This past weekend, Marsh and I traveled to Conn. to attend the wedding of one of my best friends from college. I was so happy for her and couldn’t wait to be there to witness their vows to one another and to celebrate their marriage. We’ve been friends for 10 years, so I couldn’t wait to get there and be with her on the biggest day of her life. Naturally, one might think that would mean I was excited to make the trip up there for this. But no. I was dreading it. Why? It’s simple, really. I hate flying.
And when I say “hate,” I really mean “loathe and fear to the fullest extent humanly possible.” A lot of people actually like flying. I find you people to be insane. I used to like it when I was younger, but this was before I was fully aware of the reality of this unnatural situation. The older I’ve gotten, the more fearful I’ve become. And it’s not just some little fear that makes me slightly nervous. It’s a full blown phobia that causes stomach ulcers and a desperate plea to God to please just let me get through this. Oh and a few horse tranquilizers don’t hurt either. You don't think I would actually set foot on this 175 passenger death trap without some horse tranquilizers, do you?
It’s actually quite a problem for me. I love to travel, but hate the means necessary to get anywhere. It’s becoming a paralyzing fear that I might actually need some help with. I know people say that you have more of a chance of getting into a car accident on the way to the airport than having your plane crash. Yes. I realize that statistically this may be true. However, I also realize that you can get into about 100 fender-benders in your car, and walk away from all of them. Are there fender-benders when it comes to air planes? I don't think so. There is just something so unnatural about a huge metal bullet 30,000 feet above the Earth going 427 mph. It doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling. In fact, it gives me a panic-stricken, vomit-inducing, lightheaded feeling.
Doesn't it seem a little odd, and somewhat of a nasty joke, that certain words used in air travel force you to contemplate your impending doom? For example: Where do you go before you board your plane? The TERMINAL. Um, hi. Does this not make you think of something, oh, I don't know, BAD? Terminal = death. And how about: Where are you going on your FINAL DESTINATION? Come on! That's just mean. Even the word turbulence is offensive. I'm sure if they were referred to as "cloud bumps,” I would feel better about the situation.
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But here’s the thing: Even though I have this crippling anxiety when it comes to flying, I also have my husband there with me. And when nothing else seems to be able to calm me down, including prescription drugs, Marsh is there for me. He is the best, most patient, most understanding husband in existence because he doesn’t get mad, frustrated, annoyed, or even the slightest bit bothered by it. He smiled, joked and made every effort to help me through the entire excruciating experience. Even when I was holding his hand on the plane, crushing his fingers and squeezing a permanent indentation of his wedding ring into his finger. He never wavered and was there to support me no matter what.
And that is what marriage is all about.