it used to be that i was afraid to fly on principal. no matter how any one explained it to me, no matter how many books, articles and animated cartoons i read and watched on the miracle of flight, i still didn't understand what kept those damn things in the air.
years later, after i had been flying, terrified for decades, airline hijackings became popular. during that period of heightened fear i always packed a few bananas and a couple of boxes of raisins in my carry on. i think then, i was less terrified of ending up in cuba with a gun to my head, than of going hungry for days on end. people, mostly the husband, tried to explain again and again that the odds of me being on a hijacked plane were one in a million. again, i couldn't wrap my brain around that the statistic.
when 9/11 occurred i began to notice that other people around me were beginning to exhibit signs of fear of flying. suddenly i was not alone. suddenly, being afraid was not so crazy. but then something strange began to happen. about three years after 9/11 i noticed that i didn't need three vodkas and an atavan to fly across the country. i found i could get from l.a. to new york with only one vodka and maybe a half a valium and then no vodka and soon no valium. i was free. i was no longer afraid to fly. i still didn't like turbulence and i still found the need to introduce myself to the pilot on boarding, but i was able to eat and read and even close my eyes for minutes at a time. i no longer felt i needed to be on red alert for five hours in order to keep the plane airborne.
so, now that i am a flier, i find myself planning trips all over the globe. just when i am about to turn into a middle aged, jewish, amelia earhart, the airline industry has turned against me. all of a sudden all the airlines are grounding their planes. one airline has a problem with the wire bundling (i don't know what wire bundling is, but i don't like the sound of it, and i certainly don't like the sound of the word "problem") and another has wing issues and a third a problem with their electrical system. now, i know how hard it is to get a good repairman, so i can not even begin to imagine how you go about fixing an electrical problem in five hundred planes.
so, one again, it looks like my frequent flier miles are just going to keep piling up, gathering dust. i know i have tickets for flights all over the world, but this fly girl ain't going nowhere until the airlines get their acts together!