As a reserve flight attendant, the world is a constant surprise. From one day to the next it's hard to figure out if you're coming or going, what day of the week it is or how long you're going to be gone. I've left on what I thought would be a five day journey only to b taken off after three. I've gone on a two day trip only to discover half way through it was being changed to four. But probably the biggest surprise I had was when I thought I was flying up to San Francisco and back to LA one day, and I was anticipating having the rest of the day off when I got back and even made dinner plans. I brought my required items with me and left my suitcase at home.
When I landed in San Francisco and switched on my phone, I discovered I had a voicemail from the good people of scheduling. I knew this couldn't be good.
I'm sure by now you guessed it. I was going to need that suitcase I so carelessly left in my apartment, unpacked and disheveled. Not only did I need it, but I wouldn't be home for four days.
I had about an hour and forty five minutes before I was to return to LA, so on my way to get food I began frantically calling people I knew that I could trust. My first call was to my roommate, who didn't answer. My second was to my old boss, who was busy at an event. My third call was to my best friend, Jason - who always answers and didn't. Next I sent a text to Jason's boss, who was a close friend of mine for a while. She responded by telling me Jason was busy and wouldn't have time to help me. I was striking out left an right. Finally I called the guy I had just started dating. That was just another added to the "didn't answer" list. What was going on?!
I sat to eat my lunch at the gate as my crew and I waited for our next plane to arrive. I started thumbing through my extensive phone list for someone - anyone - who could help me out. At about the "W" section, my phone rang. It was the guy I had been dating, Mike.
"Hey!" I answered, overjoyed. "Are you at work or at home? I need a huge favor and I'm having a personal emergency."
"I'm at home. Are you ok?"
"Yeah, but I left my suitcase at home and they've changed my schedule. I won't be home for four days! I'm flying back into LA and will be there in about two hours, but I won't have enough time to go get my suitcase! I need help!"
"Well," he responded with a dry air, "I was looking through your Facebook and I'm confused. You said you didn't date this one guy a year ago but I just saw a picture where it looks like you did, and honestly I'm not even talking to you right now."
Dumbfounded at the words that just came out of his mouth, I sat there in stunned silence a moment. Then my red headed nature kicked in and I had a few words of my own to say.
"Look, the past is the past. You don't own me, I don't own you, and I have never lied to you about anyone I was dating before I met you two weeks ago. We can talk about this all you want to when I get back, but right now I need some serious help, and if you're not willing to help me I need to know so I can go solve my crisis. I can only handle one issue at a time," I said. I desperately wanted to add "and you've got more issues than I can handle" to the end of that sentence, but didn't. I tried to keep calm. I had my priorities. Starting a fight over the phone wasn't one of them.
"Well, I really can't," he started. "I don't think I want to go - " I cut him off by hanging up the phone and continuing my contacts search.
My phone rang again. It was my former boss! Surely he would be able to help me!
"Hey! I there anyone around who could run an errand for me?" I started off by going straight to the point.
"I don't know. What's wrong? What do you need?"
I explained the situation so quickly that he had to ask me to slow down and repeat myself. I did.
"We are setting up for an event right now but I will see what I can do. What do you need them to do?"
"I need them to go find the hide-a-key under the brick on the back side of the fence, go into the house, find my bedroom, grab my suitcase and bring it to the airport. But I need some stuff out in it first."
"Ok," he said. "I'm writing it down. What do you need in it?"
"A pair of jeans, all of my makeup from the table top, two pairs of socks, the shirt that's hanging on the back of the chair, another shirt from the closet - I don't care which one, and three pairs of underwear from the top drawer of my dresser."
Looking back, I'm sure the list was even longer than that, but you get the gist of it all. There was a lot of stuff I didn't have in the bag that I would be needing.
"Ok," my boss responded later in a text message. "I found someone to go get your stuff. Where do you need it dropped off?"
"At the United terminal at 5:00pm sharp, early if possible."
My flight was on time and I was praying that my bag would be too, whomever was bringing it. My boss was always my friend, even before I ever worked for him. He really proved it that time. I owed him in a big way.
When I arrived at LAX, I ran from the Delta to the United terminal, hoping like crazy my bag and its carrier would be there. My phone buzzed with another text message from my old boss. "Chris is almost there," it said.
Chris. Why did it have to be Chris?
Chris was 6'5" and had some of the broadest shoulders I had ever seen. He was a big, burly guy and often used as a heavy lifter at special events. He was loud and bold and we all loved him dearly - but he was the last person in the world I wanted to have digging through my underwear drawer. I instantly blushed at the thought. He had already gone through it!!!
I saw him from a distance. He had a beanie cap on his bald head and his long, ZZ Top beard was died green. His black jean shorts had holes in them and his faded black shirt had the breast pocket torn half way off and dangling. His shoes were untied and beat up. Behind him he lugged my small, black roller bag. He was the best looking thing I'd seen all day long.
In a flash I forgot about this gentle giant having been digging through my underwear drawer and ran to greet him with a huge hug. People on the sidewalk were staring as I ran up to the disheveled man with pure excitement in my face. I threw my arms around his neck and cheered with delight. I thanked him profusely and I may have even kissed him on the cheek once or twice.
When I let go and looked at him to thank him, he blushed a dark red that faded to a plum purple quickly enough. We walked a minute or two as I asked him if he happened to notice the level of the cats food. He had even fed the cats for me. We both blushed again and I was on my way.
That night in my hotel room, I had this horrible dream of the bald behemoth with a pair of my black thong undies on his head.