I celebrated a birthday last Sunday and my gift to myself was a trip to Spokane Washington to visit some dear friends that occasionally put up with my annoying birthday behavior. When I was in my 20's and 30's and I had no partner or children it was easier to go visit them and trust me when I say that my behavior back then was much worse than my recent trip. Anyway - the only way to get to Spokane Washington is to get on an airplane and sit there for several hours and then get off, get on an even smaller airplane for another hour or so and then get off of that one and you are there.
I love Spokane Washington in the winter. It is freezing cold. It also has some of the most friendly people you will ever meet. You can buy sweaters at a really good price. There are other things that are cheaper than they are in Silicon Valley too such as gas, food, restaurants, alcohol, land, housing but I'm getting off track. I love the Northwest and someday hope to move back there with my husband, children, dog and cat.
I hate flying. I can't say exactly when it started but sometime in my early 30's I realized that I was not a big fan of flying. It has gotten progressively worse until I can safely admit that I hate it. I am not going to go into all the random and annoying things I go through to get onto a plane but lets just say that at this point it is a good thing that my husband and I only travel together once in a while. I don't think he could handle flying with me every month.
When I was in my 20's I applied to United Airlines to be a flight attendant. Yup, this is gonna be a good story. I convinced my then sister-in-law (she is no longer my sister-in-law) to come with me and apply, she didn't have a job and was tired of staying home and cooking and cleaning (her house was a nighmare) and needed something to do with all her free time. United Airlines was doing open interviews in Sacramento and so I put on my best suit and brushed my long hair and picked her up and we headed to the Marriott or Hilton and sat with other 18 - 30 year olds that had dreams of serving drinks and snacks at 30 thousand feet.
We went through the speeches and the presentations, took a short pop quiz which I aced and then were told we would be giving impromptu speeches about ourselves and our dreams of becoming flight attendants. They told us that if we were not bilingual to leave right then, they were only hiring bilingual flight attendants! I knew that this job was in the bag, impromptu speeches were my forte, I spoke Spanish fluently, I was born to talk in front of other ladies about myself! I wrote a quick outline and looked over at my ex-sister-in-law, she was not doing so well. She had blotchy pink spots on her face and looked like she was going to pass out. She swallowed sickly and told me that she hated talking in front of people and didn't think she could do it. Not just that, she added that when she was stressed out, her English got really bad and people complained they couldn't understand her. I didn't let her obvious distress ruffle my feathers, I knew I was going to get that second interview call to fly to Chicago and meet the big wigs.
As it turns out I didn't get that call to Chicago and based on my physical reactions to our trip to Spokane it is a good thing. No one wants a flight attendant hyperventilating, swallowing repeatedly, closing their eyes, refusing to take off their seat belt and clenching and un-clenching their fists when they should be serving drinks and assisting passengers. My ex-sister-in-law did however get a second interview and for years I was convinced they confused the two of us, since we were sitting next to each other and we both had long straight hair and I was half Korean and she was full Korean. But as it turns out, they did me a favor since my skill set would someday include me being a not so good airplane passenger.
I don't think that my dislike of flying is accidental, my mother hasn't been on a plane since 1983, my youngest brother won't step foot on one either. But until they start implementing the kind of transport used in Star Trek, I will continue to get on planes to travel from place to place. Especially if it is to fly to Spokane and hang out with good friends. Thanks Jill and Lamont!