Bossy has been doing a lot of plane travel lately, which is known as flying. Last week it was Los Angeles for a conference, and this week it’s Las Vegas for let’s just say not a conference. This made Bossy reflect on her own history of flying.
When Bossy was a girl, she got all of her cues about how one should react to the notion of airplane travel by studying her mother. Naturally these lessons took place in the airport bar, where Bossy’s mother would plant herself a couple of hours before takeoff. In the very early hours of the morning.
It’s not that Bossy’s mom was afraid of flying. No. Bossy’s mom was afraid of dying. Situated in that airport bar, Bossy’s mom would repeat the mantra there’s no other way to get my ass to France while fretting that the enthusiastic efforts of the bartender would result in an infinitesimal slosh of wasted gin over the edge of her glass.
It’s not that Bossy’s mom looked or acted scared once her airplane was in the sky. No. She just looked and acted as if she were already dead, her eyes clamped shut against the improbability that 187,000-pounds of aluminum could lift into the air.
It should surprise no one that Bossy inherited this fear of flying. “What’s that noise? What’s that noise? What’s that noise?” Bossy would ask in the general direction of anyone unfortunate enough to have purchased the seat next to hers.
One time Bossy admitted to her sister-in-law that Bossy didn’t like to fly. “You and every other control freak in the world,” Bossy’s sister-in-law said.
Meanwhile Bossy’s other sister-in-law is Japanese, and Bossy always thought there was truth in her sister-in-law’s pronunciation of flight attendant: Fright Attendant.
Bossy’s father was much more practical in matters of air travel. “See that plane?” Bossy’s dad would say, pointing out of the family’s high rise window toward a flight pattern over the Delaware River. “How many planes do you see in five minutes along that very air path? How about in two hours? How about in a month, a year? And all of them are doing just what they’re supposed to do.”
Bossy assumed doing what they’re not supposed to do meant crashing.
This cheered Bossy considerably, but it wasn’t until she rented the movie Pushing Tin, starring Bossy’s husband John Cusack that Bossy understood there are many variables connected with flying, and that many people — not just one pilot, one imagined very hungover pilot — are working together to control those variables.
In the movie, John Cusack plays an air traffic controller, and for some reason the idea that people sit in towers across the land guiding flashing shapes across screens made Bossy feel all kinds of better about planes.
Bossy can describe her relaxed attitude toward flying now in this way: It’s a quiet place to think. Which is always good.
Which is what today’s Ten-Word Challenge is all about. In exactly ten words, can you tell Bossy about your attitude toward flying?
And be sure to check back later today for the best flying stories on the web.
Mary Steele Lawler saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:38 am
All that tepid, recycled air from other germy passengers—gross.
Debby saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:45 am
Oxygen masks down in flight, flying with Xanax ever since
Debby saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:46 am
Where Xanax = alcohol for the first 23 years after
Debby saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:47 am
Bossy’s mom Rocks. 19 then. Still scared now at 45
Charlie saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:50 am
The planes are a whole lot safer than the passengers.*
*When I was a kid I was terrified of flying. A family trip to Europe required Valium. Yes, Valium for a 12-year-old. My dad used to say the same thing Bossy’s dad said. About all the thousands of planes NOT crashing. Of the two, the Valium worked better. These days, I don’t worry much about the aircraft. I assume the crew and maintenance staff aren’t too hungover or fatigued and I let them do their job. My only concern is the other passengers. No, NOT terrorists. Just good ol’ fashioned American nutjobs, loudmouths, and people who bring stinky Sbarro meals onboard. Was once on a flight where a young guy bragged to a woman across the aisle about guns the whole way. Seems the TSA hasn’t learned how to screen for douche-rockets yet.
Josette at Halushki saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:53 am
I’m not rich enough to have a fear of flying.
Josette at Halushki saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:54 am
Better to die in plane crash than in train wreck.
Leanne saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:55 am
Fearful. Deep breath – always grateful on the other end.
mrs. Blogoway saysNovember 8, 2011 at 9:10 am
I love to fly… It means you’re headed somewhere great!
bobbie saysNovember 8, 2011 at 9:19 am
(Private) pilot son can’t even convince me that it’s safe!
Shelley saysNovember 8, 2011 at 9:21 am
Slightly worried about crashing, but I love me some Xanax.
Jean saysNovember 8, 2011 at 9:21 am
Just don’t crash over the water.
Shelley saysNovember 8, 2011 at 9:22 am
3 hours on a plane > 15 hours in a car.
lora saysNovember 8, 2011 at 9:30 am
they never tell you it’s harder after becoming a mom.
jaxcheryl saysNovember 8, 2011 at 9:36 am
Flying no problem; airports before and after pain in butt.
