Staring down the barrel of 3 nights of nirvana like freedom, I turned up at Brisbane International Airport and met two of my oldest girlfriends, ready for our flight to New Zealand and an epic Girls’ Trip. Between the three of us, we have travelled to almost every continent (I’m not counting Antartica as we’ve all been to Tasmania and that’s close enough), in every financial state (piss poor teenager heading to the UK or cashed up professional heading to South Africa), at every stage of life (carefree hipster or with partners and/or children) and at every time of the day or night.
And we’ve been doing this for over 15 years. So why, I ask you, was getting on that flight a debacle from the moment we walked up to the check in counter? I have a reason and I’m going to call it “Got My Shit Together Mostly But I Just Can’t Be Fecked Because It’s Really Nice Not To Have To Worry About Anyone Else For A While”. Or an easier to remember acronym: Momentarily Feckless Syndrome (MFS). Having left our usual totally dependent families behind, we lost the plot. Here’s some of the more ridiculous things we managed to do, because of MFS, in an area we would normally consider ourselves to be quite competent in:
Getting the flight time wrong and being half an hour early. Fine at 4pm; not cool at 4am.
Being almost 4 kilograms over the weight restriction for carry on. Cue embarrassing rearrangement of goods on the floor next to check in.
Attempting to take a 300ml bottle of liquid through security (it appears not everyone believes coconut water is good for you or aeroplanes for that matter).
Forgetting to fill in a departure card at immigration (see you at the back of the line losers).
There were others but really it was all just a tedium of “Why do they schedule flights this goddamn early??” to “Are we there yet?”
But it did lead me to question why we were stuffing it up so consistently when we’ve done it competently, even with toddlers in tow? I used to smirk and roll my eyes at people like me. Now I’m one of them: doing stupid things at airports and gaining the ire of every jetsetter around me: I had succumbed to MFS.
I’m going to blame the fact that I slept barely a wink the night before and got up at 2.30am to drive to the airport (could really have done with that extra 30 minutes sleep!). But really, I think freed of children and husband, I completed the trifecta and let go of my brain as well, pushing me into the MFS red zone. Hello walking zombie.
We got there in the end (after a careful negotiation of the robot passport control- when did that happen?? I feel so old and technologically inept) and were happily ensconced in the arms of our beautiful friend and her cottage by the sea. She drove us around, made us endless cups of tea and told us where the good shops were, correctly sensing we’d left the ability to make any kind of decision back at home.
So beware of MFS: it can strike at anytime (but mostly when you succumb to the endless delights of a trip away with your friends).