In a couple weeks, I will be flying on an airplane for the first time ever. Not that I’ve ever flown without an airplane. I don’t have wings, have never jumped off a building or been catapulted across a field or shot out of a canon. Yes, I do realize that I am forty and have never flown. In case you were wondering, it has nothing to do with a fear of heights or death. Though, honestly, I would prefer not to die on my first flight. I’m not counting on one of those ironic moments where I waited half my life to take my first flight only to crash. That would be completely uncool. No, I’ve never flown because I’ve just never had the opportunity.
The Big Guy has always liked to drive long distances. He had never flown either until the last couple of years. Believe me, I begged him to drive on our honeymoon to Florida. He refused and ever since, everywhere I’ve gone, he’s gone and he drove. But in two weeks, I am flying to Phoenix. I’m excited and now that I have my ticket, a little terrified. I’m afraid of bad food, cheap seats and some stranger falling asleep and drooling on my shoulder. I’m afraid of being uncomfortable and hating my first ever flight. Not of the aforementioned heights but of not making it to my gates, losing my luggage or having an attack of claustrophobia.
I’m not full on freak out claustrophobic. I’ve been in caves, rickety old elevators and packed concerts but at some point in my adult life, I have developed a desperate need to have an escape route out of any situation. I’d love it if life had an escape hatch. Shit gets to serious, eject. Is it weird that I’d prefer to be ejected into the unknown than face a truly uncomfortable situation? I’ll take my chances with the unknown every single time.
So, why do it? I’m doing it because I love to travel and I hate being stuck in a car for hours on end. I like to enjoy the destination. Plus, I want to be a good example for my girls. I am fearless in many ways. I can’t very well preach taking chances and being fearless if I won’t board a damn plane, right? Once I conquer this, my next stop is speaking in public without talking a mile a minute or turning tomato red.
And now I have a compulsion to write my girls and the Big Guy a goodbye letter. You know, just in case, the whole ironic thing happens somewhere between here and Phoenix. I’m hoping not because I would really like to see my girls grow up and preferably not from the perspective of the helicopter mom who won’t crossover and just keeps on haunting them. I’m also thinking that a phone call to my doctor may be warranted just in case an attack of claustrophobia makes me get all wild eyed on the flight. Horse tranquilizers may be in order. Good talk.
I am however looking forward to the TSA pat down, it’s been 15 years since I’ve been fondled by a stranger.
Any pointers for my first flight? No horror stories, please. That would totally not be cool. That would be like telling a first time mother-to-be the truth about the pain of labor. Definitely not cool.