Daddy Scratches saysNovember 8, 2011 at 9:51 am
If the drive is 10 hours or less, I’m driving.
Snow saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:10 am
*Father Aeronautical Engineer = Daughter worst fear of flying!
*FAA Accident Investigator!
Little Miss Sunshine State saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:16 am
Necessary evil when I need to check up on Mom.
3 hours flying is better than 26 hours of driving.
Jessica saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:18 am
“@#$%! This thing is gonna fall out of the sky!”
Meg at the Members Lounge saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:19 am
Seatmate must not wear MC Hammer pants. All good otherwise.
BossysMom saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:26 am
At least you didn’t inherit going to the airport bar.
Wendy saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:44 am
drinks + coloring help but my crayon excuse (kid) got big!
Arli saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:44 am
Crowded cattle car with stale air, but fast travel prevails.
Amber Star saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:46 am
It is unwise to be impaired while on a plane.
DawnA saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:50 am
Takeoff + turbulence + landing = I am a control freak flight hater.
RobinH saysNovember 8, 2011 at 11:06 am
No phones ringing, clouds below, relax, read, and knit peacefully.
BOSSY saysNovember 8, 2011 at 11:07 am
Everyone around Bossy coughing. Not breathing for thousands of miles.
BOSSY saysNovember 8, 2011 at 11:08 am
What happened to the free meals and all the smoking?
bossy's friend's friend saysNovember 8, 2011 at 11:12 am
Read about plane crash on 1st flight – good ever since
Elizabeth saysNovember 8, 2011 at 11:21 am
Plane, train, bus…when your number is up, it’s up. Don’t worry about it.
Scottsdale Girl saysNovember 8, 2011 at 11:35 am
I love flying! I hate airports.
Kerri Anne saysNovember 8, 2011 at 11:50 am
Soaring over clouds, mountain-tops is neat, but I like naps.
The Suniverse (@TheSuniverse) saysNovember 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm
Fine once I’m on the plane and have calmed down.
kristin @ going country saysNovember 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm
Don’t worry at all–Dad and brother both Southwest pilots.
joeinvegas saysNovember 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm
I don’t mind the flying, it’s the stupid security procedures to get in the darn plane. Then those itty bitty seats with no legroom and the big person next to you that spills over the armrest and hogs it and keeps getting up to go over you to the bathroom.
What really disturbs me is Bossy coming to Las Vegas without telling me so I might finally get to meet her, since she avoided Vegas on her last two road trips. Sheesh
Mo saysNovember 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm
Pilot father died in plane crash. Still love to fly!
Kris saysNovember 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm
Must everyone bring a huge carry-on? Boarding takes forever!
laur saysNovember 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm
love it, love it, love it, go through withdraw without
Maggie saysNovember 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm
must be put up with to get to desired destination
heidig saysNovember 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm
I agree with #30 but still have death grip throughout flight.
BOSSY saysNovember 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm
Eye up fellow passengers. They’re not ready to die either.
GK in MI saysNovember 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm
Flew through thunderstorm once, now a white knuckle flyer.
WebSavvyMom saysNovember 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm
–>Love flying. Review emergency exit information and no accident yet!
WebSavvyMom saysNovember 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm
–>Flying on personal jet is how to get really spoiled.
kathy saysNovember 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm
No fun anymore. Security.No Food. Only if I must.
Olivia saysNovember 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm
Ditto number 13 and number 18. Prefer wings to tires.
BSTBXH saysNovember 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm
Statistically speaking, flying is still the safest way to travel.
— Superman —
Tara saysNovember 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm
Did you know long international flights have Enforced Rest Time?
Jami saysNovember 8, 2011 at 2:54 pm
Love flying. Not happy about sharing plane with other passengers.
JulieInMI saysNovember 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm
Only like to fly if my Mom is next to me, Mom’s make everything better!
Rooth saysNovember 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm
Wanna get there PIA with TIA but what the heck!
BOSSY saysNovember 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Sitting with knees in face, are these planes getting smaller?
Suzi saysNovember 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm
Sitting by window looking down is the best thing ever.
Kizz saysNovember 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm
Can’t believe Pushing Tin made Bossy feel BETTER! Breathing exercises.
Mr Farty saysNovember 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm
Sky: great place to visit; wouldn’t want to live there.
Pamela saysNovember 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm
Flying was fun before 9/11. Now it’s just plain scary.
KathyB saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm
Flying over golden aspen trees in Colorado last year gorgeous!
