Some Thoughts On Flying

I’m sitting in here in the O’Hare airport, on my way to SheSpeaks, pausing for a moment of thankfulness that I have no sense of direction.  If I did, I might be a little stressed out that I’m heading from Oklahoma to North Carolina via Chicago.  My husband, who has a compass embedded somewhere in his brain, would be having a stroke right now.

I’ve told you how I feel about flying.  You might think I’d be getting more comfortable with it, since I’ve done a good bit of it lately.  Instead, I’m just assuming I’ve significantly raised my odds of crashing in a fiery deathtrap.

But other than that, I’m doing fine. 

Am I the only one who feels very self-conscious when flying?  Like I should be trying very hard, in every way, NOT to look like a terrorist?  I arrived in my home terminal this morning carrying my perfume in my hand, after forgetting it and grabbing it on the way out the door.  Just before I checked in, I opened up my luggage to get the perfume packed securely.  But as I sat there in the terminal with my (open) bags around me, a bottle of liquid in my hand, I felt like making an announcement to bystanders:

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS A BOTTLE OF LIZ CLAIBORNE PERFUME FROM TJ MAXX.  IT IS IN NO WAY FLAMMABLE OR TOXIC OR OTHERWISE EXPLOSIVE, AND GOD BLESS AMERICA."

With national security on my mind, I finished checking in and proceeded on through the security checkpoint.  The man in front of me did not have his boarding pass.  The screener, a sweet girl of about 21, giggled and said, "Well, I’ll forgive you this time, but next time you’ll have to pay me off with chocolate."

AND THEN SHE WAVED HIM ON THROUGH.

And there you have it, folks.  The security of an entire nation can be bought with a bag of Hershey’s kisses.

(Though I will confess that there are certain days of the month when I think that is a perfectly reasonable price to pay.) 

I thought about drop-kicking the guy–it’s my patriotic duty, after all–but then I remembered that I don’t know how to drop-kick.  And also that it might be inappropriate to be arrested on my way to a conference sponsored by a group called Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Last thing, and this has nothing to do with anything, except that it was hilarious–when I boarded the plane back in Oklahoma, I sat in front of a guy who was…well, he appeared to be a first-time flyer.  Sometimes you can just tell.  He wore a giant ball cap and an even bigger belt buckle and he chatted cheerfully (nervously?) with everyone around him.  He was positively delightful.

We taxied down the runway, sped up, and at the precise moment of lift-off–I’M NOT KIDDING YOU–the guy went, "Wheeee, Doggie."

It was adorable.

I love Oklahoma.

Barring any techincal difficulties, I’ll check in from North Carolina with a report about the fantastic stuff I’m learning.  See you then!

64 thoughts on “Some Thoughts On Flying

  1. Donnetta (momrn2) says:

    I am so excited for you as you head to this conference! Trusting it will be a memory for everyone attending! I’m also a bit sad that I am not also on a plane headed in the same direction!! *sigh*… Another time.
    What a great way to start off your trip, with a WHEEEE DOGGIE! May the rest be just as fun! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!!!

  2. Jordan (MamaBlogga) says:

    Don’t worry too much about your sense of direction being off–there’s just no real good way to get to NC. I’m from NC and live in Utah now, and I pretty much always have to go way far south (Arizona), north (Chicago) or even west (Las Vegas) to fly home. Airlines just hate us. πŸ˜‰

  3. suburbancorrespondent says:

    I can identify with the Wheee, Doggie! I rode an airplane for the first time in about 18 years when I joined the Navy when I was 24. I was put on a plane for Orlando, FL (basic training), and embarrassed myself forever by clutching my seatmate’s arm (didn’t know her) and yelling, as we lifted off, “Look! Look! We’re flying!”

  4. Jennifer (Et Tu?) says:

    I do not handle flying well either. I used to do a fair amount of it back when my husband and I seemed to have an unspoken goal to see how much money we could waste in a year and traveled to all sorts of places, and I never really got used to it. I just lose it when the turbulence hits.
    Wishing you a pleasant flight and a fun trip!

  5. Rena Gunther says:

    Was it Cookies -n- Creme Hershey’s Kisses? (They really do have those dashes, btw!)
    I’m just sayin’…just posted yesterday about those kisses. Chocolate has such power!
    No really, that is scary! Are we severly off balance or what?

  6. Amy Storms says:

    Wheee, doggie–Now that brings back memories. I used to live in Oklahoma. The last time we visited relatives, my son was trying to talk to a “native”, but he couldn’t understand his accent one bit. He kept looking at me with, “What did he say, Mom?” Funny.
    That screener…yikes!

  7. Jackie W transplanted Okie says:

    Do you live in Oklahoma ?
    I’m from Sulphur.
    When we flew from Will Rogers IA to Jackson, WY last fall my Tommy Hilfiger second hand jeans beeped & I had to be wanded. It was the snap decoration. Won’t be wearing those again while flying.
    Pre 9-11 when the baggage handlers asked if a stranger handed any packages to carry on I LOL then I saw he was serious. Now really, traveling with children & I’m gonna have enough hands to carry some strangers bomb on board.

