Friday, April 8, 2016

The United Club

I was giddy with excitement.  I had the key to a magic kingdom in my wallet: a segregated sanctuary for the snobs.  

I mean the elite travelers.

I’d been carrying my Free One Time Use of the United Club for more than 6 months, just waiting for a chance to optimize its value.  A 5-hour layover at Dulles on the way to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop? 

Hell, yeah.  No gate seating for me!

I put on my best “I’m hot shit” face as I walked through the mahogany doors.

A woman sat guard at the desk that stood between me and the United Club.  I smiled and handed her my United Club card. She asked for my boarding pass, my drivers’ license, passport, dental records, fingerprints, and my 6th grade report card. 

She then eyed me suspiciously and asked a trick question, “Who do you want to win American Idol?” 

“Dalton… I mean, Duh… I don’t watch American Idol.”

She smiled and said, “Welcome to the United Club, Miss Clyde.

As I descended the stairs into the wonderful world of the United Club I had an epiphany.

I should not have gone to breakfast first.  Because there is complimentary breakfast in the United Club.  

I just spent $5.00 for stinkin’ orange juice that is F*R*E*E to the elite members of the United Club.  Like me.

No worries.  I helped myself to a cup of hot chocolate.  Not Nestles Hot Chocolate.  Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate. 

(Gate seaters drink Nestles Hot Chocolate.  From styrofoam cups.  United Club members drink Ghiradelli.  Served in fine china.)

I looked around at the other elite members.   They were a quiet bunch.  Reading the Wall Street Journal or watching the business channel on the flat screen TVs. 

No HGTV in the United Club.  Or Project Runway.

Wait.  What’s that?  A room in the back of the United Club with workstations!  And phones!  And a printer, copier and fax machine!   

An office for the Nerdling.

I set up shop.  I fit right in, hardly working working hard on my laptop.  And I had 4 more hours to spend there!  The perfect environment to write a blog about the United Club.

I took several laps around the space, attempting to look important.  I studied the departures board and noticed that I had 3 hours and 50 minutes until my flight.

There were newspapers scattered about.  Wall Street Journals and the New York Times.  No People Magazines in the United Club

Damn.  I wanted to read about Ben and what’s her name from the Bachelor.

I returned to the departures board.  Only 3 hours and 45 minutes until my flight. 

I looked around again at the other elite members sharing “our” lounge. 

They were boring. 

Then I had my second epiphany.  If I wanted entertainment, I’d have to go to the gate.  The United Club had no fighting kids, no fashion don’ts, no middle-aged slobs spilling mustard on their shirts, nobody singing off-key with earbuds in their ears.

No nose pickers.

I packed up my laptop and headed out of the ridiculously boring United Club.

But not before filling my purse with some snacks to take to my gate seat.

I deserved them.   After all, I am a United Club member.

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