flying high, flying solo, and other flying mistakes

I have a friend who once ate pot brownies before getting on an airplane. He was flying high, wondering if he made in his pants. He wasn’t sure what was real. I’m not permitted to eat brownies on this foul, self-imposed, mostly-improvised diet. So I’m not flying high; I’m flying solo. I shouldn’t be.

The Suitor forgot his passport. You’re getting on an international flight, so forgetting your passport is like forgetting to wipe. But it’s what happened, and in a weird way, I understand it. I forgot my camera, and I never forget my camera. He remembered his. Floss, tennis racquets, socks, sunscreen. But no passport. It’s like something you read about. No, people don’t write about that. It’s like something you see on a sitcom.

So now I’m alone, imagining what I’ll not do in a romantic ocean-view hotel room. I’m sitting in the airport waiting for the plane to board. It’s 9AM (something like that–my time is all screwed up) and people here are ordering beers and glasses of chardonnay. It’s not even noon. You just brushed your teeth. Who does this? Nervous fliers, bored people, and alcoholics. The people around me just look bored. I’m bored too. It’s why I’m writing this.

I usually load up on magazines for the flight, heavy ones, a stack of them. This time I have a stack of pilot scripts to read. It is actually fascinating reading, learning from others’ mistakes, envying their genius. "I wish I wrote that." It’s nice being able to fall in love like that. My flight is boarding… tonight I’m going to be gambling at a casino. Roulette. Unless someone teaches me how to play craps. I want to kiss the dice. It’s about all I’ll be making out with this vacation.


The Suitor finally arrived in the Dominican Republic come Saturday afternoon.  I arrived, alone, on Thursday.  He missed the rehearsal dinner, some toasts, the beach, the pool, me.  "He’s never going to live this one down," everyone (and their mother’s) said to me.  If the situation had been reversed, had I been the one who forgot her passport in Austin, Texas while we were flying from JFK in New York to Punta Cana to attend the wedding of his closest friend, I assure you, I would have been crying.  He would have made me feel horrible.  There would have been an enormous fight.  "You don’t care about the same things I do.  You don’t care about me." would have been slung across my shoulders.  I would have carried it.  He would have made me feel horrible.  I just know this, the way you know things, just KNOW.  I know this is how he operates.  He’d feel better if I felt horrible about it.  I’d feel horrible about it without him having to say a word, but he would say a word, a mean one.  Or three. 

I didn’t say anything.  I was of course disappointed, but what could I do?  What was the point in making him feel worse?  He didn’t even apologize.  Okay, he did eventually, but right off, when the car was downstairs and we were about to lug our bags downstairs, and I asked those rhetorical questions like, "Got the keys?   Got your passport?"  He responded with a "No."  Ha.  Ha.   No.  It was not very ha ha.  "Well I remembered to pack yours Stephanie."  That’s because when we were in Austin, I asked him three times if he packed my passport.  "Since when do you need a passport to go to the Caribbean?"  Then I climbed into the car with my luggage and his camera, hoping he’d find a way down there the next morning.  Long story not quite short, he did make it down there, for one day.  And I hope if things are ever reversed in our future that he’ll remember to treat me as I treated him, with understanding, without a temper, without drama or a fit.  Do onto others and all that. 



  1. The worst thing in the world is dealing with a BF who has a temper. So I dumped mine. Just wasn't worth it. I was always tip-toeing around him.

  2. I've read enough posts about the Suitor to conclude that he is a good guy who loves you very much, but the fact that he seems to enjoy making you feel horrible really makes me question that.

  3. "He'd feel better if I felt horrible about it."

    Why? What does he get out of making you feel badly? A partner's supposed to make you feel better when crap like this happens — or at the very least, not worse. I don't get it.

  4. who doesn't have a temper of some sort? everyone is different, but we are all the same in many ways. it's just a question of whether there way of dealing with things makes you not want to deal with them.

  5. oh-so-ditto, gina-rae! tiptoeing really really hurt my feet…and my heart…and my feelings…and my creativity and joy and true-blue self. it's glorious to stand firmly now on my own two feet without any worries.

