Are Those Really Our Pilots?

People fear many things. Some fear spiders. Others can’t stand to look at needles. Well, for me, I fear flying. I know. I know. I have read all the statistics. I usually re-read them in the days leading up to my flight. I realize, statistically, you are supposed to be much safer flying than you are driving. That doesn’t make it any easier for me to fly

Control Freak
Maybe it’s my need to feel as though I am in control, something that you have to give up when you are in the air and two strangers, literally, have your life in their hands. In a car, we can avoid any accident, right? What’s the worst that can happen? We get in a crash, we can roll out of the car the six inches between the bottom of the vehicle to the road. Try that at 50,000 feet. No thanks.

I have all kind of weird quirks even before I get on the plane. It starts in the waiting area before you board the plane. Yes, I keep an eye on those that will be sharing my flight. Anyone look suspicious? If so, can I take them down if I need to? Here come the pilots. What do they look like? Healthy? Experienced? Do I trust these guys to get me from point A to point B in one piece? If everything looks good, I am clear to board. I have chickened out, leaving the pre-board area more than once, cancelling my flight due to fear and doubt.

I get excited when I book my trip, but the closer it gets to my flight date, the less and less attractive the trips looks. For me, I start thinking this could be the last time I hug my wife, pet my dogs, or talk to my parents, etc. My mind quickly takes a turn down worst-case-scenario lane.

Incoherent Gibberish
Are Those Really Our Pilots?Once on the plane, I have tried many things to get through the flight. I cannot sleep on a plane. I have even taken sleeping pills before I boarded and still wide awake. I have also taken Xanax, which does help take the edge off, but my wife tells me that if I take too many I become an embarrassment when we get off the plane at our destination, usually rambling some type of incoherent gibberish.  I am supposed to fly soon. Southwest sent me two free drink coupons. Even though I am not much of a drinker, I may have to take them up on their offer.

I am supposed to fly to visit a buddy to watch some baseball this Spring. I just talked to him. He asked me how certain I was that I would actually make the flight. I told him about 85 percent, but reminded him that it was still early. That would surely drop the closer we get to flight date.

Time to Loosen Up
I am quickly approaching 50. I realize my life is now more than half over. I should start loosening up and this type of stuff shouldn’t bother me anymore, right? This is when I should be more happy-go-lucky and start taking more risks. I will try to remember that in a few weeks when I am sitting in the corral waiting to board my flight.

Hey, doesn’t that pilot look a little bit old to you?


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