I recently had the privilege of flying out to see my sister while she was vacationing in Maine. I was pumped about the trip- 3 days of bonding time without the kiddies, in such a scenic spot. I even brought my Thanksgiving turkey pants so I could stuff myself with lobster.
But I don’t love to fly. Never have.
In order to combat that fear, I surround myself with as many creature comforts as I can to take my mind of this idea of possibly crashing. No, seriously, this is how I think.
So, I wore my comfiest clothes, so I wouldn’t be cold on the plane, I packed really good snacks from home – so I wouldn’t break the bank at the little newsstand store ( I am such a mom,) BUT I always splurge on an extra large warm fru-fru coffee drink. ( which is not always the best idea to have that much caffeine..on a plane. Just remember that for later) But I think I look very put-together and cool when I’m carrying a coffee. Like it says “see, I am so put-together, that I had time to grab a coffee- not just one from my house in a to-go- mug… but from a real, live coffee shop…so there.”
I brought a book to entertain myself; I am ready to independently read, but if someone happens to strike up a conversation with me- I have a bunch of one liners and interesting facts in my back pocket ready to go.
I do consider myself to be the ultimate airplane seat buddy.
Well, fast forward to actually being on the plane:
We are all buckled in, I am paying incredible attention to the instructions in the pamphlet in the seat back in front of me as well as by the 100 year old stewardess. ( I even give a quick smirk to my seat buddy- who is otherwise immersed in his phone during such important information – like I am going to save his life in supposed emergencies b/c I am paying such excellent attention to where the exits are…)
All my creature comforts are put away- I am a super rule follower- and am super distracted by the fact that across the isle a man in a suit has not ceased tinkering on his laptop and I am convinced that his Wi-Fi is going to interrupt the pilot’s signals from the main tower and we are going to crash . Because of him.
Alas, I try not to judge or hyperventilate as I tighten my grip on the soft outer layer of my outfit, currently being used as an adult blankie.
The pilot starts speaking lots of altitude facts, and I am attempting to find comfort in his calm and steady voice. It’s a nice voice, He probably leads a Yoga class when he’s not flying. He seems like he knows what he’s doing. That’s good.
5 minutes into the flight:
Okay. we are taking off- oh gosh I really don’t like this…
I wish I had a window seat, so I could see…
Wait, maybe I don’t want to see.
No, I like knowing where I am.
Ah, my stomach feels weird.
It’s probably better that I look straight ahead.
Gosh, Adam is right- I am indecisive.
We are up in the air now.
Phew. We’re still alive.
10 minutes into the flight:
We are “cruising” now- although the choice of aviation vocabulary has me puzzled- I sure don’t feel like I’m relaxing in a convertible, seaside, with the salty wind blowing in my hair.
I feel like we are 30, 000 feet up in the sky and might plummet any minute now. I am anything but relaxed. In fact, my heart is beginning to race… nerves… oh- and that extra large coffee…
15 minutes into the flight:
The pilot has given permission to take out toys and such- so I grab my book. Hands are shaking a bit. Jeepers what did they put in that Dunkin’ Latte?
It’s a book on parenting, so I’m pretty sure my seat buddy is going to think I’m a great parent just sprucing up my already great parenting skills.
25 minutes into the flight:
I’m super engrossed in my parenting book- the funny thing is… wait for it… it turns out I’m not such a great parent…
So, as I am head deep in my book- studying like I have an exam coming up, foot steadily tapping up and down, my death grip begins to soften.
And just as I begin to sit back a bit and I uncurl my sweaty fingers from the spine and covers of the book, we hit a pocket of air and the plane bumps.
Now, out of the corner of my eye, as if dislodged from the slight turburlence, I see the little homemade rainbow-colored bookmark that Quinn drew for me- starting to sliiiiip in slow motion from the pages of the book.
******Now, in order for you to understand the insane irony of this upcoming situation, you must know something about me. ******
I have terrible reflexes, and they have honestly only gotten worse over the years. For instance, do you remember the card game, “Slap Jack?” When everyone wold hit the table every time a Jack showed up in the deck? Well, imagine Monica slapping the table 30 seconds after the Jack was spotted. Got the visual?
So, back to the plane ride.
As the Quinn-draw-rainbow bookmark is slooooooly sliiiiiping out of the pages of my book- the extra large coffee has hit me 100% and I ninja-like LUNGE after the falling memento. I managed to grab it before it fell to the floor, but now awkwardly find my hand in my seat buddy’s lap.
He quickly glared at me. How dare, he right? Just kidding.
I returned my hand to its proper place on my side, turned the darkest shade of crimson and mumbled an apology. I pray he heard me. I then quickly threw my head back into my parenting book.
Feeling pretty terrible as a parent and now as a human being – I remember that I chose the wrong deodorant this morning. I picked the one that smells good but not the one that works.
Ugh…how much longer is this flight…
30 minutes into plane ride:
The beverage/ snack service is beginning,
It has now dawned on me that I need to go to the bathroom.
I’ll wait. I can wait. I’m good at waiting….I have three kids.
Why AM I always waiting?
My kids should be better at listening…
Well maybe it’s that I should be better at parenting…
It’s probably a bit of both…
Kinda depends on the day…
…. Oh, right- that’s why I’m reading this book…
because there’s a crazy person in my head.
Who has to go to the bathroom.
I feel sorry for my husband.
40 Minutes into the flight:
The snack/beverage cart has left and I now have the world’s smallest bag of pretzels and some Ginger Ale in a plastic shot glass.
Why did I get a drink you ask?
Because I’m a giant pushover and have trouble saying “no” to people. Even complete strangers.
I totally practiced saying “No thank you…” while I saw the cart coming closer and closer. But when the 100 year old stewardess asked me if I wanted anything to drink , my hands were clammy and I blurted out, “SURE!” as if we’d be best friends now that I said yes.
I have serious issues.
45 Minutes into the flight:
I’m back reading my parenting book to distract me when I start to get hungry and my home snacks are not cutting it. Now I think I know how my kids feel…
I spot my miscroscopic bag of pretzels under my magazine on the tray table.
Yum. I do love a pretzel.
Wait, how the heck to you open this thing?
Oh, here’s the little cut tab…
*****Spoiler alert: its about to get awkward again….******
Just as I break into the minuscule pretzel bag ( with a caffeinated surge ) I realize- a little too late-that I am opening it from the bottom.
Hundreds of tiny salt pieces plus broken pretzels fly all over the place, including all over my seat buddy.
How on earth did they fit all of that in a tiny little bag?
I was contemplating this when I noticed my seat buddy had actually turned to me this time and was glaring. Not a side glare. A full on scowl.
I am going to throw up.
I don’t like it when people are mad at me.
I KNOW I said sorry this time, quite loudly and repeatedly, but for some reason it didn’t seem to be helping.
It probably did not help that my attempt to clean up my tray table, which was an aggressive and furious sweeping motion, is simply sending more salt and broken pretzels his way, littering his tray table and lap.
Dear Heavens, help me.
Now, I share this ridiculous story with you so that do ( hopefully) laugh a little.
But also to share that no matter how you “prep” for your day or plan an experience- there will more than likely be some bumps– ups and downs. A bit of “turbulence” you didn’t see coming.
And you may even explode and fall to pieces just like my misconstrued bag of pretzels.
But please try to remember one thing: there’s always tomorrow.