But, Like I Don't Get It
Thursday, July 2, 2009

Today, I have another timeless O-Dawg story to share.

I must remind you, she is a smart girl, a very smart girl.

In fact, just yesterday I received an email notifying me she had been nominated for a bigtime scholarship award.

The email went on to say she didn't get it, but she was nominated and really, isn't that all that matters?

Recently we were on a flight. It was O-Dawg's first experience sitting in an emergency aisle. Now, before I tell you my tale, let me say that if you're involved in a plane mishap, I'm the girl you want in charge of the emergency door. And why, you ask would a scaredy-cat with biceps the size of a toddler, be the perfect candidate to man your best shot of getting out of a plane alive? Because, I do something no one else on the plane does- I LISTEN.

Like everything else in my life that is not 100% safe, I am terrified of flying, rather unfortunate since I fly often. To combat my terror I make sure I'm prepared. I count the number of seat backs there are on my way to the exit so when I need to fumble my way through the thick, blinding smoke, I know I'm six, cheap fabric seat backs away from safety. I study the emergency pamphlet like a scholar. I locate my inflatable vest, feeling under my seat to make sure I didn't get gypped out of one. I hang on to the flight attendant's every movement as she is pantomiming the safety instructions, so much so, that the attendant notices my concentration and gives me the head bob at the end of the talk that says, "Thanks for being the only person on this plane to take notice." And last but not least, I start my Hail Mary's the moment I get on the plane. By the time we're taxiing down the runway, I've said  enough to cover every passenger, flight attendant and most importantly, pilot on the plane.

Just a little extra insurance.

And in the course of a crash, I guarantee you my weakling status would change to a Samson-like strength thanks to all the endorphins running through my body.

The flight attendant came around to get our verbal and animated, "Yes", ensuring we would be responsible for the mid-section of the plane in case of a crash, since they would be busy at other exits, taking drink orders in a bitter, snarky fashion, handing out peanuts and such.

After we said, "Yes" with great enthusiasm and confidence, hopefully instilling the trust it takes to be seated there, the O-Dawg asked me what that was all about. I explained to her that in a worst case situation, we would have to be able to manipulate that door, pushing it out of the way to secure everyone's safety and freedom.

I added, because I like to have all my bases covered, just in case, "And if our plane does go down and we Schwarzenegger that door out of the way, it would be very nice of us to help the less able-bodied folks out of the plane and down the chute."

She said, "What chute?"

I said, "The chute, you know, the chute. It's like a big, bouncy slide that you ride down to safety." I cautioned, "It might sound like fun, but there are a lot of people who get injured while bouncing down it, so it would be nice if we could stick around at the bottom and assist people off."

She thought about this for a minute. And then she cocked her head, looking incredibly like our dog when she hears a siren, and saaaiiiiddd, "How long IS this chute?"

It was one of those moments that I took a deep breath and wondered how this child will ever, ever be able to navigate the interstate system much less her life.

I said slowly, "Honey, the chute comes out, once we're on the ground. The Ground. It doesn't open in mid-air and people don't slide down from the clouds."

"Oh," she said. "I was gonna SAY that has to be one, really, really long slide."

Thank God the flight attendant showed up at that moment to take drink orders.

Today's Definite Dowload: The Arcade Fire's, "Keep the Car Running." Man, I love this group! There's just something about them that reminds me of old-style, pounding punk with a little pop edge to them. I adore the layers of noise they bring to their music with lots of unexpected instruments, like accordions and horn sections and oh, I'm in love!

And, too, the car needs to stay running because you can't really trust those inflated, sky-high chutes these days.

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