Most Embarrassing Travel Moment

My guess is most of us have had one of these. Even the most seasoned traveler can’t control the universe and sometimes things just happen. I had an embarrassing moment on my way back from Wisconsin a week ago, and I’ll get to that, but it triggered a memory of traveling with my family nearly 40 years ago.

Just about the whole pack of us headed to Florida for a Disney vacation. Mom, me, three of my adult sisters, brothers-in-law, and several of their children. It may have been the first time any of us had flown, and we loaded that TWA jetliner with as many suitcases as FingerHut would sell us. I say this in the most endearing sense as I loved watching the Beverly Hillbillies when I was a kid, but we were the Clampetts of the sky, I’m sure.

Sister Judy in front, Mom behind her with me or one of my nephews, next row
is sister Debby, and the final row is a nephew and a brother-in-law (doing the wave?).
And that was only half of us on the family vacay. Circa mid-1970s.

We had armloads of luggage without wheels, each piece weighing more than each of us. As we were plucking them from the conveyor belt at baggage claim, Mom’s smallest suitcase, the one with her unmentionables, popped open. Yep, her delicates were strewn about, exposed for all the world to see. If that weren’t bad enough for this very modest Midwest, stand-offish brood, a complete stranger popped his head in amongst all the commotion and said “Oooh, I like that!” You can imagine our horror. We were mortified, but we had a grand vacation and still reminisce about that trip today.

My incident last week: I was at O’Hare, people watching of course and charging my phone. Earbuds in, iPad streaming because my phone is junk (if anyone offers you a Samsung Charge, just run…run as fast as you can and don’t look back). The phone was charged and it was time to move on and free up the outlet. I pulled the jack out of my iPad before shutting the music down – I know, rookie mistake – and BLASTED, I mean BLASTED the chorus line “It’s raining men! Hallelujah!” for all of United Terminal C to hear. There was a giggle from nearby, and I packed up so quickly and bolted to the nearest Hudson News that I nearly tripped myself.

As it was nearly four decades ago, I was again the people who people watch.