I call myself weird pet names when I get anxious. This habit has given me a new understanding of the term “pet name”—I’m starting to feel like my own puppy.
This is a great way to draw attention to yourself in airports. Of course, you can accomplish the same end by being the only person with a cowboy hat at both the Albuquerque and Atlanta ends of your flight. By the end of my trip, I had accumulated one of these…
…and one of these…
…and one of these:
I also had zero of these:
When I reached the rental car counter in Atlanta, I was firmly reassuring my canine self.
Then it was time for the nerve-wracking process of learning a new grown-up skill. I fumbled for cards and papers, knowing that any minute I would do something wrong, they would realize I wasn’t responsible enough to trust with their vehicle, and I would have no way to get to South Carolina.
As it turned out, my cover held, and I got to borrow a nice, gold Elantra. I even brought it back without any dents punched in it from the time the alarm went off all day next to some kind people’s tent.
At the outset I asked how to return the vehicle, and “You just drive it in!” seemed like a thorough response. The agent did not mention the magical secret labyrinth of steps, including counterintuitive stuff like parking in the middle of a traffic lane to collect your luggage. Instead, I ended up at the center of a honking and angry-flagger-stick-pointing tempest until I figured out the code. Thank goodness I’m so easy to train.
Anyway, I’ve successfully added Car Rental and Return to my list of grown-up abilities. After an adequate recovery interval, I may try to tackle another item.