The Flight Attendant. 

The flight attendant stands at the front of the airplane, centered in the aisle in front of the first row and stares down the aisle toward the back of the airplane. I have no idea what she is looking at. Her hands are behind her back, though she doesn’t seem relaxed. Her posture is slightly aggressive. I’m curious as to why she chooses this pose, this stance and this body language. It doesn’t make sense to me. Flight attendants should be friendly, warm and inviting until provoked. Once provoked then all bets are off, but there is absolutely nothing happening on this flight right now to warrant such a stance.

I can’t help but wonder why she seems cranky. Is she not enjoying her job? Has another flight attendant said something catty in the galley? Did someone not flush? Are we out of Coke Zero? Is someone being particularly particular in first class? Have we offended her in some way?

Then I started to wonder if she was late for an appointment. Perhaps she missed her kids. Her spouse. Her dog. Maybe she just felt more comfortable on the West Coast. Was her uniform too loose? Too tight?

We did leave Chicago three hours behind schedule but that was due to Mother Nature having some sort of repeated hissy fit. It wasn’t the fault of the airline. It wasn’t the fault of the airport. It was unsafe to fly until we flew and that’s the way air travel goes. Like it or leave it, if man was meant to fly 24/7 he wouldn’t be at risk of being ripped apart by updrafts or being struck by lightning when standing on the ground. He’d have feathers, not whiskers.

The flight attendant in question stood there for a solid 10 minutes in this stance, nearly unmoving until someone wanted to use the lavatory. Had she a tall hat she could have guarded Buckingham Palace, but that was not meant to be. She was standing on an Airbus and did not look like she was having a good time. I smiled. She did not smile back.

That is unfortunate because flying is awesome. Even when the lav stinks and the kids are screaming and a woman is complaining about the temperature of the cabin and the flight is behind schedule and ground is obscured from view. Flying is awesome and the feat deserves the respect one would expect when you’re several miles away from the planet under man made power.

Enjoy your flight. Always.

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