When I was a kid I used to fly on my own from Virginia to Michigan to visit my grandparents. My mom would see me on the plane, my grandparents were waiting in the gate at my destination. Man, what a great feeling it was to step off that plane — usually with a plastic pair of wings pinned to my shirt, maybe accompanied by a friendly stewardess — and see my grandparents standing there, waving and beaming with happiness.

I loved airports back then, and everything about air travel, especially the thrilling stomach-dropping-away sensation as the plane transitions from its fullscale gallop down the runway into the air, everything on the ground tilt-shifting away into model-train-sized scenery. Then the windows filling with greyish-white before revealing the world above — the blue skies, the soft yet impenetrable-looking clouds — in all its alien beauty.

Now, of course, flying anywhere is mostly just a colossal pain in the ass. Bored security people shouting at you, lines of people, the scramble of pulling off your shoes and piling up laptop purse coat bag into trays. No one stands at gates waiting for loved ones any more. Those deliciously salty honey-roasted peanuts are a thing of the past, unless you want to buy the $15.99 version at the newsstand and, of course, risk sending your seat partner into anaphylactic shock the moment you rip open the bag. The newly-horrifying possibility of geese being sucked into the engines like single-brick Duplos crippling a Bissell.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt anything other than resigned irritation when it comes to traveling, but I am actually really looking forward to the trip I’m going on tomorrow, despite the ass-pains involved. I’m heading to DC for the first time in, well, let’s see . . . good lord, 25 years, and I’m excited about everything: seeing the area again, meeting new people, enjoying a spa night, and even sitting on a plane for several hours because holy god I might actually get to read a book or something, and unless I’m spectacularly unlucky I won’t get interrupted two pages in by having to wipe someone’s ass.

Also, I’ve informed JB that since I’ll be away from home for two nights, I expect that upon my return he’ll have trained Dylan to sleep through the night. Since it’s as simple as not going to him when he cries, I’m sure it’ll be NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER.

(I mock, and yet during my last overnight trip Riley magically figured out how to poop in the toilet, so really, you never know.)

No matter what, I’m always just a little convinced that my plane is going to burst into flames and plummet into a remote mountainside where the survivors will be forced to eat the flesh of the dead in order to survive and despite overcoming great odds and enduring the likely unpleasant taste of human I will tragically perish moments before the rescue helicopter arrives, so if you don’t hear from me again, that’s probably what happened. Don’t judge me for the cannibalism, people, I had no choice. There weren’t even any PEANUTS.

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Joanne
13 years ago

Ha, I’m always convinced only death and destruction wait for me when I fly but so far so good. I really really REALLY hope, for your sake, that Dylan is sleeping all night by the time you get home. Even if it does mean that you won’t get to have JB be wrong. :)

warcrygirl
13 years ago

The newly-horrifying possibility of geese being sucked into the engines like single-brick Duplos crippling a Bissell

I’m flying to FL next month so thanks for the mental image of my plane landing in the Gulf of Mexico or a gator-infested canal. Also: HAHAHA! Hope you enjoy your trip. Spa night, mmmmm!!!!

warcrygirl
13 years ago

Also also: I saw a Flair button on Facebook that made me think of you. It’s a Subway button modified to say Zombies, Eat Flesh!

Michelle
13 years ago

OMG! I have the same stupid fears about flying! I have turned into such a basket case about flying that my husband now makes me take something. Since our upcoming flight leaves at 6 am, that is a wee bit early for wine, so I am planning on rustling up some xanax. woo hoo!

AndreAnna
13 years ago

I’m flying to Atlanta for a 3 day conference next month and I told my husband that when I come home, I want the toddler potty trained and the infant sleeping through the night.

I think I have a better chance of geese flying into my engines AND killing someone with peanut-induced anaphylaxis.

Have a nice trip!

deutlich
13 years ago

I am about 105% sure that you have NO clue who I am, but I’ll be at the spa night in DC and I am fucking stoked.

For seriously.

Dianna
13 years ago

I feel that same way about traveling. Especially the part about bursting into flames and landing on a mountainside. My next flight, however, is over water (Hawaii) so guess I’ll be dining on fish. Ick. Hope you enjoy DC!

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

Have a fun trip, and I hope that plane crash thing doesn’t happen. I’ve heard that human flesh tastes terrible, ha ha just kidding.

Caitlin
Caitlin
13 years ago

If you haven’t seen this yet, here’s a little company for your journey :) http://jezebel.com/5150584/clive-owen-at-home-im-pathetic

TheGoriWife
13 years ago

I freaking hate when I leave the kid with the husband and they accomplish something. I mean, I always expect a harried dad, house a mess, and the sleeping situation has actually gotten WORSE. I just want for once to hear “How do you DO this all day?” Instead I get a nonchalant “Oh yeah, the kid’s sleeping through the night now…” and even though I SHOULD just be glad about it, I’m bitter.

