Love makes you do crazy things.
Case in point: last night I booked airline reservations. I’ll be flying into Vegas on Christmas day to spend eight days with Tara. Big deal, you say? Trust me…it’s HUGE. When my sister-in-law, Esther, saw the post announcing this on Tara’s Facebook wall, she wrote:
“WAIT!! Did you say he’s FLYING into Vegas?????? FLYING??? You got him to FLY??! Now see…..that’s Love, he hates flying!! I’m so excited :))”
I rest my case.
I haven’t flown on a metal death trap…err, airplane…in more than ten years. We’re talking pre-9/11 here, folks. Back in the days when you didn’t have to remove your shoes and could carry liquids on board and people could meet you right at the gate. I might have actually had a box cutter or two in my carry-on, now that I think about it. And nobody batted an eye at the Guns & Ammo magazine I was reading during the flight. Times sure have changed, huh? How I long for those carefree, halcyon days of my youth…
It’s not that I’m afraid of flying, per se. I have no problem with flying! It’s the falling-out-of-the-sky part that troubles me. As long as the plane is airborne, it’s actually pretty fun. Keeping it airborne, though – that’s the tricky thing, right? I wrote about it here a while ago. The mechanics of flight are just far too complex for a mere mortal such as myself to understand, or feel comfortable with. How much does an airplane weigh, anyway??
Err…right. These are the questions I’m not supposed to ponder. Especially once I reach the airport. Tara says all I need to do is have a couple of Bloody Marys before takeoff and I’ll be fine. I like this idea! I may have to order a couple more mid-flight, too. Just to be completely sure that my senses are dulled enough that I won’t panic over the thought that even clouds weren’t meant to float at 30,000′. As long as I grab an aisle seat for easy bathroom access, it’s a plan that’s just crazy enough to work.
I wasn’t always nervous about flying. I did a lot of it growing up; my first airplane flight took place when I wasn’t even a year old. I’ve flown through turbulence, thunderstorms, at night, alone…and I’ve always emerged on the tarmac of whichever destination just fine. As a kid, I loved flying! I always looked forward to the adventure. And then I became aware of my own mortality and it suddenly wasn’t quite as much fun anymore.
I have found that once you admit to being uncomfortable with flying, you have friends coming out of the woodwork to assure you how safe it is, comparatively speaking. They trot out statistics like crazy. One friend on Facebook said I was more likely to be killed by a donkey than in a plane crash, and when I questioned the validity of that statistic, another person sent me a link verifying it. I guess this information is meant to soothe me, but it’s not like I hang out around petting zoos very often either. You can bet your ass (pun intended) that the next time I do, though, I’ll have a few Bloody Marys in me. As well-intentioned as these folks are, all they’re doing is giving me a complex about even getting out of bed in the morning. Who knew that simply going about your daily routine could lead to DEATH?! I love my down comforter. Why should I leave its warm, cozy safety??
(Right. Because my girlfriend doesn’t live here yet, and it’s not nearly as enjoyable an experience being alone in a bed. Fine! I’ll get on the damn airplane already!!).
The argument that really chaps my hide (or would if I were a cowboy) is the ol’ “it’s more dangerous driving in a car than flying in an airplane.” True though this statistic may be, it’s flawed. For one thing, there are a lot more automobiles on the road at any given moment than airplanes in the sky, so of course from a numbers standpoint this is so. And here’s the deal: if you’re involved in a car crash, a lot of times you can walk away without so much as a scrape. If a plane goes down, though, chances are there won’t be enough Band-Aids in the world to put you back together again in one piece.
I’m just sayin’…
It’s all a moot point, anyway. I am getting onto that airplane in December and I will fly to Nevada to be with Tara, and it’s got nothing to do with the fact that she is telling me to “man up already.” The idea of staying with her for an extended period over the holidays is much too enticing to pass up. I’ll get to meet her dad’s side of the family, her friends, her sisters…and just spend a whole lot of quality time together. It’ll be cold. It could very well snow. And it’ll be romantic as hell. Wild horses couldn’t hold me back.
Wild donkeys, on the other hand…