Sometimes A Brownie Makes It All Better

, , , , , | Working | June 22, 2020

My husband and I are going on our honeymoon, which is the first overseas trip either of us has ever been on. We’ve done as much as we can to prepare, but there are a few things like toothbrushes and such that can’t be packed until the day we leave. And, of course, that’s exactly when everything seems to fall apart.

Our dog sitter cancels that morning, meaning we have to very quickly find a kennel for our dog and pack up her stuff. Then, on the way back inside after taking the dog to the kennel, I manage to trip and cut my arm on the mailbox. It’s bad enough that I have to get stitches. Luckily, our flight is in the late afternoon, so we sort of have enough time for a trip to the hospital.

But then, just as we get home to finish packing and do a few last-minute tasks we would have had done by noon if life hadn’t gotten in the way, the airport shuttle pulls up to our door a full hour early. The driver tells us that if we’re not ready to leave in five minutes, our reservation will be canceled without refund. It’s only after we haphazardly finish packing and get to the airport that we find out he was absolutely not allowed to do that. By then, it’s too late to go back home to get the items we already realize we’ve forgotten, so we decide we’ll just have to buy them once we land.

All in all, it’s been a pretty awful day, and I’m stressed out.

I’ve put in a request ahead of time for an alternative meal on our trans-Atlantic flight, since I’m vegetarian. When they serve the meals, it’s clear the airline has one single alternative meal that is vegan, kosher, halal, gluten-free, nut-free, low-sodium, and suitable for diabetics. It’s just rice and unseasoned boiled vegetables because of all the restrictions. Though it’s not that appetizing, it’s food, and I eat it.

After the main meal, the flight attendants serve dessert: a brownie for each passenger. I’m really looking forward to the brownie after the day I’ve had. When the flight attendant reaches me, she starts handing me the brownie but then stops.

“Oh, you had the alternative meal, didn’t you?”

She pulls back the brownie and hands me something else. I look down to find an unsweetened, unflavored rice cake. For whatever reason, that is the straw that broke the camel’s back, even if it isn’t a big deal comparatively. I look back up at the flight attendant with what my husband claims is the expression of someone whose heart has just been ripped out and stomped on, and I’m struggling not to cry.

“Did you want the brownie, instead?”

“Yes, please!”

The brownie was delicious, and the rest of our trip went much more smoothly.


This story has been included in our June 2020 roundup as one of that month’s most memorable stories!

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