Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On Flying

I just got back from The Great Chicago Adventure, and it's been a while since I've flown.  It used to be my life, being a flight attendant, so I wasn't sure how I would like being a layperson in the airport.

When I was a flight attendant, I was much more image conscious.  You expect people to look at you when you walk by, or to stop and ask for directions because you are wearing a uniform.  By the way - don't ask crew members for airport directions, some airports they know, others, most others, they do not.  We flew in, flew out, maybe ran off the plane for some grub and a real, hopefully not as smelly bathroom. 

I was in shape, always had my makeup on, and heels..we had to wear our heels on the ground and in the airport, then switch to flats in the air.  There were rules about what makeup we were supposed to wear but towards the end of my flying career, they weren't enforced as much.

I missed not having my i.d. badge, aka, cut to the head of the security line badge.  Although when I had it I always looked apologetically at the people we passed, I knew it had to suck standing in that line.  Some people were very rude about us cutting.  But hey. You can't go anywhere till the crew gets on the plane and do their checks first so can it.  :o)

Here's a little tidbit:  before I was a flight attendant, I always thought I'd be nice and leave my People magazine in the seatback pocket for the next passenger.  Not so.  The flight attendants and cleaners scoop those up like gold.  I was on top of all the latest gossip, never missing a People or US Weekly in 6 years.  Sad but true.  Sometimes I would get excitable and buy a magazine and the other flight attendants would look at me like I was nuts, why buy when you know someone is going to leave the same magazine on the next flight?  It was a weird little addiction I had.  I'm happy to say, I am no longer addicted.  Phew.

Cut to last week.

I am a little neurotic about flying.  You'd think after living out of airports for so long, it wouldn't be so.  Nope, I have to get to the airport the standard 2 hours early.  This after already having checked in online 24 hours in advance and not having luggage to check.  I go immediately through security, then I can relax.

And shop.

It doesn't matter what I prepare, snacks, books, ipod.  I have never gotten through an airport without buying something.  I hate it too because I know all the prices are jacked up.  But something draws me in, the way them airport designers hoped it would, and I hand over my hard earned cash on something ridiculous, such as a $3 bottle of water.  Sometimes I get smart and bring an empty bottle through security, then fill it with water from a fountain once I get through.  But mostly I forget and hand over my $3 for water, just in case I get the coughs and the flight attendants aren't serving yet. 

Then I take a seat, usually at a gate that is near mine but never at my own, I look for one that is empty.  And commence with the people watching.  2 things I love to watch: what shoes people choose to wear when flying (and if they are practical for airport walking), and what books people are reading. 

In life, you must know, and I've said it before, if you are wearing cute shoes but don't know how to walk naturally in them -

Know what else cracks me up?  Every day in your hometown you are surrounded with people you hardly notice.  But in the airport, at a far away city, if you find someone from your hometown, you are now best of friends.  I hear it every time I am away:

Where are you from?
Me too!
What part of the city?
Wow, me too!
Where did you go to school?

These conversations make me chuckle.  Heheh.Ha!Hoho hah! Hee!

I read 2 books on my trip:  The Help, and Firefly Lane.  Loved them both to pieces.  So much that I didn't want to read anything when I was done, because I had to marinate on these two for a while.

Now I'm behind a computer and can't see what you're reading - so tell me, have you read anything fabulous lately? 


  1. Oh my gosh I love this post.
    I think I will probably have to check out those books because I'm currently not reading anything great. I was, though, reading Life of Pi and am very much wanted to read Beatrice and Virgil. Check them out.

    No matter where I am, airport or not, I always look at shoes. They say SO MUCH about someone.


  2. Just finished Return to Sullivan Island. Loved the setting and family story, hated the fact that the main character fell for a con man who treated her badly. I guess because I'm old and out of the dating game but I hate seeing women act so stupidly!

  3. I really enjoyed this post. I LOVE airports. I always have. We had to fly a lot last year since we went of vacation twice and since we were moving from Florida to Cincinnati. I feel like I am a pro now.

    I do the same thing as something at the airport and I watch people. Nothing better than seeing all types of people.

    I also leave my magazines behind. I subscribe to a lot of magazines and I always feel like it makes the person who finds it smile.

    I have the book The Help but haven't read it yet. I just finished The Art of Racing in the Rain and it was a quick read.

  4. We must be airport soul sisters 'cause as I read this I was pretty sure you were talking about me. Not the flight attendant part, but the neurotic airport part :-)

    I am in the middle of Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie Dobson and am enjoying it. I loved Firefly Lane and have heard great things about The Help. I will have to read it next.

  5. well as you know i'm on strike when it comes to reading ..haha.. BUT i loved reading this post! you truly entertain me :) sooooo you can check in bags 24 HOURS in advance ARE YOU KIDDING ME!??! i need to know the answer to this question it would change my life forever!!