Friday, November 8, 2013


It's a universal rule that the junior members of any group or organization get the dregs after the less junior members have their pick. As my partner JB gradually gains more and more seniority in his job as a flight attendant, he's more often able to hold his choice of plum rotations.

Now he's not what we call a "Senior Mama". Even after twenty-plus years, there are still a lot of senior mamas ahead of him. Some of whom I suspect once partied with Wilbur and Orville.

Whenever flight attendants gather, and if the topic of conversation should happen to drift to their jobs... HA! Oh my! Sorry, I couldn't keep a straight face there. Oh how I crack myself up...

As I was saying, whenever flight attendants gather they talk incessantly of nothing but their jobs.

For myself as an outsider, socializing with two or more flight attendants is like being in a car with a radio that only picks up NPR. Most of it is "blah blah duty free blah blah beverage cart blah blah asshole pilot blah blah blah" with the occasional interesting segment that usually starts just as you pull into your parking space.

The stories I really enjoy are the ones the Senior Mamas tell of the golden age of passenger aviation. Did you happen to see any of the television series, Pan Am? It's exactly like that except interesting enough to be picked up for a second season.

I'm always enthralled with their tales of adventure, imagining what these Senior Mamas were like as rambunctious teenage stewardesses with their original hair color. When their overnight bag was nothing more than a purse big enough for a bikini and birth control pills. When they would bond over group-vomitings before their biweekly weigh-ins. When they had to help hand-prop the planes while hungover on the hot Havana tarmac.

No, JB is not a Senior Mama. Not yet. But his years have earned him a modicum of control over his schedule and, for him, that means holding weekends off. Now don't get me wrong, I love JB and I enjoy the time we spend together.

But there's this thing about people who spend their 12 work days per month traveling to places like Barcelona and Dublin... First, the term "weekend" loses its significance. Other than happening to begin with the letter "S", they're just two other days of the week. Second, home is supposed to be dullsville. A place to unwind from their latest adventure and to catch up on the errands, chores and workouts leading up to their next.

I treasure my weekends with JB. But every once in a while I like to spend a weekend having adventures of my own. When I can sleep late if I want. Set my own schedule, or not. Maybe get together with my friends and leave the vacuuming and ironing for Sunday night. Maybe even Monday.

And this, my friends, happens to be one of those increasingly rare weekends. A free weekend. (A "freekend" if you will.) Before leaving for the airport today, JB made me promise to stay out of trouble while he's gone. Without asking for an explicit definition of the word "trouble", I agreed.


  1. I think what he meant was not to go out and spurge on the Blu-Ray combo pack of 'Pan Am'. That was my takeaway.

  2. I would have defined "trouble"

  3. When I met Sergio he was a Flight Attendant for United. I too enjoyed having my time to myself but I also liked when he held his lines so he was home on the weekends so we could plan to go out with friends together.