Never Again, United

Taking a break from storytelling to complain [just a little bit]. I know I’m on a whole glass-half-full, always look for the silver lining, positivity kick for 2011 but sometimes, the idiocy of some people can really ruin it for me. Advanced apologies for the following rant.

Today, my baby cousin flew to Oklahoma for her second semester at university. What should have been an easy check-in at Burbank airport turned into a ridiculous back and forth over the phone between me and an uncomprehending imbecile at the United Airlines counter and then a subsequent drive to Burbank to fulfill said imbecile’s ludicrous “policy”.

I am a frequent traveler. In an average year, I fly at least once a month. My first year in university, my mom would buy my ticket to LA online, I would check-in at the airport and 1-hour later I would be in the loving comfort of my familial home. Last year, I bought my cousin Abby a plane ticket to NY, she checked-in no problem and spent a fun & crazy month with me taking the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan alike. Three days ago, I bought Ashley her ticket to Oklahoma, this morning she went to the airport and was told she could not get on the flight without the credit card holder present to verify the purchase. Excuse me?

Apparently, United Airlines has an unwritten policy that says when the ticket holder’s name is different from the purchaser’s name, the credit card holder needs to be present or check-in at the nearest airport for security reasons. When I told the supervisor that I’d never heard of such a ridiculous policy, he tells me that I should have been told by the reservation’s agent when I purchased the ticket (he hadn’t). When I told him that I wasn’t made aware of this practice, his rude reply was, “Well, you just should have known.” There is NO WHERE on the flight confirmation or even on United’s online policy that supports this outrageous “procedure”. When I asked for his name and badge number, he responds with, “It’s not in my policy to do that.” #*&! &!@!!!!!

First of all, what happens if the purchaser is abroad? What if we couldn’t get to the airport in time? THANK THE LORD we live 30 minutes from Burbank.

When we got to the airport and we once again asked for the written policy, all he could say was, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience ma’am but I can’t show you anything in writing.” Good lord, I KNOW this is your job and it sucks to get yelled at for doing what you’re “supposed to do” but when you’re trying to enforce a policy that you can’t prove to me actually exists you really can’t expect me to take you seriously. I mean, rarely if ever, do I get worked up or speak rudely to a customer service agent or anyone really as I understand what it’s like to have to follow stupid and ridiculous procedures but lord have mercy, this guy really pushed my buttons this morning.

I GET that you want verification for security reasons but how can a credit card which can be sent to ANYONE be more valid than a government issued ID? I just don’t get how a purchaser is more important than the person who is actually on the flight. What exactly are you trying to verify?!

Thankfully, Ash was able to make her flight. All is right with the world and after writing this, I feel much calmer.

But seriously? NEVER AGAIN, United. This will teach me to cheat on Jetblue.

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Subway Car Preacher.

To the bible thumping, subway car preacher:

I get it.

You want to share your one “truth”. You want to spread the word of your lord. You want me to believe in your god. You want to “save” me.

Here’s the thing though—

I have my own truth. Yes, I happen to be Catholic but the values and principles I have, I inherited from the strong and respectable family in which I was privileged to be surrounded by my entire life. That is my truth.

Though I think it necessary to read the bible because it is a great literary piece that is oft referenced by other great works (& I have, actually, cover to cover), it’s just that: a literary piece. You cannot pick and choose which passages are to be taken literally & which you can excuse as “outdated”. I mean think about it, love and commitment between two men (or two women) are wrong because the bible says so? Are you telling me then, that you would actually follow through with cutting off a woman’s hand because “Bible says”:

If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.

Deuteronomy 25:11-12

If you would, you have more problems than I originally thought.

I believe in people. I believe that we are all inherently good and that we are all connected. I believe that the best thing I can do in my lifetime is try and be as decent, compassionate, forgiving, generous and gracious a person as I can be to man and animal alike. If god is who you says he is, that’s what would matter in the end and not whether I gave money to and attend your church every Sunday.

I don’t need to be saved. Period.

So next time you decide to play show and tell, please do it in your church. Preaching to grown men and women in a subway car because they have no other choice—they’re literally trapped—is not just irritating it’s offensive. I get enough of it walking on the street, please leave my morning commute alone.

an interesting curiosity.

I was talking to my wise-beyond-her-years, little sister today and she brought up a very good point : there is a big difference between curiosity and actual interest.

I’ve been single now for over two years. For those who don’t know, prior to those two years I was in a long and loving 7-year relationship with my high school sweetheart. We parted ways for several reasons that I would rather keep private, but one thing is for sure, he was my first and only boyfriend in the 24+ years I’ve been living and breathing in this world.

