I recently flew to New York with the Adam Carolla Show to do some dates at Caroline's on Broadway. I intended to use the time in the air to get a bunch of work done. However, on the way to my seat I discovered my coworkers were sitting in first class, while I was sitting in an overhead bin filled with crying children, so I had to spend the rest of the flight time thinking about this injustice.
Am I not first class material? Am I not fit to enjoy hot nuts and ice cream sundaes and legroom? Do I not deserve to use a bathroom, which is exactly the same as the ones in the rear of the plane but made special because it's in the front?
One of the coworkers was Adam Carolla -- who is technically my boss -- so it makes sense he'd fly in first. But the other one? He must have used his own money to upgrade to first. Unless there's some way he convinced the company to spring for the ticket? No, there's no way. It had to be his own money. But what if it wasn't?
And so it went for five or so hours, give or take the part where two adorable twin moppets with bronchitis coughed all over me while their mom quietly suggested they cover their mouth. It was vaguely thoughtful but too late. Plus, a life in coach just isn't worth living -- I think I read that in the in-flight magazine -- so I didn't even try to dodge the sputum.
Periodically, I'd gaze into first to see some flight attendant kneeling to have a heartfelt face-to-face with a valued passenger. If you ask for something in coach they basically grimace and throw it at you. I bet they spoon-feed you in first.
By the way, I'm not proud that I'm this petty. I would much prefer not to walk around noticing small inequalities, worrying I'm missing out on some better version of whatever I've received that I could have if only I figure out how to crack the system.
It's not my best quality.
My best qualities? I'm funny, empathetic, compassionate, really good at that carnival game where you have to roll the bowling ball hard enough to get it over the first hump but not so hard that it goes over the second, knowledgeable about eyeliner, and I can read street signs from really far away. My worst qualities? I have no sense of direction, I'm conflict-averse and I go nuts when it comes to planes and hotels. Also apartments and where to sit at a restaurant.
Want to know the first thing I do when I check into a hotel room? I ask for a better room. "Hi, do you have a room where it's possible to walk from one side to the other without having to climb over the bed?" I'll demand, like some kind of celebutante or the Queen of England.
In college we had a thing at the end of every year called "room draw" where each student was assigned a random number that determined the order for picking rooms for the following year. If two people went in on a two-room double together, the one with the best number selected for the pair. If four went into a quad, an average of the numbers was taken. I remember a friend of mine saying the whole process felt like a calculus problem that, if figured out correctly, could somehow net her own floor.
Too often life is like this and I get stuck puzzling over numbers and combinations instead of enjoying the experience or being in the moment. Granted, the flight to New York was a moment I didn't want to be in, but I still suspect I could have handled it in an easier, healthier way.