Thursday, April 5, 2012

oona in the sky with deadbeats


home again home again, jiggetty jig.  by the hair of my chinny chin chin.

on the flight home, i passed the time editing these pictures i took about a month ago, of a wearable muslin inspired by my hipster camo version of debi's traveling pattern.  though i'll tell ya, there was plenty enough to occupy me.  that was about the most ghetto flight i've ever been on.  when the seatbelt sign dinged at the end of the five and a half hour trip, people crashed out of their seats.  BANG.  like, roller derby.  i told my row mates i wouldn't be surprised if peeps started throwing punches.

my center row mate was a child.

his parents sat four rows behind us.

so 9C and i were essentially babysitters for the five and a half hour flight.

there's a reason i don't have children.


lookee there!  darts that point where they're supposed to point!

actually, the child was lovely.  a charming redheaded little boy of about nine?  maybe eleven?  i don't know, all children seem to hover around the age of two to me.  but woo-EEE, the rest of the flight was hurtling towards extinction, refusing to sit during turbulence, chasing toddlers up and down the aisle, yelling to friends in the back of the plane, opening suitcases on the floor and strewing contents in front of drink carts, lounging with bare feet propped up on the heads of the seats in front of them.  good times.  

but Charming Boy was very well behaved-- and utterly bored, as his parents had basically abandoned him with three bags of sugar and no means of entertainment.  now, yes, the airline separated their seats, so what could they do, but they didn't even try to ask one of us to switch with.  so i'm tagging them Ma 'n Pa Abandoner. JUDGED.  when i boarded the plane and realized Charming Boy was not related to the woman in 9C, i began to offer my window seat to the "anxious" mother hovering in the aisle.  she saw it coming and fended me off with an oh i just wanted to make sure he doesn't bother you okay be good SEE YA, turned her back on us and scampered off to her exit row seat beside equally unconcerned Pa Abandoner.


i made the back very low (obviously).  i had betty draper and julia bobbin's mad men challenge in mind, but alas, time got the best of me.  i think this orange dress looks so good by the water... must be why i put the turquoise invisible zip in there.

speaking of chlorinated liquids, somebody drugged the water on the plane and they gave away headsets for free, to entertainment-less Charming Boy's luck.  still,  unamused by the movie offering of hugo, he ventured to Ma 'n Pa Abandoner's row for something electronic.  victorious, he came back with a cellphone, which was on, and not in the safe way, cheerfully announcing he'd pass the time by texting.

we had a little teaching moment about airplanes and cellphones.  he was amazed.

but lo and behold!  the drinks cart came.  a diversion!  i ordered my usual ginger ale (i know, you expect more of me, but i'm not about to fork over seven bucks for a shitty glass of airplane merlot.  the kalkatroonaans got me plenty buzzed on sea breezes beforehand, thankyaverymuch).  Charming Boy ordered a sierra mist.  i was instantly and wholeheartedly enraged by his choice.  all natural ingredients!  no high fructose crack syrup!  it is now my go-to airplane drink.  

however.  still high from the wacky water, the attendants were feeling generous, and gave us all cans.  tempering this odd behavior, they did not give us the little dinky napkins that keep the cans from sliding around the tray table.  five minutes later, Charming Boy had a lapfull of soda.  flight attendants suddenly losing their power of sight (one stared right at me, strolling slowly by as i asked her three times for help), 9C took it upon herself to find towels, while i assured the tyke it was not his fault.  seeing the heavy activity and distressed faces in her son's row, Ma Abandoner craned her neck forward with just the proper soupcon of concern on her face.  i stared at her, expecting her to mouth a question to me, or possibly GET UP OUT OF HER ROW AND COME OVER TO SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH HER YOUNG SON, but no, it was just for appearance's sake.  selective blindness was apparently contagious in economy class.  9C came back, we got him cleaned up, and used the plastic safety cards to construct a dry seat.  but doesn't the airline need that? he blinked.  they'll get new ones.  i think they can afford it, i drily retorted.


wouldja get a load of those pretty guts?  i actually lined a bodice.

the lining of the seat wore thin, and Charming Boy remained damp.  on a drying venture to the restroom, he came back with an ipad.  AN IPAD.  Ma Abandoner had it in her arsenal the entire time.  look y'all, i get it.  she saw an opportunity for five and a half hours of free babysitting and took it.  BUT GIVE THE KID THE IPAD.

he had to give it back after thirty minutes.

