Saturday, June 13, 2015

Driving? Yeah. Flying? Not So Much.

I would rather walk across the United States than get on a plane and fly.

How was I to know that flying wasn't going to be a great experience for me?  My first clue: Leaving Logan Airport on the first leg of our honeymoon trip, we start to taxi down the runway.  My head starts to scream and swirl, my mouth is desperately holding back the urgency to vomit and the sweat is pouring down my face and neck.  By the time we get up in the air, I'm like a crazy woman digging my nails into my new husband's hands and desperately looking for a way out of this monster tube I'm in.

By the time we land in New York (at the wrong airport) I'm a basket case. Northeast Airlines has become two of the dirtiest words in my vocabulary! We have to helicopter to the correct airport.  It's really hot in the helicopter, no air conditioning, the priest on the flight is ripping his collar off and I'm looking for the door! We land and run to catch our next flight.  I run to the bathroom to vomit. I hear "Last call for BOAC flight to Bermuda" but I'm still hunched over the toilet. My new husband runs into the ladies room, finds me and drags me to our flight where the flight attendant is handing out cold towels. She looks at me and shoves two down my blouse and slaps one on my forehead.  I sit and promptly go to sleep.

BOAC is serving filet mignon on the flight. The aroma wakes me, my tray table comes down, I take one look at it and my husband enjoys both portions. By the time we get to Bermuda, I am green, faint and don't do well on the bumpy ride to our hotel.  As far as flying, it's all downhill after that.

It's been almost 49 years since that first flight and I have flown back and forth across this country visiting family and friends.  None of the flights have been wonderful for me.  I've endured some particularly bad ones (for me) where I've landed with weak knees, green to the gills and trying to keep the vomit from spurting out.  But, I continue to get on planes because it's the fastest way to get from here to there, especially in emergencies and there have been a few.

My plane anxiety has lessened somewhat since I started gulping down Dramamine by the bucket, chewing ginger (which I don't like) and packets of gum.  I can almost manage a coast to coast trip without ripping out my husband's throat.  But plane trips are becoming a less frequent occurrence.  And even though I sincerely would love to travel to Israel (our Rabbi is taking the gang---for the third time) I just can't get on plane for a trip that takes more than twelve hours and goes over the ocean!  And I no longer will fly to anywhere in New England during the winter or anyplace where there is snow on the ground.  Nope, not going to do it.

So, if I'm not going to get a filet mignon or cold towels on any future flights what's the point?  Considering the hassle it is to fly today i.e. no legroom, no food, charged for everything, small seats, lost luggage, the TSA, high ticket prices, ad nauseum, I won't be doing a lot of it, just what's necessary to keep seeing family and friends.  I'd just rather they come here. Besides, my husband rather likes the skin on his hands.

Flying!  What keeps that damn  plane up anyway???