Duh! Flying! Winning at 35,000 Feet
If black boxes survive air crashes — why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff? - George Carlin
I hate flying. I hate everything about it. I hate the airport. I hate the lines. I hate that I have to throw my full bottle of water or hairspray or anything else that is not 3 ounces away when I am on the security line. I hate taking my shoes off and putting my crap in that plastic box. I hate the sensation of flying; it just completely disagrees with me in every way, in every ounce of my being. But I love to travel, if that makes sense. I like landing. I like landing safely. I like leaving my routine at home and being somewhere else. I just hate flying to get there. Of course, as I am writing this I am trying not to watch the non-stop television coverage of the recent emergency landing involving Southwest Airlines and others. I mean a 5-foot hole in the cabin in mid-air? Lovely.
Of course, being a mom, I have mastered the art of appearing engaged, strong and fearless when and if my daughter is on the flight with me. Maybe she caught on a bit once or twice, not sure except she gave me a weird face on one flight when I asked her to repeat something three times since I was likely listening to the sound of the engines or something. She never said anything though and I guess, when I think about it, flying with her is a great distraction. My husband however, knows better. More about that later. So recently, for a family trip to Aruba, it just so happened that we couldn’t get tickets (seats) together on the way home and one of my “52” to-do list items for my blog, the52weeks.com, popped into my mind: I needed to fly alone again or at least sit alone, far from both of them. I needed to fly “solo” without the distraction of my daughter’s iTouch games or constant chatter and I needed to be away from Mr. Big Shot flyer husband who would patiently look at me when needed with reassuring eyes and secret code words (so daughter wouldn’t catch-on) letting me know that the bumps we were feeling mid-flight were “normal”. Patient? Nice? Enabling?
I am not sure when exactly this fear of flying really took hold. I remember going on a trip to Italy in High School. I was fearless, confident, not a care in the world. Back in those days there was actually smoking in the back of the plane (imagine!). Despite being a major high school athlete I remember sneaking to the smoking aisles with my best friend Sharon and having a cigarette on the long flight to Italy (I had joined The World Travel Club for two weeks in order to go on this trip). My boyfriend was along for the adventure too. Best friend and my boyfriend. Italy. Seventeen years old. It doesn’t get better than that. No fear. No thinking. Different world, different time. There were, of course, many, many trips after that. I don’t remember thinking about it. Maybe I was just young and clueless. That was the best.Continued on the next page