Let me tell you about my New York travel disaster. It all started on Monday morning when I couldn’t get a cab to Penn Station. Please take a moment and picture me with a suitcase and a giant shoulder bag trying to hail a cab IN THE RAIN for a good 20 minutes to no avail and then having to get on the jam-packed subway (yes, I got stuck in the turnstile with my luggage), switch trains, carry my suitcase up at least three flights of stairs, then bust my ass to get on the New Jersey Transit to the Newark, NJ airport. I was flying standby on a buddy pass and was scheduled for an 11:45 a.m. flight, and when I arrived at my gate, the Delta employees basically laughed in my face and said there was a very small chance I would get out on the last flight of the day. After further investigation, that small chance became no chance. So I took the train BACK into the city, took the Subway to the Upper West side to retrieve a key to my friend’s apartment, then went all the way back down to the Lower East (remember, with my luggage). I was thisclose to A) tears and b) my shoulders imploding from the weight of my bag.

I was booked on the first flight out the next day at 7:30 a.m., so I woke up at 5 a.m. to do it all over again. Luckily I snagged the first cab that passed me by and quickly realized why this driver was so eager to pick me up. He wanted to date me. This 50+, middle Eastern man chatted me up the entire ride and when I told him I was from Atlanta, he began calling me his “Georgia Peach.” Then he asked my name and proceeded to sing a full, 4-minute song titled “Ashley” with references to Georgia and our budding relationship. As we pulled up to Penn Station and he wrapped up his serenade, he asked for my sign (Cancer), then reached back to shake my hand, which turned into him holding my hand for a full 60 seconds and telling me that Pisces and Cancer were destined to be together. As I gathered my belongings and exited the cab, he insisted I take his phone number. I thought he was joking. He knew I didn’t live in New York so he wasn’t giving me his digits to call him when I needed transportation; he wanted to start a long-distance relationship.

I had just met him. This was crazy. But I took his number. Call him? Maybe.

I got on the New Jersey Transit train and headed to Newark for the second time in two days. I arrived at the gate at 6:30 a.m. and was given the impression I wouldn’t be getting on the 7:30 a.m. flight. I didn’t. I was pushed to the 8:45 a.m. flight. I didn’t get on that one either. I was pushed to the 10 a.m. No dice. I approached a gate agent in desperation and was told I most likely wouldn’t be getting out until 6:15 or 7:30 p.m. Awesome. Nothing like 12 hours in the airport. So I settled in, plugged in my computer, and dove in to some work. I was in the zone for a couple hours when I swore I heard my name being called over the loudspeaker from across the terminal. I jumped up. But it was only noon! What happened to “maybe getting out by 6 p.m. if I was lucky?” Then I heard it again: “Final call for Atlanta passenger Ashley Hesseltine.”

Good God. Final call?! I was all the way across the terminal and they were about to give my seat away! I debated whether or not to make an ass out of myself and figured that since I basically do that every day, today would be no different.

“I’M COMING!” I screamed at the top of my lungs while waving my hands from across the terminal, stuffed my computer and other strewn-about belongings (water bottle, notebook, phone) into my bag, and took off, dragging the entire length of my computer cord across the floor. As in, it got caught up under the wheel of my suitcase, which slowed me down from a sprint to a jog. I was a disaster. People were staring. I swear I saw pointing and heard laughing. I showed up at the gate and no one was amused. I had to breathlessly dig through my bag for a minute or two to find my boarding pass (again, not one Delta employee found this situation cute) and finally was ready to board.

Then the stone-faced Delta lady who had been shooting me down the last two days pulled me aside. “Ma’am, I’m going to need to make sure you keep your jacket on throughout the flight.”

I was stunned. Was I getting in trouble for my outfit? I had flashbacks of being sent to the principal’s office in middle school for too-short shorts.

She continued, looking at me like the salesladies who turned away Julia Roberts for her hooker attire in Pretty Woman. “It’s just that when you came up the gate earlier, you had your hoodie off and we could see your undergarments. Especially with you being on a buddy pass, we need you to adhere to the dress code.”

At that point, I would have put on a Big Foot costume if it meant I could get back to Atlanta, so I said okay and basically ran down the jet way like this:

I’m sure you’re wondering what I was wearing, so here it is (photo taken at Raw Bronzing Studio where I stopped to pick up something when I got back in town).

First of all, I got that top from Splendid in NYC and it’s amazing. Okay, so maybe it’s a little see-through and you can peep the sides of my bra thanks to the oversized armholes, but I don’t think I was offending anyone. But then again, I consider myself an extreme liberal when it comes to showing your bra.

I had to check out the Delta “dress code” online, and here it is: Just remember, Delta has a relaxed dress code for pass riders, but that doesn’t mean a sloppy appearance is acceptable. You should never wear unclean, revealing or lewd garments, or swimwear or sleepwear on a flight.

Sleepwear?! Oh I KNOW I have seen people on planes in their sloppy PJs. And now I’m tempted to wear my bikini and a coverup on my next flight to a tropical destination just to see if I can get away with it. Also, what category do I fall under? Lewd or revealing? Or both? Don’t answer that.

And let me just say that the baby screaming at the top of its lungs on my flight was way more offensive than my bra poking out.

That being said, I’m flying again to a wedding in New York next weekend. Now, which short shorts and pink bra to wear…


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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Just FYI, my lady and I are total proof that Pisces (her) and Cancers (me) are destined to be together. Meeting Z was serendipity, girl! John Cusack that man with a boombox and get started with the rest of your life!

  2. I think that official qualifies you as a hot slutty mess. Love it!


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