Good news! I’m back in the Americas!
Bad news! I bought marmalade. Tomorrow morning this will be great news, but right now it’s the thing that made me cry at the airport. I don’t usually cry over canned goods, but it’s good to make an exception every now and then.
It all started when I decided to get something nice for my parents in the duty free area of the Heathrow airport. We all love the thick cut, super bitter marmalade, so I got three jars at Harrods. The woman at the cash register asked me if I had a connection flight in the States and I told her that I did. She proceded to place the jars in a rather scary looking hazmat bag that said “DO NOT OPEN” all over it. She told me not to open it, and I understood that from here on out the jams were to be treated as bio-hazardous waste.
The flight from London to D.C. went so very well. (Thank you United!) I had no one sitting next to me and a really great flight attendant who kept sneaking me free wine. Booze is not cheap on United, so it was pretty thoughtful of him. And let me just say that he was definitely showing favoritism (but not in a creepy way - just in a sort-of-unfair-to-everyone-else-but-who-cares-way). He actually went to first class and brought me glasses (made of real glass) of the nicer United wine, and truffles, and twix bars, and a warm oatmeal raisin cookie, and it was like Christmas just for me and no one else! (said the only child who everyone hates)
I forced myself to stay awake the whole flight by watching three movies, the best of which was Paranorman and the worst of which was HANDS DOWN Fools Rush In, possibly the worst chick flick of all time. I was visibly cringing throughout the movie (which may explain why the flight attendant took pity on me with wine). All that to say, I was pretty tired by the time I got to DC and had to go through customs and recheck my bag and go through security where they (whoopsie-daisies!) discovered my three jars of English marmalade.
Even though they were in the air-tight specially sealed nuclear-resistant bag, the security lady looked at me like I was clinically stupid. She told me I needed to check it, and so I had to go back through security and do all that stuff all over again, this time with tears streaming down my face, because I felt like I’d been slapped on the wrist for something so insanely useless and I was completely powerless and tired and it was JUST JAM FOR GOODNESS SAKE! It’s like when your credit card gets declined and they look at you like you live under a bridge and they feel sorry for you. I hate when you do everything you’re supposed to do and somehow, SOMEHOW, you still get your jam taken away from you (metaphorically speaking of course).
Anyhow, everything is fine. Life is full of these moments, and they exist for good cause: to remind us that we are not in control of everything, and that we should get direct flights in the future.