My greatest fear in life is flying. It has been ever since the first plane trip I took when I was a kid. Days before a scheduled flight, I find myself dreaming of flaming crashes and twisted metal. The night before, I generally don’t sleep for fear of the dreams that I know will come. I find my fear ironic as my dad is one of those people who love a bumpy flight. “The bumpier the better,” he always says. He could never understand my fear of flying. Neither can my husband.
Prior to getting on the plane, I look for signs. Signs that will tell me if my flight will be safe or a flight that will end in tragedy. For example, yesterday, after packing my bag, I was cleaning out my purse and wallet. As I went thru a wallet that I had not used since March, I found $24 in the coin purse. Surely a sign that my flight would go well! I shared my good news with my husband, but he looked at me and shook his head. Children are another sign that I look for. The more of them, the better. A plan full of children is less likely to go down in flames. Since Lost first premiered on TV, I have never watched it, not even for a minute. I even turned the channel when a commercial for it came on. The less I know about planes crashing, the better. My imagination is wild enough without bringing Hollywood into the equation.
I have been told over the years, by loved ones no less that I am a pain to fly with. I have even been ridiculed by their laughter at my in-flight antics (yes Poop that would be you). I admit I have grabbed a strangers arm during take off. Over the years I have gotten in the habit of warning the person sitting next to me that I am afraid to fly. Bless those who have been kind enough to talk me through the flight.
When I got on my flight to Orlando this morning, I found that I was sitting next to a man with a 7 year old child. I found out that today is said boy’s 7th birthday. Another sign, right? That’s what I thought too! The problem was that this child (and his sibling across the row) seemed to be excited about flying. I certainly did not want to let on to my fear. I did not want the parents of these children to have to explain the odd behavior of the woman in 14A. Would it be possible for me to fly as if I was a mature adult? Confident in the hands of the pilots. One who deep down realizes that it was safer to hop a plane than to drive? Well, so far so good. I have about 30 minutes left of my flight. I have not once moaned, cried out, grabbed anyone’s arm or desperately clung to the front of the seat in front of me preparing for a crash landing. Hopefully my new found confidence can get me through my return flight on Friday.