Monday, December 14, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig, or Flying While Fat: The Overweight Gal's Guide to a Slightly More Comfortable Vacation

The temperature difference between Minneapolis and the Yucatan area of Mexico is insane. Our resort (next door to Xcaret park, a little ways south of Playa del Carmen) was so warm and humid that I was sweating even in the air conditioning. I came home to snow - as in, when my friend picked me up at the airport (more on that later), the snow was falling from the sky. There was a winter storm just before I left on vacation last week.

At the passport control desk in Miami, the guy behind the counter looked at my documents and said, "Rebecca from Minnesota - it's cold up there!" Yes. Yes it is. It is very cold up here.

But that's all right, because for four days I was able to get away from it all. I wore a bathing suit and plopped myself down in a beach chair and sat in the sun for hours. I swam. I ate meals outdoors. I longed for a decent pair of sandals and some shorts that fit - everything I brought was too warm. But I survived. I had fun. I drank tequila and cervesa. It was great.

My flights were interesting. As a large woman, I pretty much freak out every time I'm about to fly. I never know who will be seated next to me, and I'm terrified that they're going to complain to the airline or something and somehow find a way to make me pay for an extra seat. As we're all congregating around the gate area in the airport, I can feel the stares of other people on the flight, looking at me through the corners of their eyes, hoping and praying that they won't have to sit next to the fat lady. It's not a very fun position to be in.

The first flight was perfect. I was by myself - no one sat next to me for the whole flight. It was fantastic. For the second flight, however (Miami to Cancun), I was really disappointed in myself for not taking the $50 upgrade to first class. The seats were so small that I could barely wedge myself into my seat. My thigh was pushing the button to make the chair recline, so I had to make myself sit up during takeoff so that my chair didn't lean back - quite the ab workout, actually. But it was extremely uncomfortable.

On the flights home, the only really bad thing was on the flight from Miami back to Minneapolis. I was wedged into my seat, and I was trying to keep to my own space as well as I could, but it was difficult. It took me forever to realize why I was having so much pain in my thigh where the armrest was getting me - it hadn't been nearly that painful on other flights. Then I realized - it wasn't because of the armrest or the plane or anything specific. It was my thigh that was the problem. You see, the day before I was laying out in the sun reading a book, and i hadn't realized that I missed a spot while applying sunscreen. That's right - the spot right where the armrest was digging into my leg. Sunburned. Ow. For three hours and 45 minutes. I couldn't wait to get off that plane.

The part of the trip that didn't involve airports or airplanes was the best, though. The resort has fantastic guacamole. I was in heaven.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I hate flying fat. I've had way to many people give me dirty looks and one flight attendent even yelled at me and said that I had to sit in the fat row way in the back of the plane. ugh.

    Chris, myself and the baby are all flying to Virgina over the holidays and I am dreading it. Two fat people and a baby in two seats. I pray no one else is in the row...or frankly on the plane!