Monday, July 20, 2009

Boarding Pass Out

“Are you okay with being seated in the emergency exit row?” the ticket attendant asks me as I board our plane home from our week-long family vacation.

Overcome with joy at the prospect of not only sitting four rows behind my travel-weary children and husband where I am free to finish my book and eat all the leftover peanut M&M’s in peace, but in a row with actual LEG ROOM, I consider French-kissing the man as a sign of gratitude.

But instead I just smile.

“Mm-hmm, I’ll be just fine.”

After helping Dave get the kids into their seats, I continue on my way to spacious row 14 aboard our two-hour leg back to Midwest College Town after a glorious, heavenly week at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, where I managed to keep from flashing the beach this time.

(Though I came close. And it would have been ugly. Bikini bottoms were not made for body-surfing. Fortunately I figured that out and corrected the malfunction before I stood up.)

I am in an aisle seat, with the window seat to my right unoccupied. Across the aisle to my left, I notice two college-aged guys wearing biceps, er, I mean, color-coordinating ball caps.

The flight attendant approaches.

“Hmph. Lot of kids on this plane. School must be out or something."

On a Saturday in July? Ya' think?

"Are ya’ll okay with the emergency row duties?”

We apparently stare at her blankly.

“All you really have to be able to do is be over 18 and understand English,” she smiles.

We nod. I can’t figure out how old she is. The legs say 30, but the face says 72.

“In the event of an emergency landing…” she begins.

Oooh, a scrunchie, I notice as she turns her head to point to the door. Stacy and Clinton would have fit if they saw this.

“… remove the door… “

Deceptively young? Thirty-nine, maybe?

“… and just throw that door right out of the plane… “

I look at the door, and I look at the guy across the aisle.

In the event of an emergency landing, I will beg him to take the door off its hinges and throw it right out of the plane for me.

She is easily 54.

“…easier to get the door off if you keep your seatbelt on… “

No, she’s only 42. Maybe 43. And in need of a makeover. And there’s no way I’m asking that guy to sit next to me throughout this flight so he can stay strapped in his seat and throw the airplane door for me. I might not be qualified for this row after all.

“… health problems, back problems, neurological disorders… “

But if I tell her I’m not sure I can remove the door and throw it out of the plane myself, she might make me change rows. I could lose everything. My alone time, leg room, free reign of both arm rests.

“… so let me know now if you don’t think you can… “

What if I’m placed between the Bicker Sisters (my lovely daughters) again? I haven’t moved my purple bracelet in three whole days, I can’t risk breaking that kind of streak by spending two more hours stuck on a plane with my own children! And what if the bald guy in front of me from the last flight --- who spent most of it reclined into my lap, leaving me to wonder if he expected a full facial and a shoulder massage (though I would really have rather played connect-the-dots with the freckles on his scalp, given a Sharpie and the opportunity to slip him an Ambien) --- is in the seat in front of my new one, waiting for that cucumber eye treatment we never quite got to? And what if, because of the switch, my dear and loving husband gets put in macho man row just because he can bench press an airplane door, leaving me to fend for myself in row 10??

And she has got to be pushing 65.

I feign confidence, smile, and decide to just bank on this plane landing on three wheels on a runway as planned.


Judi said...

Oh man... I've got to find an award for humorous writing so I can award it to you. This was great and you just made my morning as I just tee-heed. :)

Tiggy said...

I always feel disappointed when I sit in an emergency exit seat and I'm not required to pop the window out.

I rehearse the drill in my my mind all the way through the flight - it's such a waste of heroicism!

Shannon said...

OMG Julie, hysterical!! Especially since we are getting ready to board a plane on Wednesday for our family vaca!! I will be laughing the whole way!!

JenJen said...

I love love love the inner dialouge. Did I spell that right? Oh well.

BR..K. .LL.N said...

Love it! I always travel alone and they never put me in that row, if they did- they'd move me because they think I'm this tiny wimpy girl- what they don't realize is I lift 150lbs for 8+ hours a day 6 days a week at work. Love it that you used it as your getaway after your getaway!

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

Great as always, Jules. Glad you didn't have to chuck the door and I certainly hope you enjoyed your M&Ms.

Theresa said...

Oh crap! That post was hilarious and so true. Kudos!

I love the emergency exit seats. Especially the one in the back. I got that one on the way back from New York once (6 hours). It so beats sitting between two people who apparently have really long arms and need to use all the arm rest. Or sitting two rows behind the woman who actually changed her baby's poopy diaper.

Candy's daily Dandy said...


That was b-e-a-utiful!!

SOOO glad you stopped by my blog.
The bitch was definitely pushing 75

Mrs EyeCanSee said... had me at emergency exit row. LOVE your blog. This post had me laughing from start to finish. You just found yourself a faithful new follower!

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by my lil' ole blog. My husband has officially moved to KC. I stayed behind to help sell the condo, but am moving Aug 10. I can't wait! I'm going stir crazy by myself!

Chrissy said...

This is hysterical! I spend more time trying to figure out how old women are. "Is she older than me? Is she younger than me? Older, she must be older..."

Jules said...

Judi-I'm glad to start your morning off with a smile. Your Dorothy shot alone does it for me!
Tiggy-the unrequited heroics would be a great blog entry!
Shan-I hope you all are having fun in CA :)
JenJen-what happens in my head should probably stay in my head, but I couldn't resist
BR...N-I'm totally giving you the window seat if we ever fly together
Chris-Nothing can keep me from my M&M's!!
Theresa-I'm afraid I may have been the lady changing the poopy diaper, was this about 7 years en route to LA??? So sorry!!
Candy-I was thisclose to raising my hand to ask her!
MrsECS-Glad you stopped by and enjoyed it!
Chrissy-I just assume they are all older, it feels better that way!

Cathy C. Hall said...

I'm pretty sure I know that flight attendant. I'm not kidding. And she's 57.