true story, airport style

Yo friends!

I am presently in one of my least favourite places in the Universe, the airport.  Generally, I am crazy late for domestic flights, and board the plane AFTER boarding has ended and they’ve removed the tunnel, via a scolding flight attendant escort.  To be honest, I’m a little bummed out that I will miss out on the terribly fun stares of my fellow passengers today, but alas, roomie is more responsible than I and has therefore forced my bum to migrate to the airport ridiculously early.

SO here I am, all drugged up with nowhere to go.

Yes it is true my friends, I don’t think I have any other anxiety so strong as that which flying causes within me.  I’m a relatively frequent flier, yet my discomfort with the notion has never quite subsided.  There have been several times when I have actually decided (t minus 30 minutes before takeoff) not to board a plane, leaving me stranded.  After this happened a few times, my doctor decided it would be prudent to drug me during travel.  Hence, I give you “Charlee under the influence of far too many milligrams of benzodiazepine”.

Anyway, as so often happens when I am forced to deal with airports/planes, I have been annoyed by the actions of various people.  Ohkay, SURE, I know I have probably annoyed my fair share of people today also…but that is irrelevant to the fact that the same things bother me every time I travel.  So, I bring you my “rules” for the procedures associated with changes in geographical location:

Number One: Wear Something Comfortable But Not Yucky

This is a very important one my friends.  I am the first to admit that I generally wear things whilst flying that I would never wear in my general life–that is, I dress solely to be comfortable, and therefore look like a crackhead most of the time.

Well, I have a sad tale to explain this life lesson that I had to learn the hard way: I was flying to Pittsburgh last minute to see family, so I didn’t have much time to pack/get my act together and therefore looked like a really unsightly version of myself.  Due to a snowstorm, my flight got canceled and the next one included a detour to DC…well, I got stuck in DC my friends.  I had the option of waiting out the storm/getting a hotel, but I have friends in DC so I figured I’d spend a day or two with them rather than dealing with the masses of angry stranded travelers.  However, this meant I did not have my luggage and I looked like a COMPLETE street rat.  Luckily, my dear friend allowed me to change into some less offensive clothing of hers, but I still had to deal with the trip from Dulles to the city looking like a fool–not to mention showing up to meet my friend and her friends looking as though I’d just rolled out of bed (literally–I was practically wearing pajamas).

So, learn from my mistake friends, even if all you do whilst flying is sleep, it is not wise to dress as though all you plan to do is sleep!

Number Two: Take A Chill Pill (literally or figuratively)

This one actually applies in all situations.  I would like everyone in the world to take a chill pill.

Well, that is a bit untrue as some people I encounter are sufficiently chill, but unfortunately, there seems to be an absence of the chill factor in airports.  To be fair, I realise that airports are an unpleasant place to spend time.  Oh, how I realise this.  I just wish we could all do our part to make it a bit less unpleasant by calming the eff down a little bit.  Just a little bit.

Number Three: Use your brain

Again, I suppose this one could be applied to life also.  However, this is the number one thing that bothers me in airports.

I’m not a mean or unfriendly person, and I know chilling in airports is a bummer, so I am always down to converse with those around me.  I draw the line, however, when someone feels the need to not only carry on a conversation with me for an excessive period of time, even though I’ve made it clear that I am not interested in hearing the details of their sister’s cousin’s wife’s daughter’s bat mitzvah, but also does not properly understand my motives when I state that I need to get a cup of coffee.  No, I don’t want you to join.  I’m trying to get away from you.

Then there are the children.  Oh, the children.  I’m actually a gigantic fan of kids–I’m only half-kidding when I say one of my goals in life is to “save the children” and I’ve done a lot of volunteering with kids and was even a nanny for about a month.  So I’m down with the youngins.  However, I am not down with their parents.  Children should not be running amok through airports–frolicking, playing…fine–but screaming?  This is not okay, and the parents who think it is are clearly not aware of the fact that unpleasant noises are something many of us strive to avoid in life, and the last thing we want is their ignorance forcing this upon us.  When I have children I will obviously be slipping them a few chill pills whilst traveling.