KathyB saysNovember 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm
Fly in private jet with Johnny Depp, Bossy can smoke:)
Cupcake Murphy saysNovember 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm
Is chihuahua nervousness and constant explosion death thoughts an attitude?
Hula Girl at Heart saysNovember 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm
Good but long arse flights from France wear me OUT.
Joy saysNovember 9, 2011 at 12:14 am
Would like to numb the fright. Too paranoid to imbibe.
leslie saysNovember 9, 2011 at 2:11 am
Flying relaxes me but airports and luggage, not so much.
Erika saysNovember 9, 2011 at 8:14 am
I was 10, when I flew for the first time. I was of course very excited. It did not turn out so well, since I puked after a few hours. Now I know what the bags are for!
Betsy saysNovember 9, 2011 at 10:16 am
My pilot son says worry about me on the highway.
Holly W saysNovember 9, 2011 at 10:31 am
It gets me to the place I want to be….
jamie saysNovember 9, 2011 at 11:27 am
if the drive is 10 hours or less, it’s easier to drive. If it requires a flight, it is a fun and exciting trip!
Jan Ross saysNovember 9, 2011 at 11:39 am
Flying – fabulous in every way. Other passengers – not so much.
Choosy saysNovember 9, 2011 at 11:41 am
baby on board? great. God won’t kill a baby. right?
J.C. Mogensen saysNovember 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm
A flying Greyhound. Interior as sanitary as a porn shoot.
Lisa saysNovember 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm
So proud that my 18 year old daughter is a pilot!
Jody saysNovember 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm
It used to scare me now just pisses me off!
Theresa in Alberta saysNovember 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm
Being confined in a germ filled metal tube with strangers and paying $10 for a soft drink….I would rather drive thankyou very much. If I HAD to fly I would be visiting my doctor for a perscription of valium before I would set foot inside a plane.
Theresa in Alberta saysNovember 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm
sorry, I got carried away with my words, apologies eh!
Marnie saysNovember 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm
No other way to get my ass to cool places!
Liz saysNovember 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm
“I’ll get around as God intended. In a car.”
Doug Richardson saysNovember 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm
I wanna hear more about why you went to Vegas.
Liza saysNovember 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm
Sleeping pills for 6+ hours, fly Asian airlines, great food!
Her Ace in the Hole saysNovember 10, 2011 at 10:17 am
Changing shitty diaper in tiny bathroom – my idea of fun.
gramps saysNovember 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm
My time to read and look below
Launette W saysNovember 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm
I have to tell seatmate I have tourette’s after takeoff.
Alison saysNovember 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm
The turbulence? It terrifies me. But I still do it.
Alissa saysNovember 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm
Best way to get me to islands. Hate the toilets.
Reticula saysNovember 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm
Dated a guy with a plane. Loved flying with him.
runnergirl saysNovember 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm
I love to fly. Chance to catch up on reading!!!!
I love the Fright attendant!!!
Donalyn saysNovember 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm
1st flight not till 54
3 trips since
linda saysNovember 10, 2011 at 11:04 pm
I absolutely love flying, absolutely anywhere.
Aunt Snow (g) saysNovember 11, 2011 at 12:23 am
Once exciting, once glamorous. Now, they’re just buses with wings
LI Laura saysNovember 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm
Love, love, love it!!! Can’t wait to do it again!
Beth saysNovember 12, 2011 at 12:21 am
Since they reinvented steerage, I like flying not so much.
Amanda saysNovember 12, 2011 at 1:29 am
Sexy pilot boyfriend thorough and very capable. Also good pilot!
Franca Bolla saysNovember 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm
A vodka tonic, or two, tastes better a mile up.
Sewmouse saysNovember 21, 2011 at 10:56 am
Get your damn arm off of my arm rest, Doofus.
Tami Wyatt saysNovember 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Grey Goose makes every plane ride I’ve been on tollerable.
MikeWJ saysNovember 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm
No fear at all, love to fly.
Brandi saysNovember 25, 2011 at 4:16 am
Flying gives me a sence of freedom. It’s like MAGIC!
nancypants saysNovember 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm
I’m proud of Bossy. I hate flying. I start feeling queasy if I have to look at purchasing tickets online. Then I decide that train travel is a really nostalgic way to travel and so much cheaper and doesn’t usually require body cavity searches. I mean, they bring your baggage out on a cart with wooden wheels.
AmyinBC saysDecember 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm
Past major fear. Now, beginning of a new adventure! Whoot!
mxjwqlwadlr saysJanuary 11, 2012 at 9:32 am
hpknftloa saysJanuary 14, 2012 at 5:51 am