  6. The day before I was leaving for my own destination wedding, I lost my passport. It wasn't discovered until midnight and we were leaving on a flight around 7am. When I realized it was lost, I dreaded telling my fiance, for exactly the same reasons you describe in this post about the Suitor. I could just hear the "you can be so irresponsible. doesn't this wedding matter to you?" I was crying before I had even broken the news. But you know what? He was as nice and as supportive as could be. Nobody does these things on purpose and making somebody feel like crap isn't going to make anything any better. My husband-to-be knew this, even when I hadn't given him a chance of remaining calm. So, who knows — perhaps the Suitor would handle this situation precisely in the same, classy way you did. People, especially the ones we love, can be surprising that way.

  7. Why would you make a deal out of it? It's not like he did it on purpose. I'm sure he wasn't happy about it either. Sometimes crappy things happen so why stress about it and make it into more than it is?

  8. Yeah. Wow. Hahahahaha. I'm sympathetic yet unable to contain my laughter. He forgot his passport. That's just awesome.

    Incidentally, the golden rule is flawed. I'm not going to go into the whole philisophical failings of said rule here, but I thought I might mention it because I hate it when people cite the rule thinking it solves everything.

  9. Respect for your reaction on his fault. If this would happen to me, I think that I would get into a temper. It`s not to make him feel horrible; afterwards I`m sorry because I`ve made him feel worse. I say something and in the same moment I know I`d better haven`t said it. Sometimes my mouth is faster than my brain, that`s the problem. THIS is my fault, but I work hard on it.

  10. remember ani's words, stephanie. and bravo for being flexible:

    I don't know who you were expecting
    Probably some bitch who does not budge
    With eyes the size of snow
    I may get pissed off sometimes
    But you seem like the type to hold a grudge
    And in the end, I just let go…

  11. "He would have made me feel horrible… this is how he operates."

    Wow. Good luck with that. And good luck if you do ever have kids with him. Forget their college fund, set up their therapy fund. They'll let him down too, eventually.

  12. Well, I hope it was a good one day. It's hard to stay even-tempered when frustrated which I'm guessing is how it feels when you realize you've forgotten something like that. Frustration=Crying for me. It's like an automatic cry.

  13. Are you sure this is the guy for you? You make him sound like such a jerk. If he isn't really as much of an ass as you make him sound, I would think he would be quite offended by what you write about him. If he really is the way you describe, perhaps you should keep looking.

  14. That is the worst feeling- not being able to go, being left behind sucks just as much as going alone. That I've experienced- not for forgetting my passport, but for being 13 and not even HAVING one, and the airline not letting me go to Canada. Worst birthday vacation ever.

    As for me, I would've gotten angry- but my anger would have been out of disappointment- and it would've led quickly to tears.

    I've also learned over the years that in spite of the "Ha ha" from him (my hubby does the same thing), I need to see it with my own eyes to believe it :-) Roll your eyes at me if you must, but I'm going to be 100% sure your passport (and mine!) are there, even if I have to check 10,000 times on the way to the airport.

  15. Oh my. My BF and I had a vaction of Curacao planned in February. He drove to my house (180 miles) the night before the flight. Morning of the flight, I'm sitting on the floor sorting underwear and he sits bolt upright in bed and screams "FUCK ME". Now, I knew this wasn't a proposition. Turns out, his passport was back at his house. An hour later, he had a flight out 2 days later (there was blizzard schedule for the next day) and I spend two days being cranky in the tropics. But, like you, I was well behaved. What else can you do?

  16. Is the Suitor really a nice guy? Or just an asshole who is capable of incredible kindness and sweet gestures. I'm starting to wonder.

  17. I hope for your sake he does, but he wont. For all my ex's wonderful romantic traits….being intentionally mean to teach me a lesson or feel better about himself proved to be more than I could permit.

