An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Thoughts on Flying

I am not a fan of flying, so when my husband thought it would be a great idea for me to accompany him on his business trip to Las Vegas, I was tempted to make excuses. But over the years I have learned to deal with this fear...sorta.

To begin with, I simply pretend I am fearless. As I walk through the airport in my trusty danskos, wearing my dark jeans (not these jeans since I do need to sit) and pulling my cute, red laptop tote on wheels, I almost convince myself that I am not anxious.

Which actually works, right up until the moment they announce our flight.

Once we are in the air, to stop myself from analyzing engine noises (like I am such an expert on what an engine should sound like), I stuff ear phones into my ears and listen to the airline music playlist.

This time I find some Broadway tunes...okay, then. I decide on Wicked, and select one of my favorite songs from that musical: Defying Gravity. Thirty seconds later I am mentally yelling at myself: What the heck? Defying Gravity? That's the song you want to listen to while flying in a tin can???

I move on to reading, but the novel I brought requires more concentration than I can summon and, besides, it's hard to read and analyze engine noises at the same time. When I reach into the seat pocket in front of me searching for lighter reading material, I accidentally pull out the laminated pamphlet diagramming emergency exits. I stuff everything back into the pocket.

The television monitor does help a little, and I measure time by watching episode, and I mentally mark off thirty minutes. Two entire hour has gone by!

Things are going just fine until two things happen: the seat belt sign comes on, and the pilot announces that we are going through some rough air (i.e. turbulence).

Now I don't -- can't -- listen to music, read, or watch television because I am too busy praying. I scrutinize the airline attendant's face to see if she looks worried...but she seem pretty calm, so I figure things are okay. I remember to breathe.

Eventually the four hours pass, and when we land I feel exalted. I go on to have three wonderful days with my husband...three days of dining in fine restaurants, walking in the evenings, talking about anything and everything, listening to Singin' in the Rain playing at the Bellagio fountains, seeing Jersey Boys, and eating pistachio and hazelnut gelato at the Venetian.

No, I may not like to fly, but I will do it. You see, when I weigh wonderful life moments against fear, I'll take the wonderful life moments every single time.

The Bellagio Fountains

The Venetian


Soutenus said...

Great post -- my knuckles were getting white as I clutched my table top just READING about the whole experience!
I used to be fearless and I flew almost every weekend 6 months out of the year for work.
Now . .. . not so brave.
Blessings for safe and easy traveling, my friend!

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El) said...

I always just eyeball the flight attendants. If they look calm, I'm cool.

Kind of like a few years ago, when tornadoes swirled around our school, the sky was green, and the teachers remained calm. One nut job teacher even read books aloud to all the kids with their rears in the air (the tornado drill pose). They were cool, she was crazy calm.

I like referring to myself as a nut sound so professional.

Tiziana said...

Mamma mia non parlarmi di viaggi aerei....sto male al solo pensiero...
Però a volte vale davvero la pena soffrire, patire, avere la nausea, il cuore che impazzisce, pur di rivedere i nostri cari, vero?
Sono contenta che vi siate divertiti, deve essere stato magnifico.

GrandmaK said...

I believe I know how you feel...I put up a good front to!! I WILL be brave when I fly! I appears you had a grand time!!!! Cathy

Damiano e Irene said...

Maria sono esattamente uguale a te!! Durante l'intero volo devo assolutamente avere nelle orecchie delle cuffie con della musica o guardare un film ad un volume in grado di coprire il rumore dei motori. Un'altra cosa: devo assolutamente avere i posti a sedere vicino all'ala perche' non si mai... devo sempre averla sotto controllo. E se poi devo per forza di cose andare in bagno cerco di essere il piu' rapida possibile perche' potrebbe capitare una turbolenza giusto in quel momento!! Insomma... del volo adoro l'atterraggio!!

Wendy said...

Hopefully, this comment doesn't appear twice - tried before, but it wouldn't accept.

Thinking of you this morning, Bia, when I entered a sweepstakes for a trip to Italy. You can enter, too, at It is sponsored by Bertolli. The food looked amazing!