Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2 Dings = Hey Bartender

For those few who have had the privilege of flying the friendly skies with me trust me it is a privilege to bear witness to how I handle those next couple of hours.  I am not a good flyer, which doesn’t necessarily mean I panic, I need pills to calm the anxiety, I throw a hissy fit.  What that means is I have learned how to remedy my stress of the entire flight experience. 
 I sleep well the night before, I usually don’t start panicking until we’re in the air as I patiently await the two dings.  If its an early flight I do not have caffeine of any kind, trust me the calmer I am the better passenger I am.   I eat breakfast, I buy a snack, I bring things to keep me occupied.  Whether that means my trusty notebook for jotting down things that are said in flight like “amazing what you can fit between your toes”, my Kindle (Kudos to renting movies this trip), or my mp3 player (which I neglected on my trip to San Diego).  I’m sure everyone has their peeves, their flight preparedness activity package ready to go.  This sounds like a cakewalk right?
I thought I was a bad flyer until this trip to the DR when one of the people in our group, whose name will not be mentioned, met the takeoff and landing in throws of what I could assume to be close to hyperventilation.  In the air this person was fine with.  I love taking off and landing for some strange reason, even after the Miami incident when we were seconds from landing the pilot pulled the plane up sharply and we had to increase altitude to avoid hitting another plane taking off.  (The guy next to me got a free thigh grab for that one)
The in-between is what I dread, the unforeseen turbulence.  I patiently wait for the 2 dings, the cart to roll by and its “Hey bartender, a bottle of red please.”  With that I down the bottle of red in seconds, others would say “you drank it like it was a shot”.  Depending on the length of the flight I’ll have two bottles.  My trip to London I drank the entire way there (including the 3 glasses before boarding), I was awake the entire time watching the sunrise over what I thought was Ireland.  (Its always a bonus when the drinks are free!) I’ve tried vodka sodas but the sugar increases the chances of having a headache the rest of the day.  The best part of this is I’m completely sober when we land.
Drinking in flight numbs me, it puts me in a ‘buzzed’ state where turbulence doesn’t matter.  I’m less aware of my surroundings.  Some may say that’s a bad thing, but considering I’d tried muscle relaxers, sleep aids at least alcohol is something I can control and know works for me.   If we hit turbulence I won’t be white knuckled in my seat, I’ll just be like “la-de-da” and continue watching my movie or writing down what hideous shirt the guy in front of me is wearing.
Now if it’s a later flight and the bar is open I’ll be there, drinking away.  The Pasadena trip was fun and better yet when the bartender gave us a free round.  The Angel I was traveling with didn’t remember getting on the plane!  She has since told me flying has never been the same.  I have learned that drinking before a flight can be hit or miss especially if your flight has been delayed – there goes your buzz.  I rather not drink before boarding though because the amount of time it takes to board the plane, taxi the runway and get in the air is just about the amount of time it takes to lose a buzz.
At least this trip everyone was drinking with me, I got to clink glasses (bottles), hold my bottle up high in the air like a shot and say “Salute”! 

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