Thursday, February 9, 2012

In Which I Think About Putting A Wild Hare on a Plane and Flying Somewhere, Part 1

When I was little I desperately wanted to be a flight attendant.

After I graduated from high school but before I became a Christian I thought about it again and decided against it. I would have (very much!) liked to do it but I didn't have the confidence. I felt at the time that the process was bigger and scarier and more intimidating than trying out for cheer leading had been when I was a freshman. That whole experience was awful. The comparison, the peer pressure, the cattiness of the girls, the feeling that I didn't measure up and never would and the fact that I wasn't "popular," and therefore someone to be looked down on, was too much for me as a freshman at age 14. It actually affected me deeply for a long time. I shouldn't have let it do so, but what can I say? Fourteen is a pretty impressionable and important age. My high school years where fraught with insecurity and my motto was "I'm in search of myself. Have you seen me anywhere?"

After graduation I felt like applying as a flight attendant would bring up all those old feelings of inadequacy.

So I didn't go there.

I went to California instead and lived in a near constant state of inebriation on Malibu beach and squandered my parents' very generous investment in my education.

Yeah, I really had it goin' on.

But that's another story for another time. Or maybe it's all better to stay forgotten!

Fast forward to a couple of years ago when I was thinking about going (back) to work. The thought of applying to airlines crossed my mind and I started to look into it but things took a different turn, one reason being that my son was still living at home and I felt a need to be home more than be flying the friendly skies regularly. So I went to work as a bank teller. That was a mistake, but that's also another story for another time. (I'm just full of stories!) I thought of the flight attendant thing as a wild hare anyway.

Fast forward to a few days ago. One of my neighbors came over with a gift for me. (So nice!) She picked up a calendar with beautiful pictures of Hawaiian flowers the last time she was in Honolulu. She is a flight attendant for United Airlines and flies the SFO-Hawaii route regularly. I didn't know that until she brought the calendar over. I had noticed she was out of town for a couple of days every two weeks or so, but I had no idea she was doing the exact job I had dreamed about as a child and again as a teenager.

We ended up spending all day with her getting to know each other. It was totally spontaneous and a lot of fun. When she brought the calendar over she asked about our church and what we believe and the three of us (my hubby, she, and I) hung out on our doorstep talking for about half an hour. I invited her in but she wanted to stay within sight of her own front door because she was expecting some sort of appliance repair man. We ended up going over to her place so we could all sit down and be more comfortable and she wouldn't miss the repair guy. We stayed for three hours drinking coffee and just chatting and talking. She is very interested in our church and we talked a lot about that but we also talked about everything under the sun.

I mentioned that if I ever went to work seriously, on a permanent basis, I thought being a flight attendant would be fantastic. I'd rather do something interesting other than little retail jobs or house cleaning or something--not that I'm knocking those things. They all have their place, and I've done them all. (I am thinking of starting a house cleaning business again...I could set my own hours!)

This lady worked on the ground for United Airlines for years and then started flying. I mentioned that at 48 years old, I think I'm too old to be hired to fly but she said, no way. She said she herself started flying in her 40's (and has been doing for at least 20 years) but I pointed out that she had already been working for the same airline, just in a different capacity, for over a decade. She said the airlines prefer these days to hire older people, even in their 50's, instead of younger. Lots of reasons, none of which are important here. She strongly encouraged me to look into it, and even mentioned a specific airline that would be good to work for, should I decide to apply.

I get these ideas in my head and then I realize they are a total wild hare and I go back into my well traveled mode of thinking and settle down. My well traveled mode of thinking it what is "comfortable" to the people who know me well. They know I get these wild ideas and half way entertain them for a minute but then they go by the wayside. (The ideas go by the wayside, not the people who know me!)

Here's the thing, though. When my neighbor was encouraging me my husband said...

get this...

"Hey! Well, there ya' go!"

Let me translate: "That's not actually a bad idea. Are you going to look into it?"




...blank...   (not a typo. I was seriously totally blank in my mind, aghast at his response)

 Did he just say that?

So there's the question: Am I going to look into it?

This post is getting too long, so check back tomorrow to find out if I'm looking into becoming a flight attendant or if it's just another wild hare of mine that will go away and then I'll calm down.

Note to my family and friends: No need to panic. No need to call your father (Brittney, I'm talking to you) to find out if I've lost my mind. It will all come clear tomorrow.

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