Thoughts after 4 pints in the JFK airport bar…
I’m terrified. Not just because I hate flying. Not because Miss Daisy has me looking over my shoulder for ISIS kidnappers. I’m scared because I know seven days from now I won’t be the same person. I’m forcing myself to do this because I know my soul needs it.
I need to stop living in fear. I need nature. I need quiet. I need room to breathe. I need to see things that leave me in awe of this world so I forget about the pieces that destroyed me, or disappointed me, or kicked me when I was down. One thing I learned in the last seven years is that I’m a survivor. This is my final exam. And maybe when my plane lands back at this airport I’ll be done proving myself to myself and I can finally reap the rewards of my hard fought lessons. I’m tired of lessons. I want peace of mind and heart.
Who are these women who buy cute outfits to wear on an airplane? I assume they bought them especially for the ease of getting through security, but perhaps they wear these outfits to Whole Foods on a regular basis. A leather skirt? On a 6 hour flight? How is that comfortable? Or practical for going down the inflatable slide if we crash?
I, on the other hand, am wearing long underwear, a flannel shirt, leggings, thick socks, hiking boots and a raincoat. For one thing the hiking boots and raincoat wouldn’t fit in my suitcase. But also because I didn’t know if I’d have enough time to do a full change in the Reykjavik airport bathroom before my shuttle.
Removing hiking boots at the security line was a pain in the ass. The idea of walking on the airport floor in my socks also skeeves me. I think they should have a dispenser where you can immediately shoot a stream of Lysol onto your socks before putting your shoes back on. There could be Ebola on that floor for all I know. Why isn’t this a thing? There are a lot of OCD people in this country. I’m sure they have one in Stockholm.
I passed through the body scanner and the reasonably attractive TSA agent stopped me. I got a little excited at the thought of a pat-down, because I could use a little. My excitement stopped though when the female agent came over and patted down my arms. I’m suspecting it was the flannel shirt and hiking boots.
My fear of flying leads me to only fly Scandinavian airlines. I trust Scandinavians to actually work. I don’t trust American airlines. We all know one coworker who hates their job and deliberately tries to sabotage the company. Who are the pilots who show up drunk? Not NorwegianAir. They know aquavit can kill.
I flew Icelandair once before in 2005 on a ridiculous trip to Rome. The ex and I cancelled a Baltic cruise at the last minute to go to Rome. Unfortunately, the airline tickets were nonrefundable so instead of flying to Copenhagen, we had to fly to Amsterdam on Icelandair and then KLM (close enough to Nordic) to Rome. The whole trip took 24 hours. At that time Icelandair was a small budget airline. I know this because the in-flight entertainment consisted of one movie choice and it was always a Goldie Hawn movie. First Wives Club, Wildcats, Death Becomes Her, Foul Play. A flying Goldie Hawn Film Festival. I could understand playing a Bjork concert, but this was just bizarre.
They have seriously upgraded since 2005, as the plane looked brand new. I was initially annoyed when I went to my window seat I pre-booked and the guy sitting next to me asked if I’d give up my seat to his son, forcing me into the center triple seats. I later was glad, as this man clearly had overactive bladder and got up at least 5 times just as I was falling asleep. The safety video also looks like a pleasant outdoor yoga video, so I think if we crash I’m supposed to do Downward Dog. I passed over Season One of Downton Abbey on the vast entertainment menu, and instead chose Me Before You, because I always enjoy British comedies. What a freaking mistake to start my vacation. I was horrified at the ending. I couldn’t sleep after that. Why not just play “Alive” or some other equally depressing movie? I won’t spoil it, but DO NOT WATCH IT. Downton is always the right choice. Not off to a good start.
[In the next installment, I land in Iceland and ponder whether I could move there if Trump is elected.]