Back of the (air) Bus Glam
When I gave up driving in the front (my lifelong career as a corporate pilot) for riding in the back (now I’m most commonly referred to as the “Red Baron’s wife”–different, but not awful; I’ve always kind of felt a kinship with Snoopy and the Peanuts gang.) I expected changes. But I had no idea to what extent. A very strange transformation occurred. (Not odd like being abducted by aliens, mind blowing like how Jane Jetson changed in a matter of seconds riding through her closet on a conveyer belt.) One minute I’m a captain in uniform and then the xylophone chimes and a corporate spouse appears, clad in a tailored dress and heels.
The change in attire, however, was small in comparison to the shift in perception. Any remnants of my past life were completely erased and eighteen years of earned technical expertise evaporated into the hot Oklahoma air. Apparently, my four jet type-ratings got buried in my up-do. (ding, ding, ding-ding)
Top ten things to avoid saying to a pilot/corporate spouse riding in the back of an airplane:
1. You remind me of a flight attendant.
2. I can’t believe you’re so informed.
3. I should introduce you to my husband, he just got his instrument rating maybe he could give you a few tips.
4. So what are you working on at home?
5. I hear you were a pirate.
6. Don’t talk about planes, you’ll make everyone uncomfortable.
7. Never mind prognostic charts, use Apple’s weather app.
8. Your husband told me he’s senior pilot in the family. (He’s commercial, multi-instrument rated.)
9. Let me show you how to operate that. (the window shade, the cabin lights, the hide-a-way trays and so on…)
10. “Miss, I’ll take cream and two sugars”
E.L. Chappel author of Risk/Spirit Dance
Still waiting for the day when books aren’t judged solely by their cover
aka The Glamorous Wife