he was quite lucky to be in that row.  and i have to say, 9C stepped it up way more than i did.  i just didn't have the energy to entertain him, endearing as he was.  she showed him all of her stunning shots she'd just taken from amazing heights in new york (think dangling edges of skyscrapers), she being a professional photographer.  do you think she's a photographer too? Charming Boy asked, thumbing at me.  she's got TONS of pictures of herself.

i almost did a spit take, choosing instead to let them think my earphones blocked their conversation.  maybe she is, 9C answered with the perfect warm tone of your most adored teacher.  this is a very creative row!

she really was fabulous with the boy.



hells yeah it was a creative row.  i just wasn't in my normal state of bragginess.  using the original pattern as a jumping off point, i made up the bodice myself.  it's got some crazy darts in the back to keep the scoop neck in place.  and i got all fancy with this fabric, using dye for the first time.  this was the color of the horrid joann's cotton apres box of orange rit.  the fabric had been in storage for five years, i bought it when i was first teaching myself to sew.  i can't tell you what i was possibly thinking.  i don't even know what to call this mauve void of color.   at the end of the wash cycle, i called it Better.


at the end of the flight, after fisticuffs were avoided, i wished Charming Boy good luck.  i would have so liked to wait for Ma 'n Pa Abandoner to reach the aisle, so that i might give them the stink eye, but i was too excited to get back to ruggy.  

and really, their loss anyway.  he was a delight. 

78 comments:

  1. OMG what a beautiful dress!!! You are very "Jolie", love that fabric too.
    sorry for my poor english ;)

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    1. your english is far and away better than my french :)!!

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  2. Parents!

    Your dress is beautiful :-)

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  3. Oh my dearest,darling dear. What a story. I have been thinking of you a lot over these past few days. I hope you have been given a big Ruggie hug since getting home. Kudos for indulging someone else's son!

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    1. lots of ruggyhugs, immediately and happily neverending:)

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  4. Oh lady, you are so after my own heart... there's a reason I don't have kids as well, and part of it is that I'm constantly disgusted by the rampant lack of good parenting in the world. Mr and Ms. Abandoner should be ashamed! I can understand the 'first come first seated' policy on airplanes but it should never apply to parents with small children.

    On a brighter note, that dress is lovely... gorgeous colour, and I love the low back adorned with turquoise zip, perfectly matching the pool water... very thoughtful :)

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    1. if they had visited Charming Boy even once during the flight, it would have earned them points... mais non.

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  5. Cute dress! Scary plane full of people. :-/

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  6. Ah, you definitely saved that fabric with a good dye job! Nice! And I love the turquoise zip.

    do you think she's a photographer too? Charming Boy asked, thumbing at me. she's got TONS of pictures of herself.
    This made me snort. Oh, kids.

    Parents who abandon their young just burn me up (don't even get me started on my own sister!), but at least you got stuck with one who didn't suck as bad as his parents obviously do :)

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  7. I love the dress - beautifully made and looks gorgeous on you!

    Re the airplane parents, it's hard not to judge and find fault there. What if you'd been a drunkard or worse? I've heard stories like this before and cringe every time. Good for you and 9C for taking care of the kid.

    Speaking of awful parenting in flight, I watched once as a dad sat across the aisle from his wife and 2 small kids, settled back in his chair, and put on NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES while the mom (glaring) took care of the kids for the entire flight. Gotta wonder about the family dynamic there.

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    1. That was probably my (soon to be divorced) SIL. My BIL constantly goes on about how easy it was to travel with kids: you just have a drink and go to sleep and they are prefectly behaved. Right? :P

      I was once separated from my son during a flight because of a seat mix-up. I was told, "Just leave him back there until we're cruising and then we'll rearrange the seats". Yeah, that sounds like a good solution: leave a 3 year old alone with childless strangers who didn't sign up for this. Needless to say I refused to sit down until it was sorted, and I'm sure 45D appreciated not having to hold the hand of a scared, sticky kid.

      I've been flying for almost 30 years now, and I'm astounded by the "bus people" who fly with garbage bags for hand luggage and bring their jammies and pillows on board. Let's all get loaded and have a sleepover, shall we?

      Oh yeah, beautifully fitted dress by the way! I got off on a little tangent there for a moment...

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    2. june & vicki--
      this cracked me up.

      @ vicki, i'm surprised they didn't boot you off for not obeying like cattle. good for you.

