Holy Christ, I am so unbelievably bored at work right now that I am seriously considering filing. That's how slow it is. I've read all the internet I can stand, so without anything else to do, I thought I'd share the below with you. Apologies extended to those who have already heard this story.
When I was flying home from Texas recently, our plane hit some powerful turbulence. I've been on bumpy flights before - I remember a flight through a storm in which the sound of thunder played percussive counterpoint to the score of passengers throwing up. But this was different. This was the kind of turbulence you see in movies or tv shows. The plane shook, then dropped about five feet. People screamed, stuff flew off the beverage cart. The plane continued to shake. It's a bit like an earthquake: it's not the unexpected rumble that's unsettling. It's the fact that it doesn't stop.
I was sitting in the window seat of the last row. The rest of the row was taken up by a family: father and son next to me, mother and two daughters across the aisle. When the shaking began, the son made a worried noise and turned to his father, who told him with a calm and matter of fact tone of voice "It's okay. Don't worry. It's okay." He turned to his daughters and said the same thing. Hearing him say this immediately calmed me, too. I thought "Yeah it's scary, but I can deal with it."
I'm not someone who inherently respects or trusts authority. Part of this may come from growing up during the Viet Nam war. Part of it may be my loner nature, and part of it comes from being a recovering cynic and smart-ass. I decided a long time ago that the rules an authority gives you are for their benefit, not your's. Once the shaking stopped, I found it funny that an authority figure saying that everything was okay was what I wanted and needed, even though I knew he was no better informed about our situation than I was. But he was right. His role of "opinion leader" completely changed how I felt about the plane's rocking. It kept me from going into full Jerry Lewis mode.
I was glad he was there. As a "thank you" I gave his kid my Skittles.
Gosh I hope the above posting is grammatically correct! Okay, maybe my recovery from being a smart ass will have to be a one-day-at-a-time proposition.