  18. To be fair, I don't think he really would want to make me feel horrible. He goes out of his way, in fact, to protect me, and my feelings. But he'd want me to feel something. Is it Jewish Guilt, maybe? I don't know if he'd yell, but there would absolutely be some line like, "this never would have happened if it were one of your friends." I don't know if he'd believe that. In the moment he might. But why say it then? I guess on some level he fears that I'm selfish. Which, I hate to say it, but I think I am. But his context would be wrong because it really would be an accident… but he'd use it as a microcosm. My forgetting my passport would be an illustrative straw, and he'd be the first to point it out to me, making me feel worse. Blowing a mistake into a marring of our relationship. Dramatic, like me, but not like me in the very same way. Aries. Libra. Or so they say. Or, I could be wrong. It's been known to happen here and there. And I hope I am.

  19. Yeah, tiptoeing around a guy with a short fuse is hell on one's emotional pedicure. But I've been off Suitor McPhil since he screamed at you for driving too slowly. Scrapbook or no scrapbook. Sorry. Anyhoo, can't wait for the book.

  20. "And I hope if things are ever reversed in our future that he'll remember to treat me as I treated him, with understanding, without a temper, without drama or a fit. Do onto others and all that."

    Making you feel bad had you forgotten is pure BS. I actually enjoy if my wife screws up. It's my get-out-of-jail-free-card. I go out of my way to be nice and supportive. It's the right thing to do, and it helps for the inevitable time when I screw up. I really don't get the blame/guilt thing at all. Nobody is perfect, no one goes through life unscathed. When your partner does something stupid, just be glad it wasn't you.

    You have a nice maturity about you.

  21. I can't decide if you wrote he'd make you feel horrible because he would have, or because it makes for good drama in your tale. Because you just recanted. Either way, doesn't feel quite authentic. My hunch is that you wrote from truth and don't like hearing the reactions to it. Because if it's the latter, then you really are as selfish as he says. Good luck to you both. And give up on the Jewish Guilt thing…as a jew, that just pisses me off!

  22. I can only go based on what you write and post here, but I too see this temper problem as a bit of a bad sign. I know you probably don't want relationship advice from complete strangers, and I hope it's just something you mention repeatedly because it's one of the little quirks (or whatever) that people pick up on and focus on in relationships. Anyway, like you seem to, I already know and feel horrible when I fuck up, and for me someone else even saying one word on top of that can be too much. Maybe I'm too sensitive, but I think you should only actually yell at someone or criticise their mistake if they really don't get it, it's excusable if it's something that has bad consequences for you and you get caught up in the moment. Then again, this may all just be because I'm a psuedo-wasp trapped in a Jewish Guilt family.
    Glad you seem to have had a great time! I was in the DR last year, it truly is amazing there…

  23. Jewish guilt, Italian guilt, it's all the same crap. At the end of the day, you were the bigger person knowing he wouldn't have been. Tell us again if that doesn't keep you up at night? Just a little, maybe?

  24. "tiptoeing around…hell on an emotional pedicure" – Barbara E, that's a great line.


    He really does sound like the kind of person that you WILL regret having kids with one day. Are you really so insecure that you need to settle for a person who treats you this way?? If he had no money would that matter? Guessing yes.

    For goodness sake – stay out of the sun! You can't reverse sun damage. Saying no to a carb now and then might not hurt either.

    The fact that you jumped into this (this being planning to get married and have a baby with a man you do not know that well) too soon will prove to be a mistake….

    SK –

    Do you ever allow negative comments to be posted here? Mine never seem to make it in. Perhaps because I have accused you of having a huge ego and now I am going to suggest that perhaps if you can't get preggers, it was not meant to be.

  26. Let me get this straight- people are commenting on something The Suitor didn't do/say/act and giving you advice condemning him?

  27. If it is any consolation Stephanie, I actually know of a couple that forgot their KIDS. Mom thought Dad had them and vice versa. The airline was very good about getting them there the next morning, but I mean; come on. Who forgets the kids? There are worse things that could happen. I applaud your reaction or lack thereof. I like to believe that if the reversal were to come about, he would react the same. I guess unlike a great bunch of the commenting general public, I believe that you have better sense than to end up engaged to someone who is less than everything you have ever hoped for. I also like to believe that both you and TS are good, decent, kind people. Human, yes, but not ogres.

    I am honestly made to cringe when I see some of the things that spew forth from people in this comment section. How does sharing some beautiful pictures turn into being about your carb intake? I think you look happy, healthy and content. Doesn't speak of sunscreen and carbs to me.

