No Pilots Rendered Unconscious, No Air Marshals slapped.

And now, as promised, something completely different!

By different, I mean that I’m sitting on a bed in Florida, as opposed to sitting at my desk at home.

I landed in Florida on Saturday, and I have been absorbing the hospitality of my best friend’s family, while reading a lot and watching episodes of Teen Wolf… and in the midst of my relaxation, something big happened:
I learned that Jeremy Brett’s Holmes does not pull any punches.
That fascinating creature picked Moriarty up and essentially tossed him over the Reichenbach Falls like a sack of evil potatoes.

That really wasn’t THE BIG THING that I was going to expound upon, but seriously… one simply has to stop and tip one’s hat.

Something else happened, as well:
We learned the identity of the Twelfth doctor, and frankly, I’m quite thrilled by the choice and very excited. I think Peter Capaldi will be fantastic. What strikes me is the sheer number of people who have expressed similar sentiments, considering the onslaught of comments like, “If the 12th Doctor isn’t X-color or X-gender or X-hair color, I am DONE WITH YOU, MOFFAT!!!” Perhaps I haven’t pressed my ear to the ground quite as hard as I could have (why seek out a migraine when you don’t have to), but people generally seem to be pleased, and I’m pleased that they’re pleased, because I think perhaps we’ve all had enough bickering for awhile (particularly since no amount of angry Tumblring is going to reverse the casting and bring in Rupert Grint).

The SUPER HUGE thing that happened was this:
I didn’t die on the plane.
Literally or figuratively.
Physically or emotionally.
I actually managed to enjoy myself immensely.
I usually love the flight itself… I get downright (and embarrassedly) excited when we take off and when there’s any turbulence (it’s like a roller coaster, but without all that wind in your face)… but on this trip, I was flying a new airline from a different airport to a brand new city, and that equals a bit of stress. I had daymares of driving for an hour, only to realize that I was at Bob’s Crop-dustin’ Take-Off Patch, and NOT the regional airport.
I envisioned myself ruining the boarding process in some dramatic fashion and not being allowed to fly… no actual thoughts on how I would have created such a miasma, but we’ll just assume it had something to do with banana peels and leave it at that.
As Southwest does not have assigned seating, I saw myself sitting between feuding spouses or having to beg a seat with the flight attendants because the passengers would, in turn, slowly turn their backs as I approached (a la Amish shunning).
None of those things actually happened, in part because I knew approximately nine people on the flight and I should recognize by know that I have a well-developed chameleonic ability to mimic other people when I don’t know exactly what to do. Here’s the secret: copy the actions of the person in front of you and pretend like you know what you’re doing. If possible, try to cultivate a blasé, slightly weary expression… this will allow you to blend in with the other animals travelers.

It speaks to my pessimistic nature that I tend to assume that I’ll fall directly on my face when given the opportunity. Despite never actually having any real problems out in public, I’m nevertheless convinced that I’m secretly terrible at all the things, and that if one should ever catch a peak beneath this placid exterior of mine, one would find a seething mass of raw inadequacy.**
No matter how many times that premise is proven to be incorrect, I still default to it. I think, “Sure, you didn’t disgrace yourself last time, but there’s a first time for everything” and I roll on, inwardly waiting to screw up… trip over my shoes, get locked in the airplane lav, knock a pilot unconscious, accidentally insult an air marshal…
Do they still fly? I’ve yet to see one.
There’s nothing wrong with preferring that which is familiar, but at a certain point, I do have to admit that it’s a paralyzing way to live, believing that you’re fundamentally incapable of behaving like a normal capable person.
Considering that I actually am a capable person (I’m not normal… I’m not even going to lie about that), behaving as one isn’t a stretch… so what am I concerned about?

** I’m not prone to anxiety… I’m not actually anxious… I just figure that at some point, everything will be ruined, and I’ll deal with that like I deal with everything else: walking around, slightly over dressed, with a silly look on my face, making wry comments.


2 thoughts on “No Pilots Rendered Unconscious, No Air Marshals slapped.

  1. Hi Jessica, glad your travels went well. 🙂 If you see an Air Marshall, you’re having a bad day. They take pains to blend in. If you want to spot one and you know what to look fly, and fly often enough, it is possible. They are typically single male travelers, very physically fit and typically fit into a number of “profiles.” The most common two are the single vacation guy in a Hawaiian shirt, and the business guy in a suit.

    Anyway, they don’t fly that often. About 5% of flights are covered, unless you’re going into Washington DC, then the odds are much higher. They could even be crew members. 🙂

    And I very much appreciate how you feel beneath your exterior. Being not normal myself (far, far from it) I’ve gone through a lot of those feelings. Especially as a Paramedic. There were a lot of times I felt like I was just some guy in a uniform playing dress up. I would think “who the hell am I to do these things to these people?” But it turns out I am the right guy for the job. It took years of experience and being good at it to learn that, but everybody starts out that way. Doctors, nurses, police officers, CEO’s, you name it. Everybody feels like an imposter at some point. That’s because when you take away everyone’s placid exteriors we’re really all, at the core, made of the same fears and desires. I think true power and charisma comes from seeing this, and then realizing that most people don’t know this secret and they want to believe in your exterior because they know their own is a sham.

    Nonetheless, I find social situations awkward for me too. Like clapping. Have you ever thought about how ridiculous clapping is? Everybody slaps their hands together at the same time to convey the exact same idea? Too weird for me. I don’t clap. Can’t stand it. I have similar issues with anything crowd mentality or control related. I don’t stand in lines well, I typically go out the exit door and in the entrance door, and in my own small ways, contribute the anarchy of society.There’s still a ton of situations I find myself unsure in or anxious about when I’m not all out opposed to something else. I think that’s part of being metacognizant, introspective, and not a narcissist. Feeling the way you do means you’re a good person and NOT a sociopath*.

    *There’s no hope for me. 🙂


  2. Well, that confirms it… there were NO air marshals on my flight.

    Clapping as in applause or clapping as in along to music? I struggle with applause clapping because I have to hear a sufficient number of people doing it before I’ll start and I have to listen closely so I can hear when people begin to stop… because I don’t want to be THAT guy who issues a ringing clap in dead silence.


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