I have already described my anxieties and concerns about flying in “Enjoy Your Flight”.    In some of my more recent flights, I have sought out and was happy to secure a seat in one of the emergency exit rows for two very important reasons, more leg room and to avoid the possibility of the passenger in front of me reclining onto my lap for the entire flight.

I usually find myself cynically snickering under my breath, as the flight attendant calmly and reassuringly describes the duties of the people sitting in these seats including the process of opening the emergency door without any assistance from the flight crew so that you can help evacuate the passengers in the event of an “emergency landing”.   I always give my verbal assurance with great conviction when asked if I am willing and able to perform these duties even though I fully comprehend that an “emergency landing” is industry jargon for a plane crash and that no one will be opening any emergency doors.

I am also amused in a fatalistic sort of way with the whole safety instructions routine, particularly, the part about the proper use of the life vests or other flotation devices that are stored under the seats.   I take their word for the fact that these devices really exist; however, I am equally sure that if we have an “emergency landing” (insert the word crash here) in water these devices will be as helpful as those emergency doors.   Yes, I am aware of that miraculous landing in the Hudson River; however, it is so noteworthy because it was a miraculous one in a million kind of occurrence.

I like to hear all of the safety instructions and I like to think that I would open the emergency door and save my fellow passengers simply because it allows me to be able to, at least, partially suspend my disbelief and feel that all of these safety measures might work and we could all walk away from that “emergency landing”.   It’s a little bit like being reassured during an audit that the IRS is fair and reasonable and only wants to help you.  When faced with a stressful situation, we all want to hear such reassurances even if we don’t completely believe them.

I am a little conflicted about writing this blog while on my flight home from Phoenix because I am the last one who would tempt fate by writing about plane crashes while actually on a plane.   If you are reading this, then either everything went smoothly or I was able to open that emergency door after all.

On Wednesday, Annemarie comments on recent family gatherings at their Arizona home in “At Home In Arizona”.