On approach

2 p.m.

In my family, I’m known for having a bladder of steel. I can hold it. Forever.

Until I can’t.

I had a bumpy landing on a flight to Vegas. I was in one emergency exit row and my hubby was in the other. Precious real estate when you’re 6’2 and 6’4 respectively.

A quick PSA for gymnasts or those who don’t meet minimum height requirements at amusement parks: If you sit in the emergency exit row, I am glaring at you.

Back to my story.

I read. I wrote. I ate. (Every three hours. Everywhere I go. Rain or shine.)

I drank a 20 oz. bottle of Diet Coke. And, another can of the deliciousness when the beverage service came cruising down the aisle.

This is probably where common sense comes in. Or lack thereof.

Fast forward to cabin clean up time. I kinda have to “go” but I’m looking out the window and we’re close. I can make it.

Laptops away. Trash collected. Tray tables up.

Yep, I can still make it. I think.

How much time is left? Come on, dude. Fly this bird.

I surrender. I can’t make it.

We’re “on approach” and I go for it.

Up the aisle I charge, a blur to the restroom at the front of the plane.

The flight attendants are seated and strapped in. We’re about to land.

I see the confusion on their faces. I quickly apologize and say, “I had two options and I picked this one.”

I slam the lavatory door.

I hold the bathroom railing. Because, yes, we’re landing as I am going. The phrase, “Please don’t let the blue water touch me,” is on loop in my head.

Sweet relief. I stay in the lavatory waiting to hear, “Welcome to Las Vegas. The local time is….”

Only the announcement never comes. But I can tell we’re at the gate. I very carefully open the bathroom door and immediately hear, “No!”

I slam the door and sit back down. Yes, on that seat.

I’m not going to lie. At this point, I’m laughing in the lavatory. I’ve just landed sitting on the toilet in an airplane – while holding on for dear life.

Who does that? Oh, yeah. Me.

I know my laughter won’t be well-received so I clean it up. And, slowly open the door again.

One of the attendants is on the phone with the pilot – talking about me.

It dawns on me that I may soon be my own PR client. I could be arrested and have to defend myself on TV.

I immediately start writing key messages in my head.

The other flight attendant – who stands about 4’10 in heels – magically grows 10 inches and has a finger in my face. She orders me to sit down and tells me the plane won’t move until I’m in a seat.

And so I start.

The long, slow, walk-of-shame back to my emergency row seat. Everyone on the plane knows what just happened. And, everyone on the plane is waiting for me.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see my husband shaking his head. No thought bubble necessary. I could read his thoughts: “Could you follow the rules just one time? Just once?”

But maybe with some more colorful words mixed in.

It’s my turn to de-plane. I apologize profusely. The 4’10 “giant” flight attendant forgives me.

The other flight attendant is clearly still processing. I get it, she just needs some time.

She says something that sounds like, “Don’t ever do that again,” but I can’t be sure.

2:46 p.m.

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