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  8. Hahaha, very amusing! Ugh, kids (especially boys) drive me mad. I used to want babies so badly, now I'm not even sure if I want them at all! That dress is amazing and I can't believe how much the dye improved the fabric. So good on you! Xx

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  9. I love the open back. I think that's my favorite part. I'm always amazed by kids who are comfortable around people they don't know. When I was a kid I don't think I started eating dinner with my own family until I was about eight. That's how backwardly shy I was.

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    1. oh no, not even family dinner! me too, with strangers at least... i went through shy, weirdly in my post college years. this kid was just all kinds of gregarious.

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  10. I love this dress! The back is gorgeous. And the orange is a huge improvement! Love it.

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  11. you look incredible! what a great dress.

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  12. HA! Your post had me cracking up! I can't believe they just left you and 9C to be babysitters! Seriously, people should have to take a test before they can have kids. Anyways, the dress is gorgeous, and I love that he said 'she has lots of pictures of herself'. I was just editing my blog pictures on my flight back from Hawaii and I thought 'I hope no one sees that I'm going through 5 gazillion pictures of me in the same dress trying to pose and looking like a goober.'

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    1. i always try to get the right side window seat so i can angle my screen away from everyone for just that reason :)

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  13. This is adorable. You look gab as usual even if you had to deal with a wild rumpus to get te photos to us

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  14. i'm sitting here in a dress that looks the same as yours (color is the only difference, mine is pink and white ginghamish dress).. and i'm enjoying your story.. yes, it's horrible and the parents are assholes and i'm not a child lover myself, but the story itself is still priceless.. and disturbing a bit

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  15. That flight escapade has me rolling! Too funny! What is it with planes? I swear every time I fly I'm like "Now THIS is the most ghetto flight I've ever been on..." I always joke that flying Southwest is like taking the Chinatown bus...

    Anyway - Adorable dress. The color is amazing and that pop of turquoise zip... perfect!

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    1. Ahahaha-- it totally IS like the Chinatown bus! I hate the horrible lining up thing... ugh, why is Southwest always the cheapest?!

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    2. YES BUS!!! especially southwest, but now american is doing the whole "an extra ten bucks gets you early boarding" thing, like jet blue, which COMPLETELY confuses the passengers into thinking they can grab whatever seats they want. the agent was all "well everyone else is doing it". i told the agent that the difference is jet blue & southwest give you tv & lower fares.

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  16. I love this. I want this. The color is much better than better. Glad you're back poolside:)

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  17. Egads. nothing worse than flying with kids. After 18 years of sharing the skies with my offspring, I myself am ready to abandon my charming 12 year old with strangers--especially interesting ones with mad sewing and photography skills. Even though my boys are sweet and easy now, I sometimes flashback to those days of dealing with diaper blow-outs in the tiny bathroom, or sitting and smiling at the priest next to me while my toddler tried to rip my shirt off screaming "give me NANA!" and hope that we aren't seated together.

    On a brighter note, love the dye-job and the dress.

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  18. I love the pop of color from the zipper and I LOVE the neckline! Very sexy but still classy!

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    1. thank you! i was happy about the neckline:)

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  19. Ewwwww, whenever I'm lining up for a flight, I crane my neck for like half an hour looking to see how many kids are going to be on my flight (I don't know why I even want to know...). I once sat next to a guy who outlined his ENTIRE medical history for me... in great detail... no matter how hard I tried to ignore him. Ugh!!

    The dress is so cute-- love the super scoopy back! And the orange dye job is fantastic!

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  20. First, let me say I LOVE the dress, its awesome. I don't know how you can sew so fast.

    As a parent, I have mixed feelings. I agree with you on the iPad. My kids are old enough and self-sufficient enough (at 8 and 10) that being separated by several rows wouldn't bother me. I WOULD make sure they had entertainment and didn't pester. The "strangers" thing doesn't bother me because, well, you're on an airplane thousands of feet up. Its not like they can go anywhere, right? All I'd do is ask the attendants to make sure my kids waited up front during disembarkment until we got to them.

    As for airlines, they have to pack people in like cattle anymore. No half empty flights and I know the attendants are terribly overworked.

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    1. As an aside, I actually let my children go outside and play without me hovering over them. Lately they've been going out after dark with flashlights to catch frogs, too.

