As she drank three glasses of gratis wine.
And, as she leaned in close, spitted (spat? sput?) all over the right side of my body.
It was insult added to injury.
I defended myself as a card-carrying member of the Tea Party (after she declared that Tea Partiers were cold-hearted, privileged people who wanted to deprive all the poor and mentally deficient of the benefits that they, themselves, enjoy). I told her that I didn't know anyone who felt that way, and that when I spoke of not wanting the government to be in charge of my health-care decisions, I was speaking from a place of experience and not privilege. We lived around the poverty line for years and were without medical insurance as well. We learned to butterfly bandage head cuts and to splint fingers and we paid cash to our midwife. This seemed to take the wind out of her sails, but I doubt it changed her opinion, just as she didn't change mine.
I was very glad when Madame spittle-flying-propaganda-spouting Holland bid me a fond goodbye and I was left in peace.
I found the International Terminal and also a comfy place to sit. I listened to some retired couples talking about their plans. One was going to Australia for a thirty-day cruise around the continent. One was sailing from Hobart, Tasmania to Seattle, Washington on a 38-day repositioning cruise. A younger couple was going to Hobart for two months for the husband's work.
My travel aspirations felt unadventurous by comparison.
And then, boarding the plane, I had my usual plebian qualms as I listened to the calls for business-class and economy-premiere passengers. There is nothing in the world designed to make one feel inferior than waiting for the economy-class cattle call.
And then, watching the very funny Bear Grylls safety video, I wanted to hurl every time he told those same people to brace against their ottomans in the case of a forced landing.
I want an ottoman by my reclining plane seat.
I sat next to a delightful Kiwi couple who had just done a whirlwind diving tour of the U.S. in 28 days, and in front of another couple who were on their way home from a year of driving around the U.S. in an RV.
I closed the shades on the windows, as it was dark outside, and the stewardess, while asking me nicely to open them again, used the word "pedantic". I was "ecstatic".
I watched Parental Control and it was hilarious. Billy Crystal still has his mojo.
Then Hope Springs, which was a little weird but had a good ending and don't-you-dare-say-I-recommended-it-to-you.
Then my eyes felt like they had been blasted by hot sand and so I slept, sort of.
A couple of hours before touchdown I decided to give it up and found (oh joy!) two Dr. Who episodes that haven't made it onto Netflix yet, so I was very happy and finished them right before we landed.
Thirteen hours after we ascended.
The entrance to the concourse at Auckland Airport makes me feel very Hobbit-ish.
Which is better than a plebian.