August 25, 2004

Is fear of flying contagious?

I’ve flown many times. In fact, at one point I was flying about 50% of the time for work. Week in the office, week on the road. I’ve never thought that much about flying, it’s just something that you need to do. No big deal.

When Tammy told me that she didn’t like to fly I didn’t really think that much about it. That is, until we flew together the first time. As she stomped her feet and told me to stop the plane from shaking in the turbulence I realized that she wasn’t joking, she really is scared of flying. After hearing her go on about going down in burning flames and how nobody survives I find myself sitting on the plane watching the wing and wondering, is it really supposed to bend that much?

Flights I’ve been on since being exposed to her phobia have me on pins and needles. I watch the wing. I watch the cabin. Have you ever noticed how the cabin and fuselage of the plane move independently? On a recent international flight there was a good three inches of movement between the two structures. How much can it move? As I descended on a recent flight into Chicago through the clouds I couldn’t help but wonder if there were other planes out there. Is it really safe to be going 250 mph when you can’t see anything?

Cleary I need to regain my innocence and ignorance about flying and stop listening to her.

Dear Diary

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