Learning to Fly

Home Sweet Home

I really dislike flying. It’s hard to say I hate it since it’s usually to go somewhere for something fun. Today I’m really dreading it, though, because it’s my first time flying by myself. And I’m leaving Mike for a week. He drops me off at the airport especially early because he has work at 7am. I try not to get upset when I hug and kiss him goodbye.

It literally takes only 15 minutes to check my bag and go through security, and my flight’s not until 11am. I try to nap. Impossible. Start reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s been a while since I read a book. This one is just diary entries, which reminds me of my blog, which makes me want to write.

As it gets closer to boarding time, I spot a young Mom and her son waiting in line. I’m not good with ages: maybe he’s 4-ish? Well, I don’t exactly spot him – he’s hard to miss. This little blond thing is sort of singing/yelling, looking outside at the planes as he wanders all over the place with his little ‘Cars’ suitcase. He’s very loud. Not in an obnoxious, can-you-please-shut-your-kid-up kind of way, but in an adorable, if-he’s-excited-to-get-on-a-plane-how-bad-can-it-be kind of way.

I finally board my plane. I wait until the last possible minute to get in line. Why do people rush to get on a plane? It’s not like it’s first come, first serve. You just have to sit there, all claustrophobic, waiting for everyone to board. Makes no sense. When I booked my trip I made sure I requested an aisle seat. The window seat is supposedly the best, but I quickly learned that seeing out the window freaks me out. And I have to pee at least once during the flight anyway. Best to not make people get up. I find myself paying close attention to the flight attendant as she explains what to do with the oxygen masks. I could never be a flight attendant: one, obviously, and two, they are so nice all the time, even when people really suck. I have to be nice as a bartender (somewhat), but if you push me I won’t hesitate to push back.

There’s a gray-haired lady sitting next to me. I secretly hope she will be grandmotherly and pat me on the knee and tell me everything will be OK. She does not. As we start to take off I try to focus on breathing slowly but can feel the hyperventilation beginning. My right leg starts bouncing up and down and when we actually lift off, I don’t care how stupid I look as I squeeze my eyes shut and cover my ears. Somehow, this helps. We’re only an hour and forty minutes in the air (only have to pee once).

Land in Denver for a short layover before departing to Philadelphia – my final destination. Final Destination, you stupid movie. Definitely part of the reason I always picture the plane blowing up as we take off. I’m better this time, but still fidgety, and still with my eyes squeezed shut. I finish my book. It’s really good with a bit of an unexpected surprise at the end. I look forward to the film adaptation coming out later this year. But now what am I supposed to do? My ipod was stolen (I don’t want to talk about it) and they’re not showing a movie. If I want to watch anything on the little screen on the back of the seat in front of me, it’s six bucks. Get out of here, I refuse. The same ads keep playing over and over. I try not to look but it’s right in front of my face and I want to smash it. I don’t bother trying to sleep – I want to try and adjust well to east coast time.

Feels like forever before we finally land. I’m relieved to be on the ground and be in Philly! It’s not long before I collect my bag and wait outside for Mom and Christine. Great to see them – obviously. Courtney’s at the house when I arrive and Dad has been waiting up until I got home – 9:30 is way past his bedtime. After hugs and kisses I go right upstairs to try on my bridesmaid dress – been afraid it won’t fit since I tried it on in November. It fits! Yes! I’m starving! Give me a glass of wine and some food! Mom and Dad don’t last long. Lauren, the bride-t0-be, stops by to say hi. She looks great. Must be that pre-wedding glow. Laur doesn’t stay long because she has a long day tomorrow – I’m surprised she even had time to stop by at all. I stay up with the twins drinking and talking and watching TV. It’s like I never left.

*Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

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