Through the wee hours of the morning, during the time between Late Night with David Letterman and reruns of Pretty Little Liars, I stayed awake matching the figures of the flakes on the popcorn ceiling of my hotel room to the facial construction of One Direction members. Sane people were sound asleep.
But I just couldn’t. Something about my eventful day left me thinking over and over again about how so much could happen in one day. From airport surprises to lint in fish burgers, this trip has already gotten off to a funky start. And now, without further ado, I present to you, day one of #DubiraTakesNY.
Let’s start off with the first instance: driving to school to hand completed paperwork to my teacher. This consisted of repeatedly slapping my sister on the side of her face and the constant reiteration of the phrase “If we’re late, my life is OVER!” Half a frappachino and three bhangra songs later, we pulled up to my campus.
You see, there are few things in life greater than thin mints: for example, free thin mints. But paramount to all is the breakfast menu at McDonalds. Because girl, who needs diamond rings and Chanel socks when you can have Egg McMuffins and mango-pineapple smoothies? After a parking lot dine in and excessive snapchats that shall never be posted, we were off to complete our last order of business for the time being. Walmart, kids.
On our way back from Walmart, we were bombarded with over three threatening phone calls from my mother. We pulled up to the driveway to see my dad standing, arms crossed and mouth pressed into a firm line. Afraid for his life, my brother proposed smuggling through the back door. I ditched both of my siblings and ran upstairs, to be met by my mother, the vein on her forehead I named Lucy popping. I gulped and approached her with fingers crossed, repeatedly murmured “sorry” while throwing random articles of clothing into my suitcase. I felt her unflinching gaze burning into my back as I scampered for a tank top.
I found one. In my left shoe, which I also threw into my suitcase.
A few profanities and an ear pull later, we were on our way to Dallas, TX and we were SO LATE OMG. From there, things were looking okay after we ran across the airports’ eleventeen exists to check in. I felt a pang in my stomach. It was happening. New York was happening!!!!!!
But there was a teeny problem.
“No no no, madam you don't understand. I’ve booked two tickets, there is enough!”
“I’m sorry sir, there are two tickets yes, but they are listed both listed under your name and are nontransferable.”
“I’m Mrs. Ghulam Khan.” my mother interfered.
"I'm afraid it doesn't work like that." The attendant with the dreadlocks retorted.
Your dreadlocks don't work, period, honey. I thought.
But nay, the attendant was perseverant. So we bid farewell to my mom at the check in, confused and afraid. She booked the next flight to Atlanta and we rushed to security. “Paging seven passengers for flight 4584.” We kissed Mama goodbye and took to security with heavy hearts. At that point, I knew that this trip was going to suck and the concept of actually consuming New York Style Cheesecake in New York seemed just too good to be true.
Current state of the union: I had no idea what I threw in my suitcase, was leaving my sweet mummy behind, and we were already over ten minutes late for our flight.
Clearly, there was no time for dillydallying. My brother and I rushed past security, urging one another while pushing through strangers barefoot. When I arrived at the terminal, the attendant was 3 seconds away from securing the door. “Wait!” I screeched. I practically threw my boarding pass to her and panted like a dog. “All’s well, sweetie…but I’m going to need you to put your shoes on before you board the plane."
And so I did.
Finding a seat was a bit difficult, but we managed through multiple pushes and swings. My sister sat beside me and shifted until her head turned to me and she peered into my eyes, a look of disbelief on her face.
“MY PHONE. OH MY GOD, MY PHONE!” She screeched, frantically searching her coat pocket and tearing up. “I forgot my phone!”
And then it was in her purse. And then my cousin surprised us at our connected flight in Philadelphia, but lost her suitcase in transit. And then we had Burger King fish burgers. And my dad made us take pictures with those paper crown hats as he happily chimed "esmile!"
And so I did, but only on the outside.