  8. Cat says:

    HI!!!! You’re in my neck of the woods πŸ™‚ I hope you have a great time!!! The weather is absolutely gorgeous for a change and no humidity. Did you bring that along with you πŸ˜‰
    Hugs!!!

  9. Lisa B @ simply His says:

    In NC we say “YEEEE-HAAAWW” when we take off πŸ˜€ Unfortunately (or fortunately) I live 2 hours away so I’m driving instead of flying!
    I’ll see you tomorrow!! Yee-haaaw!

  10. Robinznest says:

    I feel your pain. I hate to fly and I am on my way to she speaks too. I have had a really hard day – broken planes, rerouted flights etc.
    I know it will be worth it though

  11. Jen says:

    The man who went “Weeee, Doggie!” could very well have been my dad! That made me laugh out loud. Thanks…I really need that!

  12. Katie says:

    This post was hilarious! I’m a blonde gal and all through my late 20s, I was the “random” person they selected to check. Every. Single. Time. Every leg of every flight. Every layover. Every security checkpoint. Every gate. Hmmm…is someone out there trying to (not so discretely) even-out the racial profiling?

  13. Elizabeth says:

    When I landed in Tulsa this evening I was just sure that you were the flight attendant on the loud speaker!!!

  14. TRS says:

    Love the ‘Wheeeee Doggie!’ That’s my kind of flying!
    I didn’t fly for the first time until I was 25. Then the past few years I’ve been flying a lot. I still think take off is thrilling. Every now and then I’ll go “Woo!” at the very least I always get a broad smile once we’re wheels up.
    Love it.

  15. Tammy says:

    I have to admit that “whee doggie” is NOT the first thing that comes to my mind when taking off. But I’ll keep that in mind next time.
    I detest flying also. My 14 hour trip to Japan last fall about did me in!
    Blessings to you as you attend SheSpeaks!

  16. Stephanie says:

    I can’t believe she let him through security with no boarding pass! Was he drop dead gorgeous and she thought she was going to get lucky later on or what? That’s insane!
    You’ll be fine! Can’t wait to hear all about the conference.

  17. Cheri C says:

    Wheeee Doggie! That’s a classic.
    I don’t know if it’s because I’m overbearing or because I’m married to a cop so people in authority don’t really phase me. I would have let the TSA agent know how I felt about her letting that guy through. But that’s me and my mouth has gotten me in more trouble than it probably should have over the years. Have a great weekend!

  18. Brandi says:

    I laughed all the way through this post!
    I grew up as a “non-revver”, which basically means my dad worked for the airlines, so anytime we went anywhere we never really knew if we were all going to get on the plane. We always had to wait until the very end hoping and praying there would be seats left. It was always fun being the very last people on board and not being able to sit together. I often got stuck in the middle seat between 2 very large,hairy, sweaty men. Oh,the joys!
    Okay, so my parents weren’t paying out the wahzoo for tickets, but boy was it a hassle for a family of 5 to fly.
    I hate everything about airports to this day. Even more so now. At least way back when, your family members could see you off or meet you at the gate. Airports give me the chills!!!

  19. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates says:

    I hope you have a wonderful and safe trip!
    I don’t enjoy the security screening. In our neck of the woods, you have to remove your shoes first. It’s a very odd feeling – standing around with shoe-less strangers. And having a kid with double-knotted tennis shoes on doesn’t help anything. πŸ™‚

  20. Angela says:

    As a former flight attendant (12 years… left after the last kiddo was 1) I loved to fly… it never really bothered me, until I had kids! Then I couldn’t stand to be away so much… flying feels scary because you aren’t the one in “control” (even if you aren’t a control freak), but remember the pilots who are have had many thousands of hours flying… most in the military. They have so much training for any type situation – so they are very prepared should anything “unexpected” arise.
    Oh yes, almost forgot…and so do your flight attendants as well!
    Loved the story about the guy behind you… which is another reason why I loved my job. The people you see and meet along the journey are what makes it so much fun!

  21. Kelly says:

    Ok, that was a hilarious post. You are so funny. Remember to find some friends for me that may live close to Marion, Virginia. Because I know you won’t have anything else on your mind. I am praying for you. Kelly

  22. gretchen from lifenut says:

    If I didn’t know better, I’d think that man was my grandfather (who was actually a very experienced traveller, which didn’t stop him from wearing ginormous belt buckles and hee-hawing his way through life). But he’s been with the Lord for 17 years.
    Have fun in NC!

  23. Happy Mommy says:

    WEEEE DOGGIE! That is to funny! I am glad you are not worrying too much. Funny how we love the show LOST and that makes getting on a plane a bit harder!

  24. HM says:

    When the girls and I traveled to WA a few months ago they allowed all THREE of us to board the wrong plane without even blinking. It still seems unreal to me, after all I watch the news and know about all these “dateline specials” they run.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    I never noticed that you were from Oklahoma. Yeah to Oklahoma and it’s wildly strange people!! πŸ˜‰ Have fun at the conference!!

