What I Wore Sunday, July 28, 2013
- Green vneck tshirt: Mossimo at Target, 2012
- Black and white maxi skirt: Very Jane deal by The Nest on Main
- Black flip flops
We drove just over seven hours to get home from Chicago, tossed our stuff into our house, drove another two hours to pick up our kids and dog, and then drove another two hours home. Exhausted doesn’t begin to describe how tired I am after a week of hard work, good friends and great conference time. All the same, I prefer to travel in skirts or dresses.
I suppose I could blame that on my Dad.
Throughout my childhood, my Dad worked for one of the major airlines. We flew everywhere, all the time. No need to travel the wide state of Pennsylvania by car on the ridiculous Turnpike! Nope! Just jump on a 45 minute flight to visit family in Philly. I flew by myself frequently as young as age eight. I thought nothing of jumping on a plane; I thought people who feared flying were just whiny.
Especially in the 80s, flying as a non-rev employee and family member meant that you had to dress a certain way. Most people dressed nicely to fly back in the day, and the employees were expected to keep up the standard of dress.
The only time my family really drove any real length came once a year for our family beach vacation to Emerald Isle, North Carolina. We’d all load up in the van and make the 12 hour trip with absolutely everything you could possibly pack into the family vehicle. The summer after my senior year of high school, I made the annual roadtrip with everyone, but flew home a few days early so I could attend the graduation party for my high school boyfriend. I dressed in a sundress I wore in my senior class pictures and a pair of dressy but open-toed sandals.
Being a flying pro by the age of 18, my parents stayed with me at the gate at the small airport until the call came to board. I hugged and kissed, grabbed my luggage and walked out onto the tarmac to board the small prop plane. My parents waved, walked out to the car — which I could see through the glass of the small airport — and drove away.
About 10 minutes later, a flight attendant pulled me off the plane.
She crassly informed me that they weren’t going to let me fly because I had on open-toed shoes that resembled flip flops. She looked down her nose at my shoes, her voice dripping with disdain. Flabbergasted, I tried to explain that they weren’t flip flops; they were dressy sandals purchased specifically to match the light green of the leaves in my floral sundress. She was having none of it, determined to stick to her guns. And yes, it was a rule.
This was 1999, the days before cell phones were in the hand of absolutely everyone. To top it off, I couldn’t even call my parents from the airport phone as I didn’t know the phone number of the beach house and no one in my family owned a cell phone. I cried. I’m a crier, but the thought of being stranded at the airport by myself while missing my boyfriend’s party, woe is me, turned me into an epic weepy mess. A separate flight attendant took pity on me and asked if I had any other shoes.
Of course I did. What teenage girl goes on vacation with only one pair of shoes?
Sadly, I had only gone on vacation with two pair of shoes. The open-toed, perfectly matching dressy sandals on my feet — and the white, stacked platform, 1990’s sneakers that everyone wore even though, looking back, I cannot figure out for the life of me why we thought they looked cool. The second flight attendant sighed and gave me permission to change into the sneakers. With the dress. Because that was somehow better.
I sob-choked the whole flight home and blubbered the story at my grandparents who met me at the Airport. They took pictures so that my Dad could file a complaint. Nothing came of it…
Other than the fact that, to this day, I still travel — even by car — in a skirt or a dress… and flip flops.