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Twitter Lady

I was the quintessential road warrior. I traveled every week for years. It used to take me 15 minutes to pack for a domestic trip, 30 for international. I had two of the essentials, one for home and one for away. Stuff didn’t mix across my worlds. Travel docs lived in my electronic wallet and I used apps for managing transportation and hotels.

Then the pandemic hit.

My work clothes have now hung in the closet for nearly two years and stretched in the the wrong ways. My feet have become allergic to high heels. My travel supplies have became yucky. I have not logged into the travel apps for what seems like an eternity. Now I can’t recall my login credentials.

Naturally, muscle memory had a terrible time kicking into gear when I decided to visit Ma in India. What away toiletries do I need? What lives where in my backpack? What meds travel with me? What the hell shoes work?!

It took two hours to pack. It took equally long to do the paperwork and upload passport page, visa, RT-PCR result, multiple health declaration forms into three portals. Despite the prep, when I boarded the long haul flight, I had to show a paper copy of one of the many forms I had already submitted electronically. That instantly validated the decision to burn trees and bring a folder of printed documents.

Long story short, I made it to Portland airport for my flight to Newark without forgetting the important stuff.

And then…cue the drumroll…there was a ground stop in Newark.

Unexpected excitement came from a novice passenger, who quickly announced, "Twittuh says Nooak has shut down!" She grabbed her bags as she prepared to exit the aircraft telling everyone that they need to do the same. Other passengers followed her. In the ensuing chaos, the ground crew announced that if one passenger deplanes, everyone must deplane.

Several of us road warriors tried to convince Twitter Lady that a ground stop doesn't mean "Nooak" has disappeared into ether and that ground stops happen all the time. The pilot implored the passengers to stay onboard so we could make a quick exit when the ground stop lifted,

But there was no consoling Twitter Lady and her Nervous-Nellie entourage.

Soooo...we ALL deplaned.

Forty five minutes later when we re-boarded, Twitter Lady stopped by my seat to say, "See that wasn't too bad!"

I replied, "You just inconvenienced a plane full of people in a pandemic, it was really bad."

Somewhere over Uzbekistan as my brain filled with carbon dioxide from wearing a mask for umpteen hours, I imagined a Twitter-free existence. By the time I landed in Delhi, I knew Twitter Lady along with her partner Facebook Man and their kids TikTok Girl and Insta Boy are permanent fixtures in our lives. They will appear in many avatars to deliver disarray based on their social media existence.

Until my next encounter with them, at least I know where things go in my backpack when I travel. Thank goodness for that!

(Image source: Perfect Cartoon)

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