It’s funny that the older I get, the more petrified of flying I become - but really, it is one of - if not the - scariest thing in the world. And what’s more is that it’s just so uncivilized.
Last Saturday I flew to Miami with K. Cobb. I know, I know - such a lucky goddamn duck (though it has been raining...wamp wamp).
We attempted an all nighter. Headed to a couple of bars, drank a few brewskies (OK more than a few), then took a two hour nap before our car came at 4:30.
It was funny to be semi-drunk, semi-hungover, and on our way to the airport when fellow city-dwellers (including Miss Plewa) were just rolling in from a Hard FriDay’s Night.
Alas, even my mediocre tipsiness and the onset of a wicked headache couldn’t take the edge off of the ordeal that is flying. Oh no. Instead, my anxiety and annoyance were amplified.
As if the routine of removing shoes, coats, cardigans, and scarves (!) isn’t bad enough - then, then you have to be subjected to a plethora of mentally insane people donning printed pajama pants and slippers and carrying pillows.
Poor Kelly even spotted someone carrying a fuzzy zebra print (yes, I said fuzzy zebra print) bathrobe (oh good LORD maybe it was a SNUGGIE, EWWW) for their in-flight nap. What? WHAT?
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to snap any photos of the aforementioned denizens of America. The trailer trash trashiest. The appalling occupants of this fantabulous country we call home.
So instead of bemoaning the outfits people actually wear when they’re in the air, I have a very different story to tell about the Not-So-Friendly-Skies.
Because, you see - I was up in First Class.
As much as I bitch and moan and complain my face off, I am always sweet as pie to strangers. Especially adults (I still feel like a kid - adulthood be damned).
Kel and I hauled our asses to the back of the bus (she was in row 31, I was behind her in 32), only to find dudes sitting in our seats. Hers moved with a smirk, but mine...mine was an asshole.
Rudeness gets you no where people. And buddy boy occupying my seat (next to his wife and two bratty kids) was jerk personified. In the sweetest, most high-pitched voice I could manage, I said “Oh, sorry sir, I think you’re in my seat...I’m 32C.” To which he condescendingly retorted, “No I’m not. This is 33.”
Being the gullible believer in the goodness of mankind that I am, I didn’t second guess him. I stood there, deer-in-headlights, not knowing what move to make, until my eyes noticed the 32 hailing from the arm rest. Ah HA! Super sweet intact, I said, “Oh no, actually this is row 32...see?”
Mr. Grumpy Asshole’s mama did not teach him any manners apparently. He blew up at the two flight attendants standing there (thankfully witnessing), rampaging on and on, “WHY WOULD THEY NOT PUT ME WITH MY FAMILY? HUH? HUH? TELL ME WHY!”
The epitome of patience, those lovely lady attendants calmly apologized and explained that they had nothing to do with seating. He responded, smart man that he was, with “BUT IT’S YOUR AIRLINE!!!”
Actually dude, last time I checked flight attendants do not own the planes and, in fact, we the passengers have the ability to choose our seats. Crazy, I know.
Instead of my aisle seat (poor long legs-o-mine), there was a window seat open one row (even further) back that I was resigned to sit in. But before I could offer, and without a speck of politely questioning inflection, he stated, “CAN’T SHE SIT THERE.”
I smiled wide at the flight attendants, said “Goooooood morning!” as chipperly as I possibly could, and told them of course I could. I pardoned my way into the cramped little nook and took out my book.
The super sweet attendant told me she’d get me a cocktail - and, never one to turn down a free drink (especially a hair of the ole dog), I said that would be lovely.
Instead of delivering a Bloody Mary, though, she returned a moment later and said, “You’re moving up to First Class! 2A has your name on it!”
How quickly the tides turned. Those around me who had witnessed the debacle all but cheered as I made my way from the back of the plane to the front. I felt like I had won an award. Like I was a hero. Like I had just fought in a battle. I even blushed.
Suddenly, flying was no longer uncivilized. In fact, it was the complete opposite (though still just as scary).
Renée hit the bulls-eye in Jerry Maguire - “It used to be a better meal, now it’s a better life.” Totes magotes sister.
The wide leather seats, the free headphones, the automatic pillows and blankets, the leg room, the glass cups and ceramic plates and mugs, the constant checking in, the meal (it was between an omelette or cereal - I chose the latter and enjoyed Rice Krispies with blueberries, a banana, coffee, ginger ale, juice, and a warm biscuit).
And yeah, even the coffee left a First Class taste in my mouth.
Sadly my bff had to weather Coach without me. I asked my flight attendant friend if Kelly could join me up front in the civilized world, but she said she didn’t want to push her luck. Sob sob.
And though the turbulence was terrifying, per usual, I must say that I quite enjoyed flying First Class. I truly don’t know how I’m ever gonna go back to the back.
Oftentimes it pays (literally) to be civilized - even when you’re in an uncivilized situation with terribly uncivilized people. Cause really, no one likes an asshole.