t-t-trying to get out the door
hmm, you might be saying to yourself, that thing up there, the one with little beacon and big fat needle, i swear, you say, it looks just like a machine that sews.
but why? you ask, you smarty pants.
what in heaven’s name, you wonder, does mr. singer’s old invention have to do with getting out the door?
well, everything. when, at 9 o’clock at night, after supremely long, long day, you decide it’s really time to give some thought to the plane you are catching in the morning.
and when, as you finally tear through drawers, stack together all the clothes you need for one of those twice-a-year truly dapper must-be-theres, you notice that either someone cut the cuffs off your little one’s dapper pants or his legs have stretched by four inches since last he wore the now-three-quarter-length, not-so-dapper pants.
so, no fool, you, you move onto plan b, which is where the machine above comes in. you insist little mr. long legs try on the only other pair that’s anywhere near his ankles and you notice, because you see the spaceship underpants peeking out from where a seam should be, that they’re split right up the bottom.
now keep in mind that you are not the queen of sewing needles. in fact somewhere in your medical records is the trip to the emergency room with the needle and lovely salmon-colored thread dangling from the very middle of your pointer finger.
but there you are, in the dark and chilly basement, glasses sliding down your nose, pins pricking your every other finger, hoping to high heaven you can make this work.
or else, you’re sunk.
you will be the only one on the upper east side of manhattan, for mercy’s sake, who lets her little boy go off to synagogue with spaceship underpants making rare, and remarkable, appearance beneath hand-me-down brooks brothers navy blazer.
the chic who populate manhattan will surely spin you ’round and point you back to the farmland where they think that you belong.
oy, as boy no. 1 likes to say.
now once upon a time, you might remember, going out of town meant tossing clothes and brush in bag and locking up the door. that was once upon a time. this is now. this is your rather complicated life. this is your life with people who depend on you to think—and pack—what they might need to wear.
and then they wail when you try to argue that a light saber is a.) not really the accessory for penny loafers and white oxford, and b.) probably going to get you bumped when you try to pass the nice policeman who thinks that mouthwash, for crying out loud, makes for lethal carry-on.
the wailing will not end, so you pull out your biggest gun: go ask daddy.
apparently, daddy already demurred. daddy said to go ask you.
back and forth all night, the poor progeny of indecisive parents could bounce and bounce and bounce.
had i had the camera in the dim light of where the suitcases are dumped, mouths wide open, you would see that somewhere amid the bounce, bounce, bouncing one of the indecisives did decide: a flag it seems was waved, decidedly a white one.
for, right beside the little loafers, there is packed, of course, the doggone saber. “i’ll tell ’em it fights the bad guys on the plane,” the little warrior offered.
swell, you say to self, as you shuffle off to pour your goopy potions into eensy-weensy bottles the plane police get such a kick from.
as i aim and spill, i’ll spare you all the sturm und drang about the nasty storm that’s on its way. the one the weather people bawked about all day yesterday, with flashing warnings, and dire forecasts of 70-mile-an-hour winds. the one we fear might make for a long, long night on the friendly cots of laguardia.
did i mention that i now routinely fly with a guy who would rather have a root canal than have his body lifted off the ground, even if it’s seatbelted into a metal bird that no longer stocks so much as a single salty peanut for all the flapping?
ah, the joys of going away.
i forge on. quite confident that, once there, light saber, unholey pants, husband hooked to 100-percent pure oxygen, it should all be rather grand.
i love going out of town. especially when, before i board the plane, i have to haul out the sewing machine i keep on hand for just such pre-flight emergencies.
oh, and as i wind this up, i now get report from talking head at open door that the suitcase we used to use to carry hanging things, well it broke a while back, could not be fixed, and, oops, we forgot to get a new one.
hmmm, long as i’m on a sewing roll, wonder if i could run that broken thing through the trusty machine now waiting, taunting, down below?
or else, i’ll be wearing all my clothes—chic black suit on top of jeans on top of striped pajamas–as i carry on my light saber.
raise your hand if you too love the calm, the cool, of getting out of town…any strange departure tales you care to tell? in the meantime, beware of little boys bearing sabers. and see you monday, when i’m back with stormy tales.