After I learned to drive, I once volunteered to fetch tomato paste from the grocery store for my mom just so I could get more time behind the wheel. Driving was fun and new and exciting. Then I had to start driving three hours between home and college, or I had to drive thirty minutes to work every day and driving suddenly wasn’t fun.
The first time I flew in a plane, I went to Disney World and I probably wasn’t tall enough to ride all the rides. It was also so long ago that they let people meet you at the gate. I flew a couple times after that as an adult, to New York and Boston, but it was still a rare thing – a scary, rare thing. I would listen with rapt attention to the flight attendants. Where were the emergency exits? You say the closest one might be behind me, not in front of me? Good tip! Are the seats really going to work as flotation devices? When the plane sped down the runway and took off, my stomach would drop and not return to my chest until the “Fasten seatbelts light” was turned off.
When I flew home from San Francisco at midnight last week, I whipped out a pillow and snoozed through the emergency exit lecture. I’ve reached the point where air flight is now boring. This is good for my anxiety levels, but a little bit sad when I think of the millions of people who lived before me who would have gawked in wonder at an airplane. What would Leonardo da Vinci have done to sit in coach beside me? I have to wonder what technological wonders of the next century will seem mundane to our descendants. I suppose they’ll jaunt off for weekends on the moon and think nothing of it.
If you are reading this on Wednesday morning, I’m probably on a plane. I’m probably not freaking out about it. If you’re in New York this evening, you can catch me tonight at Swizz at 7:30pm. I will send updates to Twitter via my cell phone, which I just configured tonight. I’ll announce when I arrive and when I leave if you want to check in. Here is my Twitter page. (Yes, after intense peer pressure, I’ve started Twittering). Then you can watch me on CBS’s The Early Show on Thursday morning. I’m not going to Twitter during that because it’s rude to text during interviews.