I’m sure it will be funny some day, but someday isn’t now.
My partner and I were visiting my brother and sister-in-law and had just sat down for lunch on our last day there when we got the text: our return flight was canceled.
I wasn’t too concerned at first. They’d just put us on the next available flight. The next available flight that was… four days away. Now we had a problem. So let’s just see what the options are? my ever calm and reasonable partner began. But the thing about the night before… The cheapest flights were around $400. Our original return flights combined were around $110 (thanks budget airlines!).
Needless to say, as we went about our afternoon and evening plans, I was buried in my phone looking at trains, planes, and (rental) automobiles trying to figure out the savviest, most inexpensive way to get home that wasn’t a total nightmare. A few hours later, it became obvious we’d need to bite the bullet.
I was angry. I was flustered. I was upset. I’d never paid that much for a one way, domestic flight. It all felt so unfair and I was convinced that this would be mope-worthy for years to come. And while it was frustrating. And while it wasn’t ideal. We were both employed adults with the means to handle the unexpected expense and we were staying with family who were able to accommodate a different airport schedule. It was not the end of the world.
I can say that now with six months behind me. But at the time, even sitting at the terminal, I was cranky. When we boarded the non-budget airline plane and were later given our free on flight snack, I leant my head on my partner’s shoulder and murmured that I was about to enjoy the heck out of my $400 Biscoff cookies.
And I did.
This whole experience taught me a few things. First, get yourself a partner who is level-headed and calm. It’s good for at least one person to be. When we first got the text about the canceled flight, he was ready to rebook and go back to our plans. But I couldn’t accept it. I nearly ruined our afternoon by searching and scheming and trying to find ways to avoid the inevitable. In fact, I was still doing that after the tickets had been bought and after we were waiting to board!
But this beautiful, kind, patient man knew how to make the best of a bad situation. He knew that sometimes there is no slick solution. Sometimes the only choice is the obvious choice, even when you don’t like it… which means when I tested positive for Covid two nights after we got home, the only thing to do was accept it, quarantine, rest, and order Biscoff cookies—a steal for under $400.