So, the off-topic topic for this fine Tuesday is: Flying! (The airplane kind)
If you want to go off topic, meet me after the jump
Specifically, I hate flying. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate having to fly, mainly because I am terrified of it. This despite the fact that I fly regularly, so I am part of a special little freak segment of the population: the frequent phobic flyers.
I am not sure if I ever really enjoyed air travel. I took my first flight at 5 or so, and although my dad tells me that we passed through an incredible (scary) lightning storm with cloud tops of 60,000 feet during that trip, I don't remember being afraid. I think I remember being excited about the food. That flight was 23 years ago, back when you got a compartmentalized little tray with a meat product, some imitation veggies, and a brick of brownie. I've always loved airplane food, even the green meat I got on a Varig flight in Brazil.
For the past couple of years, though, I've dreaded every flight. Once I'm up in the air, I tend to relax--I mean, what good is being paranoid once you're hurtling through the sky in a pressurized metal tube? It's the (formerly) months and (currently) days beforehand when I freak out. Like at true melodramaddict, I act like it's the end of the world. I'll be eating a croissant for breakfast and think, This is probably the last delicious croissant I'll ever eat, because I have to fly next week. Or if I am flying home for the holidays and my mom asks what I might like as a present, I'll think, It doesn't really matter, though, because I have to fly to get home and therefore I won't ever get to enjoy any presents. I know, it's insane.
I have to admit that I did enjoy one recentish flight--I used a bunch of my American Airlines miles (because despite my phobia I have earned over 80,000) to fly first class from NYC to San Francisco for my best friend's wedding. Oh. My. God. It was amazing. My seat reclined into a bed and had a massage function. I got my own personal DVD player. I had two glasses of champagne before we even took off. Much of the flying time was taken up with a 4-course meal, which culminated with the ice-cream sundae course. Because I still behave like a child, I ate everything. I'm surprised that they didn't have to roll me off the plane, or that I didn't screw up the weight distribution mid-flight. And because it was one of the first flights to have wifi, I basically liveblogged it all on my Facebook page, as I got more full and more buzzed (the flight attendant kept refilling my wine glass, and I am not one to let food or drink go to waste).
Of course, it was right after the ice-cream-sundae course that we hit some turbulence. My status updates speak for themselves:
Me: ice cream on a plane! ice cream on a plane!
My BFF Annabel: that is the most magical plane ride ever
Me: okay, turbulence when you are full of ice cream maybe not so awesome.
Me: air pockets = barfLesson learned: Ice cream on a plane! is indeed the most magical thing ever, until you are in air pockets. Then it's harrowing.
On my return trip, I distinctly remember how disappointed I felt when my massage-chair-bed nap was cut short by our descent. I remember thinking, Can't we just stay up here another hour? For someone who feels as anxious and awful as I do about air travel, that was a beautiful thing. Of course, I don't expect I will be flying first class again anytime soon (or, let's be realistic, ever), so it's back to hyperventilating in coach for me. (Specifically, I will be hyperventilating in coach tomorrow--which should explain why this off-topic topic is on my mind today.)