I don't travel a lot for my job. I mean, I know how to get through airport security without holding up a line, but I am unsavvy in the ways of the seasoned road warriors. Last week I went on a business trip to Washington D.C., and a colleague let me into the inner sanctum.
First stop was the Admirals Club (no apostrophe per American Airlines) at DFW. It's a fiesta in there! Free wine on tap, snacks, lounge chairs and first-class service. We hung out there awhile, and then he introduced me to priority boarding. I'm back in the bowels of coach, so I didn't think it mattered, but he said getting on the plane first helps with stowing things in the overhead compartment. Even though my boarding pass was Zone Z or something like that, all I had to do was walk to the gate with him.
It was a great way to start the trip, and I was feeling like I knew what planet I was on by the time we got to our workshop. Still, I am unseasoned enough that I check my bag because I pack way too many clothes, and I cannot fit all my girl goo into a one-quart zip. That meant I had lots of choices for attire, and I decided to pattern mix.
What a daredevil! The dress is a travel-worthy polyester spandex mix from Ellen Tracy, and the jacket is an equally packable St. John knit I bought on eBay. Made in the USA! I thought I looked pretty cute as I sat in the workshop ... hey, look at me, I'm pattern mixing ... when late in the day something possessed me to run my hand down the front of my chest (not in a kinky self-loving way). I felt a seam where no seam should be, and I thought, I wonder what's up with that?
I looked down my dress where the facing folds in at the neckline, and there was the little Ellen Tracy label staring up at me. I had the dress on backwards! Well, I couldn't sit there like that. I immediately but quietly exited the scene, went to the restroom and got undressed in the stall. I was careful to do it right this time and then returned to the workshop and slipped into my seat.
So much for sophistication. Still, I had one more crack at it. On the way back from D.C., my colleague introduced me to the priority line for the security check-in. A miserable experience nonetheless, but it does go a little faster. Again, all I had to do was sort of hover around him and breathe in the privilege. The Admirals Club was calling our names.
All of it honestly seemed a little elitist for my taste, but traveling has become such a drudge that I will sell out cheap for anything that enhances the experience. We plopped into our luxury chairs, and I told him the story about my dress. Perhaps I was crass and loud or the opulent quietness of the Admirals Club made my voice carry, but this impeccably dressed guy a couple of seats away looked up in delight and just started cracking up. I swear, he could not stop laughing, and it made me like the club after all.
Even if they do let in someone like me.