    Again, I guess it is a good thing I am not you, but sometimes I cant help but want to lash out in your stead. People are really quite shitty. I'm sorry they speak to you like they do, instead of just moving right along.

  28. I applaud you for acting maturely in the situation, most people would not have. All this negativity toward The Suitor seems hypocritical; it's a rare person who could have dealt with the situation as well as you did. As a person with flaws (many of them), getting that frustrated seems understandable and it's only a natural reaction to lash out. The important part would be in whether or not he eventually felt awful for making you feel awful.

  29. He`s the person who wants to say I told you so, if we had done it my way none of this had happen. The more I read what you wrote about his need to punish you, make you feel bad it felt somehow fmiliar and your comment on your zodiacs just proved me right. Aries. Thats it. I`m guilty of it too. Even if I know it was my fault I manage to turn the things around and blame someone, make them feel bad. All that because I just can`t admit I`m the stupid one.

  30. My (ex) bfriend also loved it when I screwed up (of course he'd deny this)- it made him feel good cos he was always the one who was wrong and I was little miss perfect. He'd bring up ONE incident that happened, time and again, like he couldn't find enough fault with me, so he'd search his brain and out would come that ONE time …

  31. Steph,

    Why is it that you and TS won't go to couple's therapy? I think you mentioned somewhere you were against it.

    There is nothing wrong with learning how to communicate with each other in a healthy way. We go to school or through training to learn job skills, yet we are supposed to know how to have a healthy relationship by osmosis. I don't get it. Therapy or couple's coaching is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength and intelligence.

    My fiance and I have been together 3 years, and are getting married this January. We've been in couple's coaching since our first year together, to learn how to communicate and solve problems BEFORE they cause damage to the relationship. We've probably had about 3 arguments total.

    Again, I'll recommend "Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts" by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot.


  32. Steph, you are setting a fine example. Taking the lead in reacting to a sad situation with such composure and maturity is the way to go. I definately would have cried, as much out of frustration as a way to make him feel guilty. Though I certainly do hope that The Suitor sees fit to follow, the important things seems to be that YOU are growing happier with who you are and changing that which you are not proud of…living and learning.

  33. I have read this blog for a long time, and never commented. Then, I saw myself and my husband in this post, and all of the pop-psych comments and had to write.

    My husband of 20 years – WHO I WOULD NOT TRADE FOR THE WORLD – does this as well. He has improved much over the years, and always apologizes quickly, but his knee-jerk reaction to mistakes on my part that affect him or us negatively is to tell me (not yell, just make sure I know from his tone he's not happy) that I screwed up and to elaborate on how I screwed up. No, I don't do that to him. But, unlike the santimonious posters here, I'm not perfect and I don't think its a reason to dump him. Its the kind of thing I complain to my girlfriends about, which is how I see Stephanie's posting, but its not a dealbreaker. I don't demand perfection from him, nor does he from me. We have one of the best, strongest marriages I know of – I'm insanely proud of it. When over 1/2 of my kids' close friends are children of divorce, my kids have boringly devoted parents who work out their differences and long ago figured out how to live through the bad, and keep the not-just-good-but-excellent aspects of their lives together.

  34. I am so excited I just saw a posting that you are going to be at Borders in New York in a few weeks! I cannot wait.
    Anyone from ny, check it out:

    BORDERS, Columbus Circle, NYC on Aug 2nd at 7 PM

  35. Hold up.

    I never comment here but I can't abide by certain things, and disrespecting the integrity of a fellow Barnard girl is one of them.

    Kir, Stephanie has money of her own. She doesn't need a husband for that.

  36. "The worst thing in the world is dealing with a BF who has a temper. So I dumped mine. Just wasn't worth it. I was always tip-toeing around him. "

    I would respectfully argue that (from a man/boyfriends perspective) having your personal relationships/arguments/errors posted for the world (including your own family and friends) to read would to me rank right up there with having a boyfriend who has a temper. Also, having no forum (or a forum in which you do not feel comfortable commenting) to defend yourself or tell your side of the story, would also rank highly in terms of "worst things". Again, this is just my point of view/opinion, but when i put myself in the suitors place, i really dont know how he deals with it.