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    2. i don't know-- i think it's all about how the airlines treat their employees. on packed southwest flights, they're just always the best. american airlines employees are just exhausted and OVER the passengers. there was one attendant who was stellar, and i made a point of complimenting her at the end of the flight.

      i think if i had kids i wouldn't mind a little me time on a flight, certainly if i knew my kids were well behaved-- but i would definitely make sure he or she had plenty of entertainment. i mean, this kid had gummie bears and chips. for a five and a half hour flight?! even as obviously self sufficient as he was, that was just mean.

      i totally agree on not hovering. i think too many parents watch over every little thing their kids do, it's too much. they've gotta learn some things on their own. (and i would have loved to catch frogs by flashlight as a child!)

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  21. Lady that's it.
    You get your stink eye ready and I'll get my cousins. We are going to pay Ma and Pa Abandoner a visit.

    And I'm keeping the iPad.

    Oh and your dress is lovely as always.

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  22. The boy sounds like a real cutie, bummer that his parents are lazy. The dress is fabulous, as usual, you always look so beautiful in these orange-y colors, it makes me want to make something in orange. But then I remember that I can't do yellow tones.

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  23. People are stupid.


    (Fortunately for us, you are not a person.)

    (well. I mean... Are you?)

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    1. you know i hail from the planet kalkatroona.

      i always wondered what system you arrived from?

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  24. The colour of that fabric kicks a*se, absolutely love the shade.

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  25. Loved the dress and loved the post! Smiles all around over here!

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  26. I HATE flying. Hate it. You just illustrated why. Ugh, makes my blood pressure go up just thinking about.

    But your dress is gorgeous. I love the low back.

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  27. I love the dye job! Sooo much better than the orig, and so much more Oona. Pool colored zip FTW. You know, I recently heard of an in-flight babysitting service on Wait, Wait... maybe the tyke's parents thought they were getting it for free!

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  28. Your posts are such a hoot. And as usual, amazing dress! Good for you for lining it :)

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  29. You are so gorgeous in that dress!! The torqoise zip is just perfect!

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  30. "do you think she's a photographer too? Charming Boy asked, thumbing at me. she's got TONS of pictures of herself."

    HAHAHAH

    At least you didn't get: "Are you supposed to be some kind of model or something? 'Cause you don't really look like a model..." To which I replied: "They love me in Thailand."

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  31. Oh, Oona, if you'd had an uneventful flight there would have been no story to entertain us! Glad you are safely back home. Love the orange and brown against your skin -- you'd have looked ill in the grey-and-mauve, I fear. Happy Easter.

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    1. the whole time i thought: BLOG POST.

      happy easter to you too!

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  32. You are a trooper, Ms Oona, because I would have flipped out ... except he was a ginger, and I could've told him facts about our kind. The dress is mahvelous! I love the orange color and the back especially - the back neckline is just stunning on you! I'm glad you made it home in one piece - back to your lovely poolside adventures and turquoise zippers *wistful sigh*

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    1. oh the valuable info you could have shared with your fellow tribesperson...

      (and what's funny is i actually thought you'd be the perfect seatmate for him while we were in the air)

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  33. Hehehehehe, this was a great story in the telling, though obviously trial to get through. You did a good turn FOR CHARMING BOY, his parents... grrrrr. Forced babysitting is NOT COOL.

    When my family emigrated to Australia, my sister and I were nearly-seven and nearly-four. My parents were worried how we'd handle it, we'd never flown except a twenty minute joy-flight we hadn't actually realised was up in the air. TWENTY-FOUR HOURS had the parents panicking. We were given medicine in the weeks before we went so we would't get earaches and scream. Lots of toys, books, games were purchased to be doled out inflight. Anyway, for the longest legs of the journey, some 16 hours I believe, our seatmate was twenty-something Laura, moving to Sydney and she JUST LOVED KIDS. Chatted and played our games with us the whole time we were awake (i.e. all but two hours) and when I got sleepy she was all you lie down put your legs across me in my seat! She even had a chance to escape us at a changeover but the flight wasn't full so she came back to us. My parents exchanged addresses with her and they corresponded for awhile. They remember her so fondly and with a misty look in their eyes when we talk about that journey, nearly thirty years later.

    Charming Boy will remember how the time he had to fly in a sticky seat was actually completely awesome because he got to sit between an amazing photographer, and a super nice lady, and the kicker, you know who the nice lady was? Turns out, IT WAS OONABALLOONA, just flying like a REGULAR PERSON. OONABALLOONA, okay, put FLIGHT CARDS on the seat, just like that. I swear man! It happened. I was nine, it was just right before she BLEW. UP. She is a class act all around, and just as pretty up close.

