’m definitely digging the Dr. Dre Beats headphones I got for Christmas. Blocks out everything so I can listen to some Jill Scott and write.

In flight service has started and my boss says to me: “I wonder what they’ll serve?” Um, Ginger Ale I think. Then the stewardess asks me if I want a chicken club sandwich or quiche as she presents a basket of goodies. Ohhhhh, ok, I see. I’m going with quiche. We’ll see about this. My expecations are still low since we are on an airplane.

Katy Perry sounds good through the beats. I remember I’ve got the new Elle with me and get it out. Now, why don’t first class seats have those little pull down trays to set your book or food on? I look around at the other passengers and spot the man in front of me reading financial reports on his table. Where the heck did he get that? Is there a small airplane elf holding that thing?  Oh hey, it’s hidden in the armrest. Very nice. I’m good to go. Now I can read about the 10 hottest hair and makeup looks, which I will really mean to try over the next 6 months.

Foodie review: The quiche is light and fluffy with a buttery crust, served with caramelized cherry tomatoes and spicy sausage links. Garden salad disappoints with a forgettable, soapy tasting dressing but is redeemed by an artisan grain roll. Then, my heart is set a flutter by the smallest set of individual salt and pepper shakers I’ve ever seen. Remember: little = cute.

Food is cleared and I relax into my chair as KT Tunstall’s “Suddenly I See” starts pumping through the beats.  ~~ “She’s got the power to be, the power to give, the power to see. Yeah Yeah” ~~ and I think, hell yeah I do!

Because let’s be clear about this. This is not a post that’s meant to convey, oh look at the cute little nobody’s onetime upgrade to see what’s behind the golden curtain. No, this is just a post about the first time. Three hours of inspiration to push me that much further towards getting everything I want out of life. You bet you a$$ I’m going to remember this the next time I’m in coach thinking about what I can do to take it to the next level.

We’re going to get off the plane soon and get to work on some cool new things to get Vitabath rocking. And in the back of my mind I’ll be calculating the work needed, professional and personal, to get me back into that cush chair and on purpose next time.

Turbulence be damned, I’m up and moving about my life.

-Ali

Final boarding announcement: Warm lemon scented towels at the end of a flight: Soothing citrus refreshment conductor or strange wet thing you’re not sure what to do with?  Discuss.

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