Monday, May 4, 2009

Memory Monday: In-flight meal

Ah, Memory Monday: The day of the week when I reminisce about an old job.

This week, perhaps inspired by my last post (related to flying), the thought bubble above my head reveals a memory from my contracted position. Man, did I love that job! I got to work from home and the work was exactly what I wanted to do (most of the time)! But then, my contract was up. Pants. Anyway, I digress. My MM today is about the first time I had to fly to Chicago to meet my boss and the other folks I was working with for my contracted position.

It was my first time flying to Chicago, and my first time traveling for work in general. It was all so new and sexy to me that I was actually excited to create my expense report when I was back to Boston. I booked my room at the Renaissance, the company's preferred hotel, signed up for some frequent flier miles, and looked for a flight. The only available seat on flights that day (on the company's preferred airline) was in first class. I called my boss to make sure this was alright. She said it was fine. I was pumped, and bought the ticket.

I grabbed a bite to eat and left Boston around dinner time. Little did I know that a meal would be served in first class! I was excited, but then remembered my last experience with food on a plane... it was 1989 and I was 7. The "food" was rubbery, vomit-inducing, and tasted like a hospital smells. I don't even remember what it purported to be (and apparently it purported to be three things because there were three compartments for three differently-colored "foods"), but all of it sure tasted like it was more closely related to play-doh than real food. (Thought: Maybe that was why airlines ended up removing meal service from flights? ...Pondering... Oh, no: It was 'cause they're cheap.)

SO, needless to say, my stomach and digestive system began to worry. I patted them to reassure them, and an airline attendant asked me what I would like from the menu. I had no idea there was a menu! For some reason, a menu indicated to me that the food's quality must have improved since the play-doh days. He handed me the menu and I eagerly looked it over. From the 3 or 4 delicious-sounding choices, I chose the enchilada. Perhaps not the wisest decision, considering my gastrointestinal worries from a few minutes prior, but a decision I made with gusto.

The meal arrived a few minutes later. I picked up my plastic fork and took a deep breath. It actually smelled good- not like play-doh at all! Convinced, my stomach gave me the go-ahead and I took a bite. Really quite passable was my first reaction. I chewed, and it blossomed into this is pretty good! I mean, it certainly wasn't the best enchilada I'd ever had, but it was pretty good and I didn't feel like I could make little play-doh animals out of it. That's saying a lot for airline food!

Pleasantly surprised and impressed, I looked around to see if anyone else was enjoying their meal as much as I was. One guy was chewing ravenously, but perfunctorily. Another hadn't touched his meal and was passed out cold on the window. The woman next to me had had one bite and dabbed her mouth with her napkin in defeat. What was wrong with these people - this was a total win for the airline (not to mention our stomachs)! Then I realized that they were probably frequent first class travelers and this was not news to them. I turned back to my meal and quitely savored a bite of rice.

By the time the meal was over, I realized I never wanted to get to that point where I took my first class priveledges for granted. I made sure my next flight to Chicago was back in the cabin with the screaming babies and people with unidentifiable illnesses, just so that next passable Mexican meal from the menu would maintain its specialness.

No comments:

Post a Comment