Sex & Love

FFJD: Do You Mind If I Borrow Your Barf Bag?

Hating airplane travel, but trying to get over it. Read More

By / January 13, 2011
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I, like many of us, have flying anxiety.

Well, it used to be a lot worse. Like gripping, nauseating, I-refuse-to-do-a-summer-program-abroad type thing. Which is a serious White Girl Problem. You know, because a lot of my friends were going on awesome teen tours (also known as Lets Compare Longchamps Journey 2003 and A Formal Introduction to the Tao of the J.A.P.) or spending the summer getting sloshed in Seville and learning all sorts of things that Americans don’t know. Like how to sip Cappuccino. Or that Spanish (Italian, Peruvian, Czech) men don’t understand the word “no.” Le sigh.

So how’d I get over it? I’m not over it entirely, but I did manage to move to South America and bop around the continent with relative ease. I mostly attribute my chilling the eff out with learning the physics of flight.

I know, right? But let’s have a nerd moment. I’m not sure what it was, but understanding the science behind something that made me feel like my gut was dropping to my ass (no, that’s not just the beginning ascension) made me feel better. Much more than any other supposed anxiety-easing tactic.

Which gets us to the more important point — meeting boys on airplanes.

Plane rides can suck, aside from an irrational fear of toppling out of the sky. What if you’re stuck between two babies who happen to hate you and everything you stand for and want to scream bloody murder for five hours as a form of comic relief?

Granted, usually you have to be seated in the immediate area of a Baldwin(Cher terminology) to make your move, and it can be a matter of luck. On my flight moving abroad to Spain junior year of college (I had to finally know what those Spaniards were like after Sarah’s craaaaaazy stories that made me feel so left out) I sat next to the hottest British boy I’d ever seen. As if being hot wasn’t enough, he was also British.

They should teach American boys to have British accents. You could look like a toad and use the word “bloke” and most of us ladies would be done.  We exchanged info, but alas I never made it to Liverpool. I should have pulled him into the “loo” and had my way with him. I am here so that you don’t pass up that opportunity again, ladies.

Rather, right my wrongs. Horizontally.

The most important thing is to establish conversation early on. Or if you were I in the early days, just freak out about take-off. Maybe in a Damsel-in-Distress-Hold-My-Hand? sort of way, not Hysterical Psycho. I vividly remember the boy I sat next to on the way home from Birthright (could that sentence be any more FFJD?) held my hand during some turbulence. I wonder if it was as good for him as it was for me. A good friend of mine (who sometimes writes posts for FFJD as an undisclosed dude) actually consoled Daryl Hannah during some bad air pockets. He said she’s still got it. Oh, and she has soft hands.

Often the people you meet on planes are great because they’re either from where you’re from, or where you’re going to so they can give you recommendations. Sometimes you’re not even after a cute boy – I made one of my best friends on the plane ride to Acapulco (FFJD, again) in college because we bonded over the shitfaced guy sitting next to her.

Strike up a conversation about how it’s a total racket you have to pay for snacks and before you know it, you’ll be a part of the Mile High Club. I wish I understood the appeal of that. All I can think of are the strange bacterial amoebas populating that entire one-foot radius of an airplane bathroom. Staring up at you as 27B sees your Hanky Pankys.

But if that does it for you, let your seatmate know and I’m sure he will be happy to oblige. Just please don’t touch any surfaces.

(and really, i wrote this on a plane.)

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