With winter break around the corner, I thought I would share some of my flight issues, because if you're a nervous flyer, you'll totally get them and maybe they'll ease the nerves (or make them worse, I really can't say) but a little insanity solidarity can't hurt.
On my most recent trip, I was alone (which I rarely am) the airline had "open seating." Which basically means you get an assigned boarding number (like at a deli counter) and you must fend for yourself and your family/companions from there.
As I walked the aisle, I quickly assessed my potential row-mates. Had they recently showered? Would they take initiative in an emergency? Are they so young that they're in diapers? Are they so old that I may need to resuscitate them during the flight? These are important observations, and because there's not enough time for a formal interview, they need to be assessed on the fly (pun intended).
When I finally picked my seat, the look on my new neighbor's face was one of total disdain. What I wanted to say was, "Look at me lady, it could be worse -- the woman behind me has a colicky infant and the guy behind her has something that sounds like the plague!" You did OK here.
As a nervous flyer, I'm easily annoyed about things that happen on planes. So, here are my pet peeves about flying.1) Flight attendants who are too calm. There's turbulence that's got me in "prayer mode" and you're serving freakin' coffee? If you're so calm, how do I look to you to see if I should start worrying?
2) Flight attendants who aren't too calm. I know you're trained to keep your cards close. They tell you to seem unfazed, even if we're heading for certain death. So, if I see the slightest bit of fear on your face, I may try to break down the cockpit door for more information.
3) Too many air travel terms that remind me of death. Like "terminal," "final destination," "hangar," "cockpit." OK, not so much the last one, that just makes me giggle. "Cockpit."
4) Your child. I know it's hypocritical of me. But let's make a deal: I'll stop my children from jamming their seat backs into you (and trust me, they're bored, they want to), if you stop your child from kicking the back of my seat.
5) Random noises. People who don't like flying are also part-time flight mechanics (just ask us). We're aware of every sound, buzz, hum, and jiggle, and we are constantly diagnosing what they could be indicative of. (Our diagnosis is never good.)
MORE HUMOR WITH JENNY FROM THE BLOG: 45 INSANE THINGS YOUR KIDS WILL SAY ON THEIR NEXT DISNEY VACATION.
6) People trying to chit-chat when I'm popping anti-anxiety pills. Please understand that I'm hopped up on a mix of Xanax and caffeine -- I may talk your ear off, ignore you, nearly pass out, or try to hold your hand at any given time. Open that door at your own risk.
7) People trying to chit-chat when I'm not popping anti-anxiety pills. This would be when I'm flying with the whole family and won't take pills because I'm hell bent on remaining alert and possibly the most vigilant person on the plane. Refrain from conversation when that happens as I have to be ready at a moments notice and I'm also busy trying to look normal for my kids.
8) Snack options. Don't tease me with a good brand of snacks only to offer me the flavor they regret putting into production. I don't need mesquite bacon-flavored, chocolate-covered terra chips. (No one does.)
9) Mentioning when there's a mechanical delay. It's bad enough we're stuck in the plane, don't tell me you're fixing something, de-icing something, or having a fuel issue or a weight problem, unless you want me to stand with the flight attendants by the drink station asking them to rock me gently.
10) People who make ironic or sarcastic plane crash references. You'll be all nervous and gripping the seat so hard it may crumble when a friend/hubby/random traveler will say, "Relax, what's the worst that could happen?" Remarks that refer to plane crashes are rarely funny, but you know when they're NEVER funny? When you're actually on a plane!
11) Have I mentioned "open seating"? Did we not all get enough of that stressful feeling waiting to be picked for dodgeball?
12) Passing gas. Just because we don't hear you doesn't make it OK. I have to live with the recirculating air for the remainder of the flight. You could let one go in 32B and it'll make it's way to 14C.
13) People who don't sit with their children. Your seats aren't all together, and frankly, you're sick of your kids too. But now is not your alone time with the hubs, split up people: one parent per kid/kids.
14) People who don't turn off their electronics. I know, a phone probably won't take down the plane, but if you're not willing to follow simple rules, you're a loose cannon and not to be trusted in an emergency exit row.
15) The fact that I'm not flying the plane. (Which is probably the thing that annoys everyone else on teh plane the least.) But, I feel that if I had some control, I'd be more confident in our safe arrival. Like I could land that thing on sheer will to live.
16) Last, but far from least: The fact that planes have to leave the ground in the first place. Why can't they just roll super fast on special highways rather than test the laws of physics by attempting to lift 300 tons of metal 35,000 feet into the air? PS- someone pointed out that they do have such an invention and it's called a train. Whatever!!!
What are your pet peeves about flying?
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Jenny Isenman, AKA Jenny From the Blog is the humorist behind the award winning site, The Suburban Jungle. A caffeine addicted card carrying Gen Xer, on air lifestyle expert for NBC, and columnist at Huff Po and The Stir, her goal is to you keep herself sane. Oh, and to teach dolphins to read. She is failing at both. Join the insanity on Facebook and Twitter, and Pinterest.