Anyway. You’re my favorite favorite favorite writer and I would read anything you wrote. Please don’t perish.

aimee
13 years ago

Hope your flight is very smooth. I am absolutely LIVING for Thursday’s spa night and am so excited to meet you. Thanks!!

Antropologa
13 years ago

My husband is currently in Europe for work for WEEKS and I decided to sleep-train my kid and it only took one night. So.

Hillary
13 years ago

I hope the uninterrupted reading time is glorious. I’m sure the flight will be smooth.

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

In a modern day plane crash, wouldn’t the unsurvivors feast on the living? Sorry, just had to throw in a zombies theme there.

Say hi to Obama!

Meg
Meg
13 years ago

This was just a fantastic post, both in its writing and content. I loved it: “and unless I’m spectacularly unlucky I won’t get interrupted two pages in by having to wipe someone’s ass”. Let’s hope…!

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

P.S. Caitlan, thanks for that link re Clive Owen. With that accent he really is the Cary Grant of 2009.

Beth Fish
13 years ago

I can come wave to you at the airport, if you want. Really, it is no trouble at all. Unless you are flying into National, in which case you are on your own.

Jan
Jan
13 years ago

Of course the baby will be sleeping through the night when you get home. Rumour has it that it only takes 2 nights of crying it out. Soooo, considering JB sleeps like a log he won’t hear the screaming.

Enjoy your trip!

Melody
13 years ago

It absolutely astounds me that it’s the 21st century and we haven’t figured out a solution to BIRDS yet. We put a man on the moon, but we were apparently only able to do so because luckily enough, no wildlife got in the way. Forget about having to fend off the other cannibals, apparently nature is out to get us, and we need to be just as worried about nearby sparrows and chickadees.

So, given all that, have a great trip!

kristin c.
13 years ago

Maybe you should come to Chicago soon?

Catherine
13 years ago

I loved those days. I often sat in first class so the stewardess (she was not a flight attendant) could keep a better eye on me. And once, a nice older gentleman played hangman with me. But then he was mad that I used an abbreviation and not a word. The “word” I chose? M-A-T-H. Apparently he only recognized mathematics as a real word.

Nicki
13 years ago

I know what you mean! I used to love airports too… even just going to hang out at them or pick people up! When I worked as a mentor for at-risk kids, I used to sometimes take them to the airport just to see the airplanes and have a snack and stuff. Now the airport is like some sort of third-world country!

Meg
Meg
13 years ago

I guess I am just a huge freak, because I still love flying so much. Not as much as when I was younger, because I agree, seeing Mom at the gate was always nice, and waiting for Grandma at the gate was always nice. But… now people just pick me up on the curb, and that’s nice, too. I don’t know, I love it! I wish they still gave wings, though, I loved that the most!!

BellyGirl
13 years ago

#1 – your writing made me feel as if I was actually in the air, living your words – for fucks sake, write a book.

and, #2 – seriously, write a book! all of these DC women are drooling to have a spa day with you, what the heck do you think they would do if you had a freakin book tour? They would shit a brick and then ATTEND AND BUY YOUR BOOK!

#3 – by they, I mean me.

Stacy
Stacy
13 years ago

Am seriously looking forward to SPA NIGHT.
What to wear??? Oy …. I’m never good teh fashion.
Can’t wait to meet you!

kami
13 years ago

Your hilarious, enjoy your trip especially the spa night…sounds fabulous!

SJ
SJ
13 years ago

Oh, I’m from the DC area and how I long to go back …… to visit. I miss the area, the culture, the people.

Have a safe flight and enjoy the spa trip. Oh how I wish I was you right about now…

Naomi in Oz
13 years ago

And if JB manages to make Dylan magically sleep through the night (good luck with that btw) you can joyously announce to him that since he is soooo obviously better at this parenting stuff, you can leave all the tricky stuff to him in the future. You just get to play with the boys and be the nice guy.

Michelle
Michelle
13 years ago

We cannot wait to see you!!

Deanna
Deanna
13 years ago

As a Navy Brat, flying and planes are ingrained in my DNA or something. I’ve flown around the world, on various sized planes, cruised on the Nimitz, flown alone, etc. But some odd switch flipped when I had kids.
Now flying is scary and – well, remember that Mad About You episode where they fly on seperate planes in case one crashes then the kid will still have 1 parent? LIKE THAT!
PS: Enjoy the serenity and eat something chocolate!

AD
AD
13 years ago

Can anyone tell me if the spa night in DC is “open” to the public? I can’t find info about it online but would love to check it out.

lumpyheadsmom
13 years ago

If Boca hasn’t sent me an invitation to this blogger get-together, does that mean I’m not invited? Which, of course, is fine, just FINE, I’ll just sit here by myself and mope.

