I wasn’t brave enough last night and I didn’t have time this morning to see if Pearl’s CD player is OK. I’m thinking it is. And that’s what I choose to believe.
I can’t fault the mother too much for being scatterbrained. We’ve both got a lot on our minds. Right now, work has me hoppin’ like bacon in a pan and she’s obsessed with a trip – that’s nearly seven weeks off. (After last night, I’m ready to bundle her in a blanket and drop her off at the airport now.)
Because of all the confusion last night, I did not grab out the bills I intended to pay. The one I have to get in the mail today is the water bill. I go in to retrieve it.
“So, how can I take hairspray on the plane?” she asks me out of the blue. I calmly explain that you can only take a travel size in carry-on; put your regular can in your checked luggage.
Knowing that the brand we use does NOT come in a travel size, I waited for the inevitable: “So I can’t take it on the plane?”
Not with you – only in your checked luggage, I repeat calmly.
I have two suitcases, one of which lives in my closet. I had it out last night because it was blocking access to a pair of sandals. I decide this is a good time to illustrate for her. This is the largest size of bag you can take on the plane I tell her, in an attempt to end her ridiculous notion that she is NOT going to check a bag – for a weeklong trip. (I travel LIGHT and I couldn’t pack for a seven-day stay without checking a bag.)
“That’s IT?” she says. “You’re joking.” I assure her I am not. Back to the water bill.
“So do I have to pay $25 for every bag I take?” No. Just the one you check. “So I can’t carry on my garment bag?” I know the bag she has in mind and it would be easier to successfully carry ME on the plane than that bag. No, it’s too big, I say. I’m at the bill drawer now, rifling for the water bill.
“I don’t have to pay that for each plane, right?” (They have connecting flights going both ways.) No, I say as I pull the water bill from beneath the clip where all bills are religious placed. You just have to pay it once each way.
“But that’s for each plane,” she insists. I set the water bill down to explain what I mean.
I think we’ve had a breakthrough when she asks, “What if I check another bag?” What I want to say is that that means you’re insane – but I don’t. Then you’ll need another $50, is what I finally say. “So I’d have to have $100 total to check bags?” I nod.
“That’s ridiculous. That can’t be right.”
The water bill is still on the dining room table.