  37. I forgot my passport once and didnt realize til we were on the way to the airport -the husband took a deep breath, turned the car around, and we went back to get it. Luckily we made the flight anyway.
    Years later, I didn't lock my door on a rental car in Miami and his bags were stolen, mine were left. He went home that night with literally nothing but the clothes on his back. Never said a word either time – never took it out on me or made me cry, just let me apologize, and moved on. Now these are great stories used only to make fun of me and I can take the jokes.
    I know I could never be as patient as he is, but in the words of Jack Nicholson, he makes me want to be a better person….
    That's love to me, but that's just my opinion.

  38. "I am going to suggest that perhaps if you can't get preggers, it was not meant to be."
    And *I* am going to suggest that this may be the single stupidest, ignorant hurtful statement ever made.

    Good for you for being adult about such a crappy mistake. Crappy because it happened at all, not crappy of him to do.
    Sad to say, I'd probably have flipped. My version of TS would have flipped too.

  39. Kudos on staying calm in the face of a stressful situation. That's not easy to do.

    However, I think it's truly bizarre that you are criticizing the Suitor for something he never did, for the way you *think* he would have acted had you been the one to forget your passport. In fact, your post seems to be about illustrating your moral superiority: you stayed calm and he wouldn't have. Weird. Stick to addressing the things he actually DOES (and I'm not a Suitor fan, but this seems to really cross the line, imo).

  40. Why is it that everyone is always so hard on TS and Steph and whether he is good enough yada yada yada. Steph has given us the privelege of seeing into her life and letting us know how stuff goes and how it gets handled…Slowpokemary hit the nail on the head with her comments. Steph-keep it up from a devoted male fan!

  41. "getting that frustrated seems understandable and it's only a natural reaction to lash out. The important part would be in whether or not he eventually felt awful for making you feel awful."

    I repsectfully disagree. My natural reaction to getting cut off is to start hitting people. My natural reaction to the kids not getting ready is to start screaming. But as human beings, we're blessed with the ability to reason out our responses and to control our reactions. So instead of hitting the other driver, I high-beam him. And instead of screaming at the kids, I try to get their attention in other ways.

    Eventually feeling awful for what we have done is not the right way to live. Everyone will lose it now and then, and there is probably a healthy facet to that, but flying off the handle and then apologizing on a regular basis is wrong.

  42. um… since when DO you need a passport to go to the Caribbean? I hear, since Januaary of…2008. Am I wrong?

  43. " And I hope if things are ever reversed in our future that he'll remember to treat me as I treated him, with understanding, without a temper, without drama or a fit. Do onto others and all that." Okay…am I missing something here, or haven't we essentially done the passive-aggressive thing in saying, "I could have been a real jerk about this and made him feel bad, but instead I was calm about it and merely broadcast what _he_ would have done in _my_ shoes" bit by blogging about it in this manner? Which is not to say that he (The Suitor) wouldn't have done precisely that. But haven't _you_ done this as well here? No, I'm not asserting that you shouldn't have done so. We've all been there. Nor am I really trying to accuse you of some sort of hypocrisy here–your reaction was/is human and understandable. But that doesn't change the fact that in a way, what you could have done in chastizing TS privately and directly has instead become on some level (even semi-fictitiously) a good ol' fashioned spanking before your public, no? Not taking sides here, just wondering…

  44. Unfortunately I have to admit that I'm the one in the relationship that makes a huge deal about screw ups, even when they aren't intentional. I'm working on it, and I thank my lucky stars it's not a dealbreaker for my guy. Because we all have our good points and bad. He loves me for everything, you have that too and you're, like me, fortunate as hell. I can understand the Suitor, and I can understand why you can find it super frustrating (enough to write about). But that's that – it's super annoying but not something to question the entire premise of your relationship over. As always I love your honesty – I wish I could be so much.

  45. My mother is an aries and my father is a libra.
    Well, they're married since 1971 and they are still full of love. I think the Suitor is a good guy, Steph, I'm sure you will be happy with him.


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