Flew back to California yesterday on a nice Delta flight, but boy I tell you, people were paying quiiiiite a bit more attention to the safety information this time around! Ooooh you could hear those seatbelts click click click. After, what I suspect, several years of complaints from poor flight attendants frustrated with giving a safety presentation about crash landings and how to use a seatbelt (in case, you know, you haven’t ever been in a car or anything) that no one ever paid attention to, (expect for me, because I feel bad that no one is paying attention, and they’re demonstrating how to buckle seat belts, for God’s sake) Delta has upgraded to a snazzy video presentation of the various exits and tiny lights on the ground we’re supposed to look for when all hell breaks loose.

Delta’s even tried to sexy up the safety info a little bit, casting a handsome older gentleman pilot and flirty redhead attendant, with a group of beautiful, polite, and ethnically diverse helpers, to help her smirk her way through things you’re supposed to remember when you’re about to die in a horrific plane crash. I’ve often thought this information a little silly, because a. if the plane is crashing, you’re dead. You are all dead. I just found a really scary site about how dead you are, planecrashinfo.com, complete with up to the minute information on crashes, horrifying photos and fatality counts, and a list of all the airlines I’m never flying again. Looks like I’m not flying in the Middle East or Russia anytime soon. Their records are just horrible. As one can imagine. Here’s a particularly frightening photos and stories:
http://www.planecrashinfo.com/w19800819.htm
http://www.planecrashinfo.com/w20010704.htm

This safety information is also silly because b. if we suddenly experience an altitude drop of a few thousand feet, and I’m not busy trying to call loved ones or havent hyperventilated myself into a dead faint, the last thing I’m going to be is cool, calm, and collected, and quietly assembling my life jacket and ready to file out in a single row and jump down that silly blow-up slide.

As it was, I was on that plane, eyeing the wing my seat was over, wondering if I could ever possibly shoulder my way through that thick window pane to slide down the wing without waiting in line…New Years Resolution – lose enough weight to fit through airplane window. Being small and compact is also going to be a benefit when I’m hurdling over all the seatbacks and tray tables to get out. I don’t think I could be quite brave enough for the lines and procedures of evacuation.

At one point during the video, smarmy redhead attendant winked at the camera and said “A water landing is unlikely, however, etc. etc.” and you could hear the whole plane chuckle and elbow each other like we’d all heard some great inside joke. The emergency row people were in front of me and I saw them dutifully reach for those safety brochures and read them very thoroughly, so that made me feel better, relaxed enough even to kick some Inflight Trivia pee-hind!!

I was neck and neck with this guy “Nicccc” the whole time, and he pulled ahead at the end and beat me by 150 points. When the screened flashed that he had won, Rachel the sore loser turned around to eyeball whoever Mr. I’m so cool in seat 36B was, and he was looking right at me, “Raquel” in 29A, and waving shyly. I turned back around quickly, embarrassed, but then turned back, he was still looking, cheeks now slightly red, and I said “Nick?” yes, he nodded. “You’re really smart!” I said, flashed a thumbs up and giggled, and then, thooooroughly embarrassed, turned back. He was kinda cute, and I was already thinking of the sweet story we could tell our genius, love to travel children about how we met competing on Delta’s Inflight Trivia, flying from Atlanta to California on Barack Obama’s inaguration day….but we didnt speak again after that. And he continued to beat me in trivia. Sigh.

I also love the interactive flight maps on Delta, showing you where your plane is over the country, the lakes and mountains and altitude and outside temperature. I’m sure I was annoying my rowmates, giving a play by play of how negative Farenheit it was outside, or our tail wind, or estimated time of arrival. Its funny to look down at the USA moving below us, expecting to see the red dots of state capitals, or the outlines of the states drawn somehow into the landscape. Turns out those lines are invisible, and can be seen only with the truly patriotic heart.

It was hard to leave my dad and brothers, but its always nice to fly home. Its funny, no matter how long or short of time I spend away, I get all warm and fuzzy flying into the sunsets back to California. I think after I’m done never growing up and traveling the world, I’ll always come back home here. You know, they say they wish they could all be California girls! So I guess I’m pretty lucky. Lucky lucky indeed.