Anyone who knows me knows that I work to live, not live to work, but I would rather work an 80-hour work week than what I have to do this weekend. I would rather curl up in a dentist’s chair with a good book while getting my remaining teeth pulled. I would rather spend a week on a deserted island with my ex-wife. Well, let’s not get carried away. Uh, well, maybe … nah. Here’s my boarding pass … give me a window seat … it’s time for me to fly!
No Place Like Home
My wife will attest to this. Every time I book a flight, it sounds great at the time, but the closer and closer it gets, my brass balls turn to Jell-O. The courage I mustered up when thinking about leaving the state for greener pastures has disappeared quicker than the Cowardly Lion being chased by the Wicked Witch. I wish I had the Wizard to grant me some courage and, at this point, maybe a brain, which left me when I booked this trip. Hell, even Dorothy knew there was no place like home. What the heck was I thinking?
Every time I make it back from one of my flying excursions, I tell myself never again. But, here I am again. Watching the clock tick down to the zero hour when I have to make the decision … do I board the plane, or do I bolt and face the consequences from my wife and those that are waiting for me at my destinations.
You may think I am kidding, but I have been in line to board the plane, only to bolt at the last second with a case of cold feet. Also, more than once, I have been in the seating area waiting to get on the plane, only to lose my nerve, which sends me heading to the parking lot. My parents will not even make plans for my arrival until they see me at the baggage claim. They know me too well.
Numbers Don’t Lie
I know, I know. I read all the statistics every time I choose to fly. I think I read that you could fly every day for 123.000 years without incident. In my head, there is a battle between the analytical person that reads those stats and the pessimistic voice in my mind that whispers negative thoughts to offset the numbers.
I think a lot of it has to do with giving up control. Literally, you are putting your life in someone else’s hands. Ask my wife, I am NOT a good passenger. If something is going to happen, I want to be the one in control. In my car, I think I can handle every situation, of course. Nothing can happen to me on the open road. Forget about all the drunk drivers or teenagers who have their noses buried in their phones instead of putting their hands at ten and two and eyes straight forward.
If I wreck my car, the airbags go off and I roll out of the car, falling two feet to the pavement. Try that at 50,000 feet going 500-plus miles per hour. It just defies logic. A bunch of usually overweight people and all that luggage crammed into this huge tube with a couple of wings that actually not only gets off the ground, but soars above the clouds. I know my friends that work for Rolls Royce could easily explain the physics to me on how and why the plane gets off the ground. I would listen intently, but it’s still not going make me feel comfortable when I walk down that long hallway to enter my awaiting plane.
Time to Start Packing
I normally don’t even start packing until the night before. I can’t even bring myself to pack until I have exhausted all my reasons why I should not fly. Thoughts enter my mind such as how it’s only 15 hours to drive to Colorado. I haven’t been on a road trip in quite some time. Even Clark Griswold knows getting there is half the fun, so why in the hell should I cram myself into a pressurized tube when I can roll down the windows, crank up the tunes, and enjoy the open road.
Tick Tock Goes the Clock
Time is ticking. Time that I hate. The night before the flight, I will be watching the sand trickle through the hour glass. Normally, weeks drag by. Not this week. No, not this week. My decision awaits. If I don’t fly and I cancel my trip, I will let down friends, family, and my wife. If I do fly, I have hours of fear, but at least I have made everyone else happy. Something’s wrong with this picture. We’re always told not to live our lives to make others happy. We’re supposed to walk to the beat of our own drummer. Damn right!
By the way, have you seen my boarding pass?