Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Money Week (Part III)


The Upgrade

From my earlier posts, you probably noticed that I get to travel quite a lot for work and finally, last year, I earned my Platinum membership with Delta.  This means that I’ll be able to upgrade to first class quite often now.

Nice, isn’t it? I remember when I was upgraded to the first class for the first time. I was already about to go into the plane to sit at my usual exit row isle seat, as I heard my name being called, and I was given a newly assigned seat 2B. It was supposed to be a four-hour flight from Memphis to Los Angeles. Nice, I would even get dinner! I got to sit by the men in suits, was offered a drink on a tray and was called by my last name, Mrs. Ayriyan. I watched all the rest of folks passing through our cabin to find their seats in coach, fight for overhead space, and hope that a middle seat would be occupied by a tiny person. I felt special.

But as time went on, and as I started getting upgraded often, I suddenly realized that I stopped getting excited about this. As the boarding call would be announced for the first class passengers, I would casually go through the carpeted section, be greeted by a flight attendant who would attentively take my coat, get settled, order the usual sparkling water with lime, chat with a fellow passenger. 

So what happened? Did flying first class become… average? Was it not special any more? I got to sit and talk to many people from different parts of the world working on different well paid jobs, but I never heard that money makes a difference in the level of happiness they experience. Everyone has his or her share of happy days and tough days. No one complains about being wealthy, but no one brings up wealth as a component of happiness.

True. Having money does not necessarily lead to happiness. Money may bring some extra comfort, but it does not protect us from getting stressed, sick or broken hearted.

There were days when Varuzh and I were very poor. We lived in a small one-bedroom apartment that was in walking distance from a freeway, caring for little Robert. We could not afford rewarding Robert with money for good behavior all the time, but we had a little jar where managed to collect a few dollars every month and treat him for a breakfast in McDonalds.  We would get a thirty-cent hot chocolate from a vending machine in a school nearby and loved it. To be honest, we did not need or care for a three-dollar cappuccino. We were so young, so happy, so hopeful. I could not imagine then that one day I would be traveling first class…

I will be flying out of town again tomorrow. If I get upgraded to first class, I will take it with humbleness and enjoy more leg room. And if I don’t, that won’t redefine me, and I will go to my seat and hope I get enough overhead space for my luggage.

Signing off till Monday.

With love always,
xo Zuma A.

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