Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Come fly with me

It’s now just under five weeks until the Other Half and myself head off on our hollybobs. We booked it in January, having decided that after our traumatic year we deserved a break. Small Person is staying with her father, adding to the burden of bad-mother guilt that I carry with me everywhere, and I am therefore on track to enjoy (in a guilty way, obviously) my first child-free holiday in five years. Holidays with small children are possibly the least relaxing undertaking I can imagine, apart from holidays with my mother of course. And I haven’t had one of those since 1994. Historically, myself, the Ex, Small Person and my sister and her family would decamp to an apartment in the Canary Islands for a week or two of increasingly-frazzled parenting, bored children and cheap red wine. And when I say decamp, I’m talking every possible child-related accessory and beloved toy imaginable, crammed into protesting suitcases and flown to sunnier climes to be variously lost, broken or ignored. My sister and myself would invariably spend the entire holiday catering to every whim of our respective husbands (now thankfully both Ex) and children, whilst said hubbies relaxed and chatted amongst themselves about how refreshing it was to get away from it all. Except what we’d really done was brought it all with us. A relationship that struggles at a level of contact that equals two hours together in the evening and endless dull weekends is never going to flourish when subjected to 24-hour togetherness and a confined space. Some spectacular rows erupted, my own personal favourite being one which kicked off as we were packing to come home one year. The Ex became irrationally obsessed with not packing the case to it’s full capacity due to his conviction that the thickness of a t-shirt pushing against the lid would cause the contents to explode mid-baggage-transfer, showering a foreign runway with dirty laundry and a particularly horrible pair of man-sandals. We hissed at each other through gritted teeth (not in front of the children...) for a full thirty minutes, and travelled home in stony silence.

So, the forthcoming Mexican extravaganza is the Holy Grail of holidays for me. A fortnight of five-star luxury awaits, interrupted only by some pampering and hopefully a bit more luxury. The forecast down Cancun way is positively sizzling and we have hard liquor and a Jacuzzi in our room, so the outlook is sunny. In order to immerse myself in this decadence however, we have to get me across the Atlantic, and given that I like flying about as much as Mr T does (although this is the only thing we have in common) it’s not a prospect that fills me with joy. The Other Half is currently pondering the exact dosage and frequency of Jack Daniels that will allow him and our fellow passengers to travel in comfort, spared from my hysterical wailing and potential to run up and down the aisles in a frenzy of unfounded terror. About three weeks before I travel I tend to start having anxiety dreams, and by the time I arrive at the airport I’m in a state of low-grade terror that can only be alleviated by Rescue Remedy, Heat magazine and beer. Not necessarily in that order. I just can’t shake the conviction that by stepping onto a plane I’m signing my death-warrant. My mind helpfully runs through every aircraft disaster film I’ve ever seen - Final Destination, Alive, Airport '77…..) and I have been known to simply sob gently for the entire duration of the journey. Interestingly, if you ask the cabin crew to sedate you they just sort of laugh and wander off to trowel on more coral lipstick and sneer at people’s shoes. Trust me when I say that you never, ever want to be sitting near me on a plane. I’m the wild-eyed drunk person who clutches the armrests and mutters “we’re-going-to-die-we’re-going-to-die-we’re-going-to-die” for an hour before collapsing into a bourbon induced coma, only to screech awake at the slightest hint of turbulence in order not to miss an opportunity to be hysterical in the company of complete strangers. On a flight back from Gibraltar last year (that runway is WAY too short and ends abruptly at the sea – not good….) a friend employed the interesting technique of distraction by way of poking me gently on subjects that infuriate me. I ranted all the way home in a gloriously bad mood. However, I’m sure the prospect of a ten-hour monologue from me on a range of subjects from people who whistle to women drivers to the Bedingfield family to the Da Vinci code (don’t get me started) and any number of others in between doesn’t fill the Other Half with joy, so maybe we won’t consider that a serious option.

And it’s no use trying to placate me with statistics and facts – it’s my irrational fear and I’ll wallow in it if I want to.


Blogger Homer chimed in with...

Crikey. You must inform me of all holiday plans from now on so I can avoid being on the same plane.

19 December, 2005 12:29  

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