  26. Need A Nap2 says:

    Yes, I too feel the need to point out that I’m not a terrorist! πŸ™‚ And I have some specific questions about what counts as a “liquid”? This last trip I found that my solid deodorant is not, but not sure if my Chapstick is? I’m so glad I don’t have gel deodorant right now! It’s so hard to squeeze everything I *need* into the 1 quart size bag. But for my husband – it’s a breeze. Obviously a man came up with the idea!

  27. Blue Castle says:

    I haven’t flown in a long time, but yes! I know exactly how you feel. We flew a year after 9/11 and I did everything in my power to have hardly any carry-on baggage, and I even wore my hair in bobby pins instead of the usual hair-sticks that I usually put it up with (hair sticks could be used as a pokey weapon, I think). I waited with bated breath while they scanned my purse – maybe I forgot to take out a nail file, or nail clippers?
    Have a safe trip!

  28. Rebecca says:

    When I flew to Nicaragua four years ago for a mission trip, there was a group of about 80, mainly youth, also going to Nicaragua (for a different mission trip). Many of these kids had never flown before.
    Taking off and landing was SO EXCITING with them on the plane with us.
    But on the return flights (yes, they were on those, too)? Taking off and landing were “so yesterday” by then. Of course, I’m sure they wouldn’t have used the term “so yesterday” to describe it.

  29. Jai says:

    I just finished hollering … whee doggie …
    Althought the other part of your story makes me want to drop kick the girl who waved that guy through … we just got back from Disney … and all of us had to take our shoes off, get the cokes and juice out of the lunch bags, take a screamin, hollering 18 month old out of his comfortable stroller .. where I misplaced my boarding pass twice due to all the screaming .. to go through security .. and she just waves him off?!!!! Man o man o man …
    weee doggiieeee

  30. Cindy O. says:

    Welcome to NC!! I love living here, have lived her all my life and you are bound to run across some country folk while you are here!!
    Love the wheeee doggie. . . Have a good time now, ya hear??

  31. Denise says:

    You crack me up. One time I was in a plane with a group of army recruits – several guys and one girl. The girl had never flown before and she was a nervous wreck. She would not stop talking about it. “Is this normal” “Oh, my gosh.” Of course the guys in her group were no help. They just egged her on. It was a very loud and funny flight.
    Have a great time!

  32. Richelle says:

    I must say that I am deathly afraid flying – and yet I must. It isn’t getting any easier and I have to “handle it” since I’ve got a whole tribe of young ‘uns for whome I’m also responsible. I tell my dear husband that some day…yes, there will come a day, when I will look at him and say, “Nope. Can’t do it. I just can’t step onto another plane.”
    His response? “Just make sure we are on that side of the ‘lake’ and not east of the Atlantic when it happens.”

  33. Fran says:

    he could have been from TN because that is exactly what one might say if from TN!!
    Have a fabulous time. Go you girls covered in prayer.
    Hugs,
    Fran

  34. robin says:

    HOW FABulous! I love this post. You are so funny, you just crack me up and so doest the “WEEEE DOGGIE” guy! I hope your trip goes well and you don’t drop kick anyone on your return flight.
    :0)

  35. The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino says:

    On a recent trip, I didn’t realize until I went through security that I had lost my driver’s license. This of course meant that I was a terrorist. (Even the pic on my VISA check card wouldn’t count.) I got the whole enchilada – I was patted down, they went through my purse with a fine-tooth comb, and they strip-searched me and sent me through the x-ray machine. (Okay, I’m kidding on that last one. But it felt like it.) I felt REALLY stupid because we bought some extra snacks for the plane which included some Capri-Sun pouches, which of course had to be thrown away. Then when I got to the gate and the guy got ready to scan my ticket, he said that I had to go through the whole security bit again because they had failed to punch my ticket. (I was ready to punch more than a ticket by this point.) Thankfully, someone in security remembered me so I didn’t have to go through it all over again. (Hey, aren’t you the idiot terrorist lady who tried to bring a bunch of explosives disguised as drinks on the plane?)

  36. Clio says:

    This whole post made me laugh. Mainly because I’m from Oklahoma and have been through Will Rogers and seen the first time flyers, etc. Thanks for the laugh. Hope you make it back safely.

  37. Janelle says:

    I have the same flying issues! And in the next 30 days I have to board to very SMALL planes. Yikes. One is our flight from Uganda to Sudan in a plane that doesn’t even have windows that are rolled up! What am I going to do? πŸ™‚

  38. Ronnica says:

    The first time I flied I actually listened attentively to the flight attendants as they gave their spiel. Now I read right through it, barely noticing it at all.

  39. Suzanne :: Adventures in Daily Living :: says:

    My carryon handle broke off as we were loading the car for the airport to go to Russia for our adoption. I quickly dumped out my teaching back-pack, loaded it with my carryon stuff and carried on.
    It wasn’t until I cleared security and was waiting to board that I noticed an 8 inch pair of metal scissors (the old-fashion heavy kind) sticking out of one of the side pockets. They were plainly visible and had gotten through the x-ray.
    I threw a fit. All the hassle and delay and deprivation of lotions etc. and they let 8 inch blades through? The security dudes tried to play it down but I took it to their boss. If they are going to hassle us, they ought to at least be efficient!

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