This is not a post about the cost of air travel because of high gas prices. This is a post about air travel and gas, like stomach gas. And about air travel and crusty boogers. Air travel and stinky socks. Air travel and morning breath all day long. Air travel and a face so greasy-shiny my forehead is practically a mirror.

Can anyone relate?

Dehydration, carbo-loading, dandruff in my eyebrows. And, the aforementioned gas, boogers, stinky feet, morning breath, shiny face.

Air travel is not pretty. At least not for me.

airplane travel1

I don’t pretend, I don’t try to mask it. I don’t touch up my makeup during layovers or spray perfume over the smell of my unwashed humanity. Sometimes I brush my teeth, sometimes I just suck on a TicTac. I have been known to splash water on my face but I have also been known to feel a level of desperation leading to action if I have to wait too long to use the bathroom where I can blow those boogers out in private.

I am no longer cramming a toddler (or two), a diaper bag, a carry-on, and a stroller into a bathroom stall in the airport. I no longer change diapers in airplane bathrooms designed for miniature people. I no longer even accompany anyone to the bathroom at all. I no longer buckle other people’s seat belts (except when my seat partners happen to be refugees and first-time travelers). I don’t monitor food choices and I don’t get the extra leg room afforded by sitting between two small children.

So you’d think I’d have a plan, something all figured out for how to arrive fresh and stylish, how to keep my hair from sticking with ferocious static electricity to the blankets provided by the airline. You’d think I’d remember to toss an extra pair of socks into my carryon so I could change half-way through.

I’ve considered that route. But I decided that airline travel time is no effort time, or walking dead time. Here, in the nebulous world between actual countries, where time fluctuates and there are life vests under your seat even when flying over the largest desert in the world, here chocolate has no calories, here feet are supposed to reek and mouths are supposed to taste like dirty cotton balls. Fingers slide up noses. Farts release like silent death. If those last two are over the top for you, I have one question:

Have you ever been in transit for 49 hours?

There ain’t nothing pretty at the end of 49 hours except Tom picking me up at the airport at 4 in the morning. (Minus one suitcase which came two days later).

How do you travel? Do you arrive fresh or do you let it all turn sour?