Hello! I would like to apologize for my recent absence—Jen and I were in Rio and did not think bringing our computers was such a wise idea. We did bring a camera though, and pictures will be shared in a timely manner, but I thought I would write about a more relevant topic at the moment considering I write this while in transit back to ABQ.
For as long as I can remember I have been absolutely terrified of flying. This has not stopped me from doing so, as I have never gone a year without getting on at the very minimum several planes, but it is a horrendous experience for all involved parties each time (most notably myself). When I was younger, I think we all had hopes for me to overcome this ridiculous phobia but I am in my 20’s now and have yet to grow out of this irrational fear of flight.
Post lift-off my control issues, coupled with my fear of heights, culminates into a pandemonium of terror that takes over my entire being. I never cease to transform from a somewhat coherent human being into a conspiracy theorist who dies a little inside every time the engine speed changes.
You think I am kidding, or exaggerating but for those of you that have flown with me you know that this is not the case.
Now, I refuse to let this debilitating fear control my life and have come up with some effective strategies to manage, and hopefully prevent any kind of psychotic Bridesmaid’s style meltdown. It has been mostly successful so far.
(I suspect this would be less funny in real life)
So, I shall share with you my secrets of the trade.
First: Upon liftoff I have to grab something. I dont care what it is, but it must be able to sustain massive amounts of pressure. This is most usually a hand, whether it be my mom’s, my own, or the stranger next to me.
Second: During aforementioned handholding, my eyes will be firmly shut with some SERIOUS deep breathing going on. Think going-through-labor breathing here people.
Third: The exact moment the okay is given for electronics my headphones are securely in my ears and my Natural White Sounds of the World: Thunderstorms, Rainfalls, Yadda, Yadda weirdo tracks are playing on full blast. Someone once told me that my soundscape tracks sound like bacon sizzling (I used to listen to it when falling asleep) and I have never been able to listen to it the same since then. I don’t mean this in a negative way, quite the contrary actually..it is still very comforting, but now I just find myself hungry.
ALSO: The window shades remain shut from the moment I get on the plane, no exceptions. Not even for you, adorable Brazilian child, your tears of disappointment fail to move me!
OH AND: Get in seat: seatbelt on—if we are going down, then at least I will be strapped into the flaming metal contraption of death for good.
Fourth: After a half hour or so, I tend to adapt to my new environment (especially on oversea flights) and forget that I am even on a plane. I remain relatively normal (as normal as I get anyways) unless the plane moves in any way whatsoever..then I freak out again.
There are a few exceptions about times in which these strategies just outright fail. I have gone so far as to become entirely convinced that the flight crew was working in conjunction with the pilot to crash the plane and/or deliver us to the wrong place. I really wish I was kidding, but my dad can actually verify this (London debacle 2010). I blame Ryan Air for this though, with their insistence to keep the lights on and bombard you with ads over the loudspeaker the entire time while you remain trapped in your plastic and/or non reclining seats for two hours freaking out. Small planes too, they are just too small and I do not trust them one bit.
There are a few things that I DO enjoy about flying though—mainly the in flight snacks and meals.
I’m sure you are all s.h.o.c.k.e.d, but I am actually someone who throughly appreciates the complimentary meals on overnight flights. I just try to not think about what the original identity of the chicken and beef offered in the meals are and everything is great! I also happen to love pretzels and peanuts, so there is that especially because they come in handy little to-go pouches so you can save them for later which thrills the food hoarder inside of me.
I particularly enjoyed the flight snacks I encountered in Brazil: when you get on the plane you get a butter toffee candy (CANDY!) to hold you over until they dispense drinks. Heineken beer is available as one of their complimentary options, which is a nice change from the $7 Bud light (I would assume) on US airlines. And also, they offer the one soda that I actually do enjoy—Guarana. I will really miss this soda concoction featuring a Brazilian berry that provides natural energy. Their little snack boxes generally feature these little dehydrated toast squares, with jam and requeijao (kind of spreadable cheese-ish thing) that I can take or leave BUT they also give you some kind of little dessert like a wafer cookie! My inner 7 year-old rejoices every time. Plus you get to open a giant square package, which is so unexplainably satisfying even if you want nothing inside of it.
That about sums up my neurotic in flight demeanor.
Who are we kidding, I guess it is just my everyday personality, but in a really confined space. In the air. In a death machine.
Can we just develop teleportation abilities already?!