An Open Letter to the Flight Attendant During Turbulence

What was that bump?

Dear Flight Attendant during turbulence,

I hope you don’t mind that I’m staring at you. Memorizing you. I could probably pick you up in a line-up fifty years from now. I like your ponytail. It’s shiny.

What’s that sound? Is that the plane? What part of the plane makes that sound?

How old are you? Have you done this long? Do you like your co-workers? Who’s the most annoying person you work with? Has the Captain ever hit on you? Do you want him to hit on you? Do you like your uniform? Is it scratchy?

What was that bump? Is that an air pocket? What’s an air pocket? Are air pockets dangerous, or are they just part of the sky? Just a normal day at work?

What’s the worst turbulence you ever felt? Are you always surprised by turbulence, or do you know when it’s coming? Have you developed a sixth sense for it? Or does the Pilot alert you through a secret earbud?

What was that? Did you feel that? Like an earthquake, but in the air? An air-quake? Did you just look at that other flight attendant? Is that code for, “Oh my God, we’re going down?”

Do I really have to wear my seatbelt? I hate my seatbelt because it’s not doing anything if the plane going down. It’s like a non-alcoholic beer, but I guess it’s better than nothing.

Is that smoke? Do you smell smoke?

What are the code words for, “Shit, this looks really bad?” What specific word does the Pilot say when the shit is going to hit the fan? Or is it the WAY he says it?

If there is an actual sky crisis, does the pilot add a word or use a special word when telling people to go to their seats? Like a special code to the flight attendants? Do you get hit on a lot? Do you ever date passengers?

Do I really have to wear my seatbelt? I hate my seatbelt because it’s not doing anything if the plane going down. It’s like a non-alcoholic beer, but I guess it’s better than nothing.

Oh my God. Did you feel that?

I want you to know that I really appreciate how you walk around during turbulence and pass out beverages. I’m a nervous eater, drinker, imbiber, so I appreciate the food and beverages during a crisis. Thank you.

Oh my God. That did not feel like an air pocket. Why is the pilot telling you to sit down? Does that scare you too? It’s so much less frightening when you’re walking around, even when your cart is insanely clanking around. Do you want to borrow some WD-40?

Do you look around for nuns and babies when the plane’s shaking around the sky like a pinata?

Hey! Remember when the only thing you had to worry about was foreign terrorists? And now you have to worry about domestic lunatics? When you realized people had become nutso on airplanes, did you want to throw in your scratchy uniform? What kind of day makes you think, “This is it. No more passing out Gin and Tonics on airplanes?”

Why did the pilot take a sharp turn in the sky just now? Are we dodging something? Have you ever seen a UFO? What’s up here with us? God, it’s like the deep ocean but upside down. Scary.

Is it true that you get angry when people ask for a can of Coke instead of the 10mm janky plastic cup? Is a can of Coke really so much to ask with a $400 ticket?

All I really want to know from you is when this bumpiness is going to end. And, if you want to live as much as I do. And, if the Captain is a drunk or a cokehead. And, maybe if you have some pull with God.

Listen. If things look dire, I want you to signal me. Do something with your eyeballs that lets me know I’m a goner so I can confess my sins to the guy sitting next to me- which I can’t do because he’s my husband.

Anyway, best friend, are there parachutes in here? I’m just going to keep staring at you in case you need to communicate anything to me. I like your eye makeup. Who makes it?

Keep flying the friendly skies,

Nervous passenger looking to enmesh with the flight attendant