Apologizing in advance for what one has cooked for dinner is so feeble. I hate it. Never apologize! Take no prisoners! Bring me echoes of every man I have known, on a platter, with parsley.
I explained to my husband who usually cooks on Saturday night but acceded the pot roast to me since it had so few ingredients, none exotic or requiring long trips to dusty grocery stores in weird parts of town, no Indian spice available only in a 20 lb. bag or husks from plants not seen on this continent in 200 years, a boring endeavor not worthy of his skill, that the pot roast needed more time which I’d lost track of drinking too much white wine and watching funny cat videos with my eight-year old granddaughter in the kitchen.
I often find the job of being a role model dull and without reward.
While drinking and watching cat videos, I tended the pot roast, thinking all the while to myself that I ought to blog about my recent air travel. My mind is a vast cross-stitch nightmare much of the time. When I finally do get Alzheimer’s, it will mean that everyone else sees the disaster in my head. To me, it will be just the same as always. The public revelation, however, is bound to be embarrassing.
Boarding the plane, the boarding pass scanning lady asked me something like “You’re in an exit row……blah, blah, blah.” I kept walking after she scanned the boarding pass until she yelled at me. “Do you agree? You have to agree!” Sure, I nodded, I agree. To what? So much of spoken life is a mystery to me. My ability as a hearing-impaired person to maneuver communication situations with strangers depends on their STICKING TO THE SCRIPT. Don’t mess me up with needless gratuitous conversation like asking me if I accept all the responsibilities of sitting in the exit row. Oh fine, whatever that means, I thought, exit row, bring it.
Oh crap, as I inched on to the plane and looked at the infamous exit row. Swell, I just said sure to saving everyone if the plane crashes. To leaping out of my seat and twisting the door off so all the other passengers can live. I sat down in my seat in Row 9, finally getting it about the exit row.
I sat down and considered my options for thirty seconds before waving at the flight attendant. She asked me again if I was willing to accept responsibility for springing into action. I wanted to tell her, “Hell no! Who asks a 66-year-old woman to muscle the exit door?” Oh, but we wouldn’t want to assume or profile someone because they’re an older adult, right? In the dialogue that goes on in my extensive and sometimes very florid interior life, another voice boomed. “It is my intellect that is ageless and timeless. Make no mistake, my brain towers over everyone on this plane.”
“Yeah, well, I’d really rather not sit here,” I said. “Let’s find someone to trade with.”
She started asking every guy coming on the plane if they were travelling alone. Presumably someone travelling alone wouldn’t mind being trampled as the other passengers pounded toward the exit door. Each one shook their heads. Then I spotted a guy in a plaid shirt and suspenders. We communicated NON-VERBALLY and he immediately became my best friend and someone I would date if my husband died.
Plaid shirt man had the middle seat behind the exit row and we wordlessly switched, each of us beaming at our silent simpatico.
The flight attendant came back to inspect this off-the-books switch. She looked at me sternly. “You’re still technically in an exit row area. Do you accept the responsibilities associated with being near the exit row?” I turned to the very nice, hefty fellow next to me and asked, “So, hey, if the plane crashes, do you promise to leap over me and open the exit door?”
“Sure,” he said, not hesitating for a single second. I loved him for this, now having two guys on the list of men I could date if my husband died.
The flight attendant studied me for a minute. “That’s not a good enough answer.”
Originally published in 2015