Anyone who knows me well, knows these four main things about me:
#1) I love chocolate
#2) I love wine
#3) I love travelling
#4) I HATE FLYING
It’s true, every single one of those things are absolutely, to a fault, true about me. People have even tried to help me combine #1-3 in order to negate #4, with no success.
And I’m not one of those “keep quiet about my fears” kinda gals either. Surprise, surprise…right? I really hate to fly and I don’t mind telling the entire world about it in great detail. I hate, hate, hate everything about it. I hate being claustrophobically cramped up in seats for hours on end with strangers hacking all over me. I hate that I cannot afford first class, I hate take-off, I hate landing, I hate turbulence, I hate airplane food, I hate having NO control…okay, HOLD UP THERE, wait minute…I did sort of think of a couple of things I do like about flying. I like the free alcoholic drinks you get on international flights and I LOVE getting off the plane. Okay, whew! I was worried about spiraling into an abyss of negativity there for a moment….glad I found a silver lining just in time!
So anyway…I am thinking of this today, because I’m planning our next trip. And since I kinda specialize in travel writing, I kinda have to travel, in order to write about it, right? So as I was scouring airfare today, my mind travelled back in time to moment when we (my husband, my two young, teenage boys, and I) were travelling back from one of our many trips to Mexico.
Picture this, (knowing my feelings on flying):
I’m in my seat on the airplane, strapped in tight, listening to my ZEN GARDEN music trying to chill, right? Oh, you should also know, we aren’t all seated together, because we got bumped from our flight back to Sacramento and the closest the airline could get us was a flight into Oakland (2 hour drive away), or we could get a flight out in a couple of days. UGH!!!. My husband was seated a couple rows back, and my children were in the same row as me, but on the other side, window & aisle seats, while I am also in a window seat–so not easy to see them. This, mind you, ONLY happened as a result of some very kind passengers that agreed to jockey their seating to get my kids closer to us. Bless their hearts.
So we’re flying along, when suddenly we hit turbulence like I’ve never experienced before. Our huge ole plane turned into a fighter jet…it was frickin’ rocking all over the place. Heads were popping up all over and we all just kept looking at each other like, “This is it…we’re going down!” I started praying and tearing that Zen S#!+ off my head!
I looked over and could see one of my sons was also scared. Talk about helpless, there was no way for me to get to him to console him…absolutely NOTHING I could do, and the terror in his eyes still haunts me today. To make matters worse, of course, he was seated right next to his brother, who, instead of showing great compassion, had the biggest smile on his face! He was laughing intermittently, while humming the theme song to the movie Top Gun, and bouncing up & down with the plane, (pretending to be a fighter jet pilot). He was loving every second of it! (The child is a bit twisted, to say the least).
Then the captain came on the loudspeaker and told us not to worry. Of course not! Why should we worry? I mean only 18 people had heart attacks by this time. Then the captain proceeds to move us to another airlane and narrate the activity in play by play mode.
That’s when I looked out the window and, lo and behold, there was another flippin’ plane FLYING RIGHT TOWARD US, not even a football field away. SERIOUSLY!!! OMG! That was a close one!
When we survived that “mishap,” I started to relax a little, but then five minutes later, it happened again. OH HELL NO!
I figured at this point that was 3 strikes. So in true “Miss OMG Fashion” I put my iPod back on my head and cranked up Thunderstruck. I figured at that point, if we were going down, AC/DC was going to do a much better job of soothing my soul!
When we touched down, and I stopped cheering aloud, I disembarked that plane in record time. And the second my foot hit the pavement, I dropped and kissed that filthy-ass ground I stepped out onto. I remember thinking, (after I had a very stiff drink and could focus my thoughts again), that I loved my family and friends so much before that terrifying trip home. But after that night, I felt I loved them a million times more! Even more than that, I remember not being able to believe we survived that flight…and more importantly, that I didn’t have to change my underwear…Praise God!!! 🙂
The funny thing is I wasn’t home 24 hours before I was checking airfare again for our next trip. (I decided I’d just take three Darvisats before taking off….which goes to show you how much I take meds, cuz I guess you can’t even get those anymore)! LOL!
If you have an exciting “flying” story, please feel free to share in the comments!