2018-03-15 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

Anxiety and airplanes


Emily Caswell Emily Caswell Anyone who has flown lately can attest that going through airport security is not fun. Taking off yours shoes, finding your liquids and putting them in a separate bin, removing your computer and putting that in a separate bin and so on. It’s a nerve-wracking experience and one that I have never found funny, until a recent trip with my better half.

Those who know Matt know that he has a nervous energy about him. Scratch that, I’m going to be totally honest, we both have nervous energy, so traveling together is a real trip (get it?!). Somehow when I fly alone I’m okay, but when we’re together one of us is always nauseous or hungry or sweaty or cold or has a headache — all induced by what I call airplane anxiety.

Until a few years ago, we only took trips that required car travel. We upgraded a couple years ago to include a trip that involved a short flight that left from the airport closest to home. This year, however, I decided that while I love traveling with my friends, I wanted to travel more with Matt as I love experiencing new places and things with him. When I made that declaration, however, I was forgetting how stressful flying together can be. Our trip two weeks ago, for example, left from the airport far from our home. We were flying a less-than-great airline, so I wanted to arrive plenty early. I checked us in 24 hours in advance, ensured he had an aisle seat (something I always reserve for myself when not traveling with

Matt) and told him we had to leave the house

20 minutes earlier than we actually did.

The roads were bad and the parking garage at the airport was packed. By the time we hit the security line we were frazzled and the line was long. When we finally approached the bins, I saw Matt move like I’ve never seen before. I pride myself on being pretty quick at security, but he whipped off his belt and shoes with a force I’ve only seen robots use in action movies. His face went blank, he stopped speaking to me and he emptied the contents of our shared carry-on and his backpack with an efficiency that was as much odd as impressive. His jagged movements were so pronounced I thought for sure he was in for a full body search based on strange behavior alone. But we made it and as we took our seat at the gate I acted out what I’d just seen. He agreed he’s weird, but assured me that I’m weird too. We had a good laugh, popped our Dramamine and planned our next trip.

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