Last week’s vacation on the mid-coast of Maine, where there wasn’t even a television or radio in our little hideaway, has given me new appreciation for stillness and natural beauty.
Because of this, like a space shuttle astronaut, I found re-entry into the real world noisy and jarring. No sooner had we settled into our seats at the gate for the flight home, than CNN overhead pelted us with all the news we’d missed.
Taylor Swift’s most recent ex-boyfriend won a big music award and didn’t thank her, even though she wrote the song … Donald Trump slammed another grief-soaked family upside the head with his ginormous ego … July 2016 was the hottest month on record (I believe this last led the “no-poo Sherlock” portion of the news) … Taylor Swift’s second most recent ex-boyfriend was unavailable for comment, nor the third, fourth or fifth most recents … bless her heart.
It was nice being away from the noise for a few days. The only angry sound I heard all week was the fierce pounding of ancient rocks at high tide by the waters of the Gulf of Maine. Bliss.
Unfortunately, my near-hypnotic state of relaxation disappeared completely by the time we boarded the Relta flight home. Loyal readers know that Relta is what I call my favorite airline on account of I don’t want to be sued.
Relta had actually taken a full day of vacation from us because of “maintenance issues” with Plane No. 1. Eight hours later, boarding Plane No. 2, we were told it might take a while to find a gate at LaGuardia because “sometimes they shut down the runways for a while.”
Yes, when things are just too overwhelming, they close the runways so they can catch up with all those, whatchacallit, planes up in the sky. I hear you, LGA. Sometimes you just have to power down for a few and gather your thoughts. Respect.
Having missed the last flight to Maine, Relta gave us a hotel voucher to stay in the Marriott LGA which I quickly dubbed the Marriott Island of Misfit Toys. Zombie travelers like us wandered, luggage-less, clutching the tiny travel kits thoughtfully supplied to us by the airline. I searched in vain for the one truly useful item, underwear, in our little care package but, alas, there was none. It struck me that, while the hotel room was lovely and the restaurant shockingly good, not a soul staying there was there because they wanted to be. I mean maybe other than the occasional guest for a quinceanera for a nice girl from Queens, the clientele was just us misfit toys without clean underwear, loudly canceling rental cars and rearranging other plans in the elevators.
On the CNN monitor, we see a middle-aged man who looks like the love child of an emu and a homicidal ostrich and who can’t resist distributing pics of his “lil Anthony” to the Twittersphere.
And that’s when you know vacation is truly, madly, deeply over.
Celia Rivenbark is the best-selling author of seven humor collections. Visit her website at www.celiarivenbark.com.