Although it is also possible that I am a bit bitter that I can no longer be the one running around and having fun and that I’m expected to sit here, bored out of my mind, for an extended period of time.

Okay I think that is about it for my rant of the day…please keep my sage advice in mind next time you find yourself traveling, and if you should find yourself sitting next to me on a plane, please be aware of the fact that I am dazed and confused and not exactly down to discuss the purpose of your business trip!  I will appreciate this very, very much!

hugs and kisses, Charlee

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6 Comments

Filed under personal, random, ruminations

6 responses to “true story, airport style

  1. i like your blog! i think i found it on 20sb. i also have huge anxiety flying and have been thinking about the anxiety pills. everytime i step off a plane i vow to never get back on…but i fly pretty frequently and its getting harder and harder. hmm, we’ll see!

  2. The Airplane is a necessary evil. I dare anyone to try and refute that. At each stage of history, man has gone from an inferior mode of public transportation to a faster yet less comfortable one.
    Rickshaw –> Stage Coach –> Train –> Bus –> Airplane
    The way I see it, we’re just using this one until somebody invents a viable teleportation device.

  3. Sebastian

    I travel a lot, and often by plane. Luckily I’ve developed some kind of ‘low power’ mode for airports. I kind of… slip into a semi-stupor. I’m so used to waiting hours for late planes, or even canceled flights that mean I end up staying in a horrible metal chair for 6+ hours.

    I think there have been studies about how stressed people are during any kind of travel — it’s pretty damn stressful, for whatever reason. I imagine all the attention on security doesn’t help some people that are tuned into the media frenzies either.

    I’m glad you found solace in a pill though… even if that was the easy way out :P

  4. Being old school, I like to be a bit dressed up for the airport, like back in the dawn of flying when it was a big deal just to board a plane.

    I’ve had some airport experiences so painful they are comical, though I think they taught me to be more patient. And I rarely open conversation at airports, its so tough to get out of once you start, and even tougher when you are on the plane.

    Good list.

  5. Charlee

    Krystal: Why, thank you! That is a very nice thing to say.
    20sb is quite cool! I have to be honest and say that I was skeptical at first (the concept of “social networks” kind of freaks me out) but I have also found lots of awesome blogs, etc.
    I’m not a very big fan of prescription pills, but being stranded several times due to my anxiety was enough to make me get over my trepidation. I actually missed Thanksgiving with my family one year because I didn’t board my plane! So, I feel for you and I think for everyone there is a point where you realise something needs to be done, and I think every individual knows when that point has come.
    The Xanax isn’t a “cure-all” of course, but I haven’t been skipping out of airports since I started taking it…so that’s definitely good.

    Shawn: You’re so right! Before I started drugging myself, I did take the train from time to time, and it is far more comfortable and less stressful than flying. However, it takes so incredibly long! I still prefer it for short trips though. Nonetheless, planes are definitely a necessary evil, although I am also anxiously awaiting a teleportation device!

    Sebastian: Haha, I know what you mean by the “airport mode”…I also try to get into a low level of consciousness when spending time in airports. It’s still a bummer though! However, I must say, being really chilled out/virtually asleep is a good way to ward off unwanted “friends”.
    Yes, traveling is very stressful, hence my hatred for it! To be sure, I enjoy traveling, but the actual act of completing the journey is really lacking in fun, most of the time anyway. This is why short trips are not my favourite thing–I don’t like spending almost as much time going between destinations as I do actually enjoying myself!
    And as for the drugs–I shall once again say “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.” :-)

    Michael: Another one for the old-schoolers! Haha I think it’s definitely a far better idea to err on the side of more formal dress in general, although I did not apply this philosophy to travel until the aforementioned tragedy!
    I’m the same way, I usually keep to myself whilst traveling. I don’t mind talking to people if they’re interesting, unfortunately, it seems as though the interesting ones are those like you and I, not the ones wanting to converse for hours on end. And thank GOD for ipods–I don’t know what people did to escape a chatty neighbour on planes before they were invented.
    Thanks for your comment…I LOVE your new weblog!!! So hilarious!

  6. Ahh, airports. You gotta love them. They really are the same everywhere you go, aren’t they? Tedious little buggers.

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