Sunday, December 19, 2010


The world map above our dining room table.

In the next few months Bobby and I are going to be traveling to Jordan and Egypt with his parents, his sister, and his brother-in-law. As a person with an irrational fear of flying, the 12 total flights involved over a two week period kind of makes me want to dissolve into a puddle of terror. I've flown so many times in my life-my first flight I was maybe 2, I flew alone from California to Texas when I was 7, my mother worked for an airline and we flew every month, I've taken long trans-Pacific flights to Japan and back... and I still experience overwhelming anxiety and fear every damn time I have to get on a plane. Literally, as the plane door is closing I'm actually thinking "Welp, I had a nice life. Guess I'm ok with dying". As though I'm on some sort of deathtrap, instead of taking part in the safest form of transportation on the planet. It's ridiculous.

I look with longing and envy at the children who only know they don't like sitting in their chairs, and want to play, who aren't obsessing over every bump and sound. I despise the cavalier teens, burrowed into their seats in hoodies, i-pod earbuds firmly in place, so laid back and bored and just... whatever. Or the cool and collected business men and women in their suits, frantically typing on their laptops. They could be in their office for all it mattered. And then there's me- I'm gripping my armrest and sweating profusely, trying to calm my breath and not cry. Once we take off and we've been in the air for a bit, I get exhausted from being terrified and then I'm just stressed- barring a spike in anxiety accompanying any turbulence or strange sounds. And when we start to descend? I start cheering inside, so ready to land. When we hit the ground without exploding, I truly feel as though I've been given a new lease on life, as though I've been spared- "I made it!" I exclaim inside my head. So unbelievably stupid.

So on a lazy Saturday Bobby and I got all of our visa paperwork filled out, with me commenting every few lines "we are going to die", to which he would respond "no we're not". I had a weird mix of being excited to be going to Egypt and Jordan, and dreading the way in which we have to go there. Getting visa pictures at Walgreen's and writing my passport number over and over again in black ink really made it seem very real. I think I need to start preparing for this trip. I really want to be that person who is cool with flying. I found a website with all these little exercises and readings to help with fear of flying, and I am totally going to get a doctor to write me some sort of prescription that will calm my crazy ass down. If I'm going to be plummeting out of the sky to an inevitable death, I wouldn't mind being a bit out of it, you know? For the long haul from Dallas to Germany I'm thinking I might take Ambien and just sleep through it. Hopefully I'm not one of those people who eats in their sleep or doesn't fall asleep and then acts insane... although, at least I won't know what's going on, so, again, still serving its purpose.

Me, happy to be done with paperwork, probably right before I declared our inevitable death for the umpteenth time.

Bobby, smiling, probably right after assuring me for the umpteenth time that our deaths are not inevitable. I really don't know how he puts up with it.


  1. Yay trip!

    I would recommend Mister Rogers' First Experiences Airplane... only it was made in 1989, is out of print, and is meant for kids. But I remember it being very helpful because it explained what the various noises were.

    But drugs would be just as good. Screw the noises.

  2. You guys are too cute to croak! stop worrying! enjoy your trip!

  3. @Mandy- I had Bobby look that book up on Amazon- they're selling it for $1.99. It might be mine soon. I've always loved Mister Rogers...
    either way, I'll be downing some anti-anxiety drugs. And I *never* take medicine because I hate it, but this time I'll do it

    @HS- your comment made me laugh out loud! Thanks :) I'm hoping you're right. I have a few more weeks to prepare so I'll use that as my meditation mantra- "too cute to croak"!