Now that I’ve actually experienced what it’s like to “date” I can say with a certainty that though it’s not as bad as some say, it’s definitely not a walk in the park. I never really thought about the whys and whats that make single life (especially in a large city) so complicated and messy until she brought up the simple idea that a lot of people confuse their curiosity for real interest.

I’ve been in so many situations where I was really “just curious” and not so much interested in pursuing something other than a few meet-ups and then a “see-ya-later” with this guy or that guy or whomever. And then I’ve had about a handful of scenarios in which I played the other role and unfortunately, that other role can really suck.

But that’s just it. I don’t think most people realize when all they’re pursuing is a curiosity and that the person on the other side just might be mistaking that curiosity for a genuine interest in something more… more what? Stable… real… not-just-sex?

Who knows?

I do think, however that when there’s an honest (& balanced) interest on both sides, the complications should fade and the stupid and bothersome rules of dating that I try to avoid like waiting for the right time to call… or not asking someone out… or having to play aloof would be completely unnecessary. I’d also hope that this situation would result in a natural relationship in which that irksome “conversation” would never have to occur.

Ugh… “The Conversation”. It’s so irksome, I don’t even want to blog about it.

Goodnight folks. See you when the sun comes up.

snowday.

The weather outside is frightful… & unfortunately I’ve no fire that’s delightful. Boo.

Office closed early today due to the storm that’s raged throughout the city so I spent the last few hours of sunlight cocooned in my room, wrapped in a blanket with the heater on full blast. I’ve a bit of fever so I was honestly quite grateful for the half-day since my body refused to keep pace with the tasks I wanted to complete, but it’s no matter, there’s always catch-up tomorrow.

To go along with my physical illness, I’ve also caught a bit of homesickness (surprise, surprise). I’m sure it’ll pass in a few days as it always does, but I sincerely miss the ability to hop into my car, drive the 3-hours rain or shine to my parents for a weekend of full-on pamilya warmth. This also might be a reaction to the photos my lovely sister posted the other day from the mini-family reunion we had in Virginia which celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of my great-aunt & great uncle.

Cliché as it may sound, I really do believe in the power of love (even if I cringe whilst saying so). Seeing Auntie Nani & Uncle Thomas after so many years of laughter, tears, joys & sorrows shared together made this slightly cynical, once-betrayed, closet-romantic’s heart open up a little to the possibility of finding love like that for myself.

Ha! Who knew a snowday could make so sentimental?

& since I’m on a roll with this emotional disposition… another sad love song.

salamat, b. namimis kita.

Jeez.

Let me preface this by saying that I am still a bit “under the influence”, so please forgive any glaring grammatical or spelling errors that may occur in my following rant—

I spent the evening hanging with my lovely friend Col (as per the usual Friday night) and my cousins. The Kuyas, wonderful as they are, retired early so I decided to continue on with some sarcastic & somewhat intellectual banter with their friends until it was time for the Bowery to send us on our way, which really means that the bar was closing and those employed by the establishment were trying to get home, but most of all trying to send us to our humble abodes. We continued our presumed deep conversation on the corner of 4th & Bowery until I decided to bow out of the discussion of books & American society in order to return to the wonderful place that is my bed (I assume they continued on, but for how long, I will not guess).

My walk home, which under normal circumstances would be quite agreeable, was unpleasant to say the least. Suffice it to say—

I hate that because I have two x chromosomes, I need to be far more cautious when walking home in the early hours of the morning than those graced by one y. Tonight I am thankful for three things: my long-lost lesson from woman’s self-defense to always check behind me while walking, well-trafficked New York streets, & the graciousness and protectiveness of decent men who take the time to stop the harassment coming from those who force unwelcomed advances upon me.

Goodnight world. I’ll believe in you again in the morning. As for tonight, screw you.

Singin' & Swingin'

I’m exhausted. I need a night of relaxing with my new lady love, Colly-col (which is exactly what I plan on doing).

I’ve had a rather busy weekend followed by another night of craziness. The usual stuff really, prancing about through Brooklyn all Saturday night followed by a mellow Sunday drinking margaritas and getting tackled by boys. I also played Wii this weekend… games are so addictive. I haven’t allowed myself to play in so long and I swear I was shaking after from the adrenaline of it. Ridiculous. I cannot get sucked into it again.

Last night I went to Arlene’s Grocery for their “World Famous Live Band Karaoke” night. I drank myself silly in order to build up enough courage to sing an out of tune version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” then proceeded to serenade every passerby on the street until my friends dragged me to the Rivington Hotel where I danced until I realized—big surprise—I was wasted, had only slept for an hour over the course of two days, had worked 14 hours straight and had to wake up for work the next morning with a smile on my face and a skip in my step… riiight.

Like I said. Exhausted.