my cubic zirconia crown

I made Alaska MVP Gold last week. This is the honor bestowed upon you when you spend more time in airplanes and hotel rooms than at home. In return, you get rewarded with perks like boarding early. In order to take advantage of these perks, you have to continue to spend more time in airplanes and hotel rooms than at home.

I actually love to travel, except for the part where I have to climb into a huge metal tube and get flung through the air while up very, very high. Did I mention how high it is? And how I’m stuck in a tube? And can’t get out? No matter what? Yeah, that part isn’t so great, but the drugs help.

What is great is walking around in a whole new city, seeing all new things, eating different food, experiencing, well, life, I suppose. We only have this one lifetime; I want to see and do everything I can while I’m in it. And if I have to get into the tube of doom to do that, well then so be it.

I made MVP status around the middle of the year. MVP gives you B-list perks. You’re in the royal family, but you rule one of the lesser kingdoms that you can only get to by traveling on horseback through muddy fields. You have a crown, but it’s filled with cubic zirconia rather than diamonds. You can use the first class line at the ticket counter, but not the first class line at security.

Sometimes people get suspicious. Perhaps I don’t look even like a cubic zirconia person. I was standing in the first class ticket counter line at one of many airports the other day and a woman in the coach line leaned over to me: “That’s the first class line. Are you traveling first class?” I smiled and nodded (thinking I didn’t really owe her an explanation about the whole runner up crown). “Well, I just had to check.” Er, she did? She’s the line police? It’s required of her? At yet another airport, I got in line to get on the plane when they called for early boarding for MVPs and first class. A man stopped me. “They’re only boarding first class right now.” Um, thanks. I actually can hear and understand announcements myself.

I must really confuse people when I actually do fly first class. They must walk by me when boarding the plane, barely able to keep themselves from letting me know that I’m sitting in a first class seat, and actually, I need a first class ticket for that.

Of course, I do walk through the airport in a Xanax-induced haze, and these people are probably only trying to help me in my obviously confused and altered state. I’m lucky I make it onto the plane at all.

I have only one or two more trips this year and then I’m home for 10 whole days next year before heading to Europe. I’m not looking forward to getting on that plane, but I am looking forward to getting off the plane and being in an entirely new place.

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