    His parents will be all, yeah, no, we didn't actually talk with her, really...

    I LOVE your dress. The dye job is perfect!! I've tried dyeing fabric before but not had great successes. Nice work!!

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    1. HAAAAAAAAAAAA! i love your stories so much it hurts!!!!!

      i'm surprised your parents didn't bribe young laura to live with y'all.

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  34. Oh, the pleasures of small human beings. If that had been me on the flight, I'm afraid I would have pretended to be fast asleep. Although I do remember being nine years old and on a 14-hour flight to HK, and my brother and I yelling "WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!" when turbulence hit. Oh darn, that means my kids will probably be like that...

    Let's ignore that and think, instead, about how lovely that orange+turquoise combo is. You are very courageous to dye that fabric; it turned out spectacular!

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    1. Charming Boy did talk quite a bit about crashing and burning. THAT WAS FUN.

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  35. I'm so impressed with your dress! And with your attitude to the poor abandoned child!

    Sometimes parents on planes turn into real little shits. It's like the air pressure makes them strange. When I was 16 I flew to New Zealand next to a 4 and a 6 year old. Their parents? Other side of the plane, 10 rows down. My mother, sitting in the row in front of me, saw these people for who they really were, and told me to put my walkman on and REFUSE TO ENGAGE. And then she dobbed the parents in to the cabin steward for abandonment. The cabin steward did nothing because the air pressure obviously got to his brain too.

    My mother is quite possibly the most awesome woman in the world, though.

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  36. Also ... INSIDES! Thank you for sharing the insides of your dress again.

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    1. you're welcome! i'm glad to know you want to see them, i'm going to be more diligent about that....

      your mom IS awesome. really? they couldn't each take a kid? airplanes make peeps lose their MINDS.

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  37. Great dress! Yay for the bust darts and the wonderful fabric - smart idea to dye it, it looks great that way!
    Heh, love the abandoned kid story. *g*

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  38. Fabulous dress, awful parents. Kid must have a great nanny at home cuz clearly the parents aren't responsible for his exemplary behavior.

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  39. pure awesome. good thing the kid wasn't a terror. the dress is super-fab!

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  40. Great story... love it and have so been there. Planes are like these sardine can experiments--all the normal social rules go out the door and then you throw in first-time flying families (or wait, packs of teenagers on their first trip to Europe!), and a crabby attendant. And bam. They are totally short stories in themselves. Gotta say, favorite u.s. airline now is Jet Blue. Their flight crews area always the best. So funny and graceful and patient--they obviously like their jobs. Now if only they'd fly internationally...

    Love the dress.... pretty insides!

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  41. ..and you my dear are a charming lady, great read Oona and I love a good segue. The dye job!! superb, the colour, cut and lined bodice! total perfection, if you ever sell your fancy garments there should always be a turquoise zipper inserted, an Oona original.

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    1. yes, a contrasting zip shall be MANDATORY!

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  42. You are such a sewing inspiration to me. Oh to have the life of sipping wine (and other concoctions) while blissfully cutting beautiful fabric and sewing away day in and day out. If that is not your life, however, do not enlighten me otherwise. It is such a wonderful image. Your wit is to boot. Thanks for your blog, I find it thoroughly entertaining.

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    1. thank you, what a loverly comment! i will not alter your vision of me, as i ADORE it so very much :)

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  43. Hey I have a proposition you CAN'T turn down. See I have three lovely boys but two r from abroad. They of course want to fly for 36 hours to Vietnam and 28 hours to Kazakhstan. You in your beautiful dress would make the PERFECT flying buddy for economy class seating! You may end up celibate for the rest of your life!

    You are a Classy lady with a great sense of humor and patience towards moms and our wild beasts. I love the stories.

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    1. um. are you offering me vast amounts of alcohol to make this offer un-refusable?

      "you may end up celibate for the rest of your life!"

      HILARIOUS.

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  44. Oh man i'd NEVER leave my kids to be looked after by someone else anywhere and most definitely not on a plane. Some people are idiots.

    Love your dress, great colour :)

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  45. Wow I love love love the colour of that dress Oona! It's turning to autumn here in Aust, and that's exactly the kind of autumn colour I've been dreaming of. also love the scoop neck.
    Hilarious story, reminds me of the time my parents drugged us as kids on a boat ride across the tasman to tassie. We thought it was odd they were giving us fudge....

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    1. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! i love it! spiking the fudge!

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  46. Love the dress, what pattern is this?

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