An hour and a half before boarding a flight to Amsterdam, I found myself sitting in the airport food court eating a bowl of black beans.
I say “found myself,” because I’m powerless to resist The Veggie Bowl. I’m like a person who end ups in public with no pants on raving about alien abduction and can’t remember the last three days. I don’t know how I got there. I don’t know how that food court spork ended up in my mouth. I remember riding the elevator, feeling a wave of gratitude and contentment, then spork.
This isn’t the first time the airport Sirens Qdoba or Chipotle have beckoned me to my doom across the terminal. You’d think I’d learn from past mistakes, but like Pavlov’s dogs, I see The Bowl, and I salivate.
The cilantro-lime rice, grilled veggies, pico de gallo, and guacamole made my mouth oh-so-very-happy, kicking off our last-minute A– trip in gastronomic splendor. And there were oodles of black beans.
I think Qdoba is Spanish for tiny beans of abdominal fury.
When booking last minute tickets to a major European airport hub during the beginning of the holiday season, you end up with middle seats in the back of the plane. We jacked the last couple of seats together in the whole dang aircraft, and we were grateful. Even when we had some kind of immovable metal box at our feet. Grateful.
I entered the aircraft locked and loaded with the only kind of bomb that will make it past the TSA, mentally berating myself, Qdoba, and all legumes. To make gaseous matters worse, the dude next to me was one of those guys who plants himself firmly in the same seated position for eight hours with no bathroom break, headphones on, eyes closed. Bold. Blood clots are real, dude. Get up and walk.
After the moist towelette distribution, the meal platter arrived, and as I unwrapped my second spork of the day and lifted the plastic lid, I discovered nestled amidst the chicken and rice, a healthy sprinkling of more black beans. Sure. I’d love some. You know the last time I had double doses of back-to-back black beans? The last time I traveled.
Soon after I double downed the black beans, or BBs, since that’s what they feel like on the flip side, I started experiencing what could only be described as Intestinal Cauldron. “Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron bubble,” and I was going to burn the lip hairs right off the whole row of Movember-observing hipsters behind me if I didn’t claw my way to the bathroom at the back of the plane, which was conveniently close.
I spent seven and a half of the eight-hour flight wishing I’d invested in the fart-filtering undies I saw on Huff Post a month ago.
I contemplated relieving some of the tension and blaming it on my husband, but realized that the pilot would have to make an emergency landing on Greenland and I would definitely miss my connecting flight.
I obeyed The Golden Rule, did unto others as I would have them do unto me, and exercised a glute workout that would make even Tony Horton proud. QdobaX.
In Amsterdarn, at Schiphol Airport, no less, I regained my equilibrium, avoided all food and sporks, and boarded my next flight.
Halfway through that, I made another ridiculous decision, and honestly, I’m revoking all decision-making rights before or during flights, because I lack judgment, just so much judgment lackage.
I usually avoid both gluten and dairy, but I’d skipped eating at the airport and realized how ravenous I was when the plane started smelling like melted cheese. I delved madly into the most delicious, well, I can only describe it as a European Hot Pocket, which Jim Gaffigan dubbed “diarrhea pocket” for a reason.
Writhing in pain, I landed in A–‘s beautiful home country as molten lava threatened to rip through my jeans. Our awesome apartment in the city didn’t deserve what I did to it, and I’m planning to fast before, during, and after the trip home.
Speaking of emotional experiences, the next day we met A– at court and she leapt into our arms and wouldn’t let go and I wouldn’t want her to. It felt surreal, seeing our precious girl, this time in her town, with love filling the room and spilling out the door.
The kind and compassionate members of the court asked us questions and we got to share how much we love our A– and all the reasons. I didn’t even make it to the way she sings the gummy bear song and how she pretends to swim like a mermaid in the pool. It was so obvious how much the court members care for A– and want what’s best for her, and I’m humbled that despite my poor airport food choices, they might think it’s us.
Some women go through hours and hours of labor for their children. My labor pains came by spork.
image from marymaryhandmade at etsy.com