Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Up in the Air: Conclusion

Due to my difficulty
comprehending how gigantic, heavy objects -- like airplanes, for example -- stay up in the air, I forced my family to drive all over the landscape when the kids were small. 

And, as far as air travel is concerned, I am worried about many things. Just to name a few: passengers with exploding underwear, drunken pilots, improper de-icing, incompetent mechanics, lightening, turbulence, geese being sucked into the engines and getting locked in the bathroom. I'm only stopping the list for the sake of brevity.

When we drove, our destinations included Minnesota, Chicago, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida and we had lots of fun in the car, didn't we? I said, didn't we? Snacks and singing along the way certainly made me feel better.

There were times, however, due to time constraints or pesky bodies of water that got in the way, when flying could not be avoided.
While alcohol played a huge role in stress reduction, drinking was often combined with other strategies used to ease my troubled mind...

If Seth and I had to fly without the kids, in order to quell the burgeoning hysteria connected to the possibility of leaving our young sons parentless if the plane went down, I would schedule two separate flights. I would arrive later so Seth would be there to meet me at the airport.

Of course people told me I was totally insane. And that was when they were being nice.

I didn't care.Those kids were going to have at least one of us to cripple their psyches raise them if I had anything to say about it. We flew separately as recently as five years ago when the boys were already independent. To be quite honest, I'd still do it if Seth wouldn't have me installed in a padded cell.

The first time we split up to fly, coming home from Chicago, I had been drinking steadily in order to simply board the plane.

Since I was flying alone and didn't want to attract attention, I had no merlot-filled plastic stegosaurus from which to sip, so I threw back a few glasses of wine in the airport yet somehow managed to not be barred from boarding due to the fact that I was totally blitzed.

"Blitzed" for me, is very easy to achieve. Two glasses of wine and I am singing "You Light Up My Life" in a falsetto and looking for a lampshade to wear on my head.  

My unlucky seat mate for this flight was, of all people, the famous folk singer, Pete Seeger

I recognized him immediately and gleefully plopped down beside him, excited to tell Seth once I arrived in New York, as well as everyone on the plane--at that very moment.
"ImthittingnextoPeteTheegerisndatwunneful?" is what I think I said. Very loudly.

People stared. Pete managed a weak, frightened smile.
The plane was full and he was aware that he was trapped.

I realized, even in my haze, that if I misbehaved before take off I'd  be ejected from the plane, so I sat quietly until we were in the air. As soon as the wheels left the ground, I leaned closer to tell poor Mr. Seeger who he was (as in, "You're Pete Seeger!"), about ten thousand times, in a crazy little voice until we touched down at LaGuardia.

I have never seen anyone grab a banjo and exit a plane as fast as Pete Seeger did that day.

I believe I have made it quite clear over the course of the past few blog posts that I am stark raving mad do not enjoy air travel.

If possible, I will always choose to drive, but I am aware that there is a big world out there. I may be going "up in the air" a few more times, after all.

Maybe "sky-blogging" will be a good distraction. I'll have to try that.

                                               Mr. Seeger performing "If I Had A Hammer."*

*And, if he'd had one on the plane, he would have --most likely -- used it on me.


  1. I also know a few mothers who use their kid's sippy cups to smuggle booze into the theater.

  2. That never occured to me. In the theater, I only need my Sour Patch Kids though! Thanks for the comment!