Flying standby is not in my nature. It isn't scheduled, though it relies on a schedule. It requires patience, which I have, but it also requires waiting, at which I am not very good. This means that I tend to bunge up just a bit as I sit in an airline terminal, waiting for my name to be called. Or not. I could be flying to Newark. Or not. I could be going to Houston, via Portland. I just need to be ready.
Because that is the thing that I do well. I am ready. So ready, in fact, that I tend to make those around me even more vigilant. Or at least that's what I would like to think. When it comes time to board that big old jet airliner, I want my party to be as ready as I am. Consequently, my family spent thirteen hours coiled, ready to pounce on that next available flight. We flew from Oakland to Denver. Then Denver to Detroit. A short hop to Chicago put us one step closer to Washington D.C. Happily there was only a forty-minute wait at Midway for an airplane ride to our nation's capitol.
Once we got on that flight, and the three of us were all in the same place, headed for our final destination, I breathed out, perhaps for the first time that day. I had my complimentary beverage and closed my eyes. Standby was over. It was time to stand down.