Friday, May 13, 2005

Airtime

My husband and I and another couple had dinner last night. The male part of our couple friends is a pilot. He has not flown for a couple of years, but today he was going back up in a Cessna. He gave my husband the opportunity to go with him. As the night progressed, I proceeded to learn that my husband hates flying because he cannot be in control (he has never flown a plane before). I can understand this feeling as I am exactly the same way in cars, especially when driving in the rain. As part of this invitation to fly was the option to actually fly this plane.

As we agreed the points of this opportunity last night - it scares the living beejeebees out of me - I understood on a logical level hubby's argument that everyone has to learn some how and that is where commercial pilots start. I understood his fascination with going up in the plane, I understood him wanting to support our friend on his first flight in many years. I understood this was something exciting for him to do. I also understood that it is dangerous. His argument, it's no more dangerous than driving a car or riding a dirt bike. It's just, it's so BIG. Does that make sense? It seems to me to be a rather large decision to make with your life, but then again, how is it any different than choosing to get on a commercial jet?

I have been flying since I was 4 by myself, so until 9/11 me flying was a pretty normal thing. I trusted my pilots. When I was younger, I spent plenty of time in cockpits (back when that was allowed, during the flight even) and as with any role of authority, I trusted those people and still do for the most part. The only thing I do differently other than the security portion of the flight, is count the rows in front of me and behind me to the nearest emergency exits. I still read my book during the mandatory flight procedures. I still don't pay much attention to what is being said, but I probably should. Like I said, not much has changed in the 26 years I have been flying.

Unfortunately, becoming an adult opens your eyes to certain things. No matter what we do for a living, we are all human. We all have fun (most of us anyway), some of us like to party more than others, some of us do recreational things that are not necessarily good for us or others and might actually affect the way in which we do our everyday lives. Our lives outside of work sometimes do affect our life at work. Pilots, police officers, doctors, firefighters, government employees, etc, none are exempt from the lifestyle choices you and I choose to make. So in a round about way, I am saying that now I realize that the police officer who pulls me over, might be hungover, just like me. The pilot flying my plane may have had a few too many last night, or today for that matter. We hold people in these positions in a high regard, we expect that they live by different standards, that their problems are different than ours, that the way they choose to have fun is different than the way in which we choose to have fun.

Thankfully, hubby and friend and trainer are all safely on the ground, but ever since the moment he called to tell me they were definitely going up, my heart has been hurting. I have a hurt in my heart. I'm thankful they are safe. I have a feeling though that my husband has found a new "hobby". And I don’t like it.

Update: Hubby says it's too expensive to be a hobby. Whatever stands in the way.

1 comment:

Tfor2 said...

I feel the same way everytime E goes to the mountains. It's hard to be scared and try no to let on.