Operation Pink Herring
13 years ago

This is totally ridiculous, but I’m feeling very proud that we’re scheduled to have some fabulous weather for your trip to the east coast. Hope you enjoy your trip to my metro area!

Shawna
Shawna
13 years ago

Not that I can attest to it from personal experience, but I hear that humans taste like pork. You can verify when you crash I suppose.

Must Be Motherhood
13 years ago

You know, flying was ruined for me after I watched “Alive” too. Stupid soccer players.

Spa night minus children within the general vicinity of President Obama. Now THAT’s a victory.

Jennifer
13 years ago

How come I didn’t get invited to the spa night? First my husband leaves me alone for a week with two grounded kids to go to DC and now…

Safe travels!

Melissa
Melissa
13 years ago

Eww! Shawna – I’ll have trouble eating pork now. Lol
Great post – any chance that JB might want to share his knowledge of how the hell you get a kid to poo on the potty? Enjoy you trip – sounds like a nice little break.

Nimble
Nimble
13 years ago

Your post is right in time with my life — I’m getting on a plane tonight to San Francisco! (Eeeeee! is the supersonic sound that my brain is making right now.) I’m leaving my two daughters in the capable if frazzled hands of my husband. I am already missing them but already enjoying being responsible for only one body. Have a great time and try to enjoy flying despite the indignities. I’m rethinking the joys of public transportation in the rain. I may cab it tonight.

Deb
Deb
13 years ago

“single-brick Duplos crippling a Bissell.”

Single best sentence I have read all day!

Have Fun! Good Luck JB!

Brooke
13 years ago

I used to LOVE to fly, in exactly the same way you described. Now, I hate it and I require Xanax so I don’t have a panic attack. Terrorists were bad enough. Frackin’ geese.

KDA
KDA
13 years ago

I miss not having people sending me off and greeting me at the gate. It was always so wonderful to see someone, overjoyed at seeing me step off the plane. Obviously, I weep during the opening and closing scenes of Love, Actually.

victoria
victoria
13 years ago

Have a great trip.

EG
EG
13 years ago

I’m also wondering about the spa night. I’ve been all excited since Linda posted the query about the different cities, but now it sounds like it’s invitation only. Sad!

Sarah
13 years ago

I hope your flight was smooth!

Last time I flew, I bought a book in the airport that was in the top sellers rack. oh. My. GOD. The book was about a plane crash in the Andes. In winter. Wherein the survivors had to eat raw flesh from the dead to survive.

Yeah, I felt REAL confident about that flight. So that’s my advice: don’t read stupid books on the plane. Good luck! =)

Josh
13 years ago

1 – Cannibalism is not really that bad, in fact it seems pretty cool. I’m not sure why you would think people would taste bad. I mean, SOME people might taste bad, like the elderly, or morbidly obese, or *certain* people groups who may or may not be infamous for their potent smells and unsavory hygiene practices. I would totally eat a person though, if I had a chance and thought I could get away with it. I wonder where the best cut would be.

2 – I bet JB totally teaches the kid to sleep while you are gone. Or at least he sleeps right through it all and the baby is still alive after you get home despite it’s being ignored all night for two whole nights. I think you underestimate the innate training powers of men. You think women taught St. Bernards to take booze to avalanche victims? NO. You think women trained that famous internet lion to ride that horse? Fuck no, that wouldn’t even make any sense, of course men did that shit. Don’t get me wrong, I love women, and y’all can do many, many things better than I can, but sometimes you just need a mans hand. I don’t mean men do everything with babies better either. Clearly you ladies have the upper hand in the nursing and birthing arenas. All I’m saying is that sleeping babies are pretty much the same thing as lions riding horses with beer for avalanche victims. Trust me on this, I have a penis.

erink
erink
13 years ago

So devilishly delighted you chose DC for a spa night. And so fucking livid I’ll be visiting California while you’re here. BLAST! Enjoy the unseasonably warm (74 degree) weather while you’re in town, safe flying : )

Stacy
Stacy
13 years ago

You must check out this webpage http://preciouswondersandlittlemonkeys.blogspot.com/ Look at the picture about 3/4 of the way down the page…it is hilarious and made me think of you….it is regarding zombies….

kelly
kelly
13 years ago

I’m so excited that you are here in DC. I knew there was a reason there was that extra hint of awesome in the air today. Hope your stay is fantastic. :)

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

Enjoy your trip. DC is experiencing exceptional weather this week. I envy you the uninterrupted reading time and the sleep.

LiLu
13 years ago

Some of them seriously don’t even give out peanuts anymore. REDONCULOUS. That is the very essence of getting on a plane!

Looking forward to meeting you tonight :-)