The first thing you should know is that I have not typically enjoyed my birthday in years past. Two years ago when asked what I wanted to do for my birthday my response was "watch Howard Keel movies all day, eat a whole bunch of crappy food, and cry." I have been working on this however, and even promised Alex a few months back that I would make a goal on having a totally not sad birthday.
Alex received news the he would be gone for my birthday for a work trip only a week or two before. Typically a quick to schedule work trip is no big thing to me; He goes to California and I spend a few days in Bountiful with my parents. My first response to this trip however was telling Alex that the deal of an un-sad birthday was off.
The weekend before he left he told me that he had a surprise for me for my birthday! I didn't even try to pry it out of him. He then debated out loud if he should tell me before my actual birthday or not. When I reminded him that not only would he be out of town but that I would be staying in Bountiful he let me "open" my present. Tickets to San Francisco. I had never been, his work head quarters are there, he loves it, and a few days off work for him having fun with me is just the quality time that I crave.
I had never flown anywhere by myself previous to this trip. I made sure that I panicked him out about this just enough to make him worry that there was a chance I wasn't going to make it to San Fran and instead would be in some airport in South Carolina waiting for someone to pick me up, but not enough to make him cancel the trip altogether.
The birthday came and it was wonderful. Not one ounce of sad---instead it was full of happiness and beauty. The only things missing from it were Andrew, Sophia, and Alex. It made me even more excited to head out to San Fran though.
I arrived at the airport early, wandered around for a bit figuring out how to do any of it. After waiting at the gate for a good hour and twenty minutes they still had not called boarding. Alex called me, he was on the Delta sight and could see that there were some small delays. Luckily he kept an eye on that for me....eventually Delta decided that the plane I was supposed to be getting on wasn't going to leave until 3:35. My connecting flight in LA was taking off at 3:00.
As I waited in line to talk to the gate agent people started acting all crazy. It is an airport however, and did they really think everything was going to be on time? The last 5 trips I've taken have had major delays, its just expected by now right?
I approached the gate agent and greeted her with a smile. I always make a point to look at people's name tags and call them by their name. For a while I thought this was creepy but it's there for a reason, and the first habit of a highly effective person is to use people's names. I got no further than saying her name and asking how her day was going when I was interrupted. A short, middle aged, slightly large woman with corn rowed braids and a big oversized green tee shirt all but pushed me as she started to talk to the agent. Her voice was raised and her hands were flailing everywhere as she blamed the agent for a delay. Her flight was going to be missed, she didn't want to sit around in an airport and wait, the agent should do something about this.... After 30 seconds of non breathing, ignorance, spewing from her mouth I said, "Hey you need to stop. She is just doing her job and you're being really rude." The woman looked up at me, "excuse me, I just need to talk to her."
"Well," I replied, "you need to step away and calm down. Then you can get in the back of this line, wait your turn, and then you can talk to her."
I looked back to the gate agent, and the rude woman stormed away I'm sure to complain to whomever about how she had never been spoken to honestly in her life. "Sorry about that." I said. The gate agent brushed it off telling me that it was just part of her job. I let her know that it shouldn't be a part of her job and that it was so rude for that woman to do that.
She smiled and asked how she could help me. I showed her that I was now going to miss my connecting flight in LA. As she looked up new options for me we talked about how this trip was for my birthday, how it was a present from my honey since the work trip was over my birthday, about how I had never traveled alone before and was nervous, how LAX was for sure where I was going to end up lost anyway even with a new flight.
"Good news!" she said as she handed me a new ticket. "I got you on a direct flight to San Fran so you won't need to worry about LAX, I hope you have a really great time."
I said thanks and walked off. I started to find my new gate, and called Alex up. He got back onto the Delta sight--- Good News indeed! Not only had she put me on a direct flight, she had me upgraded to first class. Seat 1D. Front row of the whole plane, priority boarding, the works!
Happy Birthday to me! Being a decent human definitely has its perks. One time I saw this woman yelling like a crazy person at her kids in public. I was just a young teenager, and later I told my mom about it. She asked why I didn't say anything to the woman. That really stuck with me. I now try to make sure that when people are treating others totally inappropriate around me to step in a give an opportunity to calm down.
First class, ps, is the way to travel. You have actual treats, drinks, and service while on the plane. I could eat, drink, watch anything, to my hearts content. The lady sitting next to me kept glaring at me anytime I asked for something, but it's all good cause I kept glaring at her for taking off her shoes on an airplane.
Just be nice. That's the lesson that was again cemented into my mind from this. Addison used to say, "Just be nice to everyone and nobody else." And that's the truth; it doesn't matter who the person is just be nice. It costs absolutely nothing to use a kind tone or a smile. And sometimes someone thinks that you being nice is first class.