I showed up at Newark airport 3 hours before my flight after a long day of taking trains, subways, and more trains to get there. I was already exhausted and my trans-Atlantic flight hadn’t even begun. I decided to relax a bit by perusing the shops that were beckoning me to spend money. I felt every bag at the Gucci shop, I sat in the massage chair at Brookstone for way too long and then I saw the Mac store. Mac will forever have my undying love and I needed a few products anyway, so I decided to take a gander. That gander led to a long and intelligent conversation with the sale rep about….makeup, duh! That intelligent conversation led her to asking if she could do my makeup. Which led to me sitting in the chair as she painted pretty colors on my face. Which led to me walking out of the shop feeling like a million bucks. You know, since looking like a million bucks before a trans-atlantic flight was, clearly, super important. I decided I should grab a bite to eat before boarding my plane but before doing so I wanted to double check the gate my flight was leaving out of. I made my way over to the TV screens and did a double take. The clock below said 5:23. 5:23? Well that can’t possibly be right cause I leave at 5:30. It must be an hour ahead. Until I looked at the next screen. And the next. And then checked the kiosk of watches behind me. They all said 5:23.
Having traveled a bit in my day, I knew that they close the door to a domestic flight 15 minutes before it takes off and 25 minute for an international flight. I had missed my flight and, with a face painted so well that Kim Kardashian herself would be proud, I was utterly embarrassed. I had missed my flight because I was getting my makeup done!!! How could I ever explain this to anyone?
I trudged over to Customer service with my head down. If I had a tail it would definitely have been between my legs. They are going to charge me, like, $1000 bucks, I thought. UGH. The most expensive makeup application I’ll ever get, for sure.
I walked up to customer service and made darn well sure I told that rep how awesome her nails looked, how pretty her haircut was, and that I absolutely loved the stylish glasses she wore. To the tune of one grand I was going to make sure I paid that woman every possible [and, clearly, authentic] compliment I could come up with. She smiled, said “it happens to everyone, dear” and passed me my new boarding passes. Just like that. Zero dollars were asked of me. Must’ve been the glasses compliment.
I boarded my flight to Zurich 25 minutes later and caught on immediately that I was sitting next to a “talker”. Oh yes, you know the type. Except this one was different. His name was Craig and I had no idea he was about to teach me a huge lesson. He talked almost the entire flight. 7 hours, to be exact. He talked about US politics. He talked about his daughter and his wife. He talked about the trip he was headed on. And he talked about bonus time. Wait, what did you just say? Bonus time. He asked if I had ever played a Pinball machine and, during the game, scored bonus time. Indeed, I had. With tears streaming down his face he told me how he was living in bonus time. He took deep breaths and paused in between telling me how 3 years ago he was on his death bed, in a coma, with a cancer that would surely kill him. He smiled with wet eyes as he said he has proudly lived long past the most optimistic life span that was given to him and that he has been almost 3 years in remission. Bonus time. And he was living it up. He reminded me not to take life for granted, to tell those I love everyday how much I love them, and to live as though tomorrow will never come. Bonus time. A 7 hour talk that I will forever remember.
7 hours later I landed in Zurich, Switzerland and, with a 3 hour layover, I was able to meet up with one of my best friends who lives there with her husband and 3 children. We caught up on life and love. We laughed. We hugged. We had a good heart to heart.
When all was said and done I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to learn a lesson about time management, or if I should just chalk it up to fate. Either way, when I finally landed in Copenhagen my makeup would have still made Kim Kardashian proud.