Thursday, April 25, 2013
So I got a new day job and things have been insane ever since. How is it mid April? Anyhow, I am planning to return to this blog and book very soon. UGH.. if any of you still follow me, I don't deserve it, but trust me it's been hell on earth over here.
Posted by Stephanie Olivieri at 10:31 PM
Friday, November 9, 2012
Hi all, sorry, after my father died, I just couldn't get it back together. I had to move and started a new day job on Sept 10th. I am really sorry this came to a screeching halt-I promise I will get the new chapters up very soon. Thanks for hanging in there.
Posted by Stephanie Olivieri at 10:45 PM
Friday, July 13, 2012
I have the least in common with Jake. In fact we argue a lot, and sometimes I feel like he looks down on me because I am a flight attendant, you know how guys see us as bimbos in the sky? He never says anything specific, but it is the things he doesn’t say. He dismisses me when I mention my art, and says things like “You wouldn’t know about it because. . .”
I know you are thinking I should dump him right away, but as cliché as this is, I am the most attracted to him, sexually. We have great sex, and I just can’t seem to break it off. I have tried a few times. I met him last in the group, so I think it will be easiest to break it off with him. In fact, we have only been dating a few months. I met him right when Greg started talking serious and I think that scared me, so I kept picking up the Chicago flights, and then it just worked for me.
Jake is about 6 foot 3 and has light brown hair, with some different grains of brown and gold running through it. He has bangs that hang down in his dark green eyes, when he is casual, but when he is at work, or in a suit he has it slicked back, and looks distinguished. It is so attractive. I met him when Taylor and I came to Chicago for a weekend with her sisters. We were skating on the boardwalk, by Lake Michigan, and I fell instantly when I saw him. I saw his green eyes and that broad smile, and that night I was in his hotel room. We had chemistry, and that was the thing. He is arrogant, pushy, successful and the exact opposite of Greg, and completely different from Ryan. I went for it.
I am skating as fast as I feel comfortable and there are people all around me. Taylor is whizzing past everyone like a pro and I am just trying not to fall over.
I suddenly hit a rock or something and feel the concrete connect with my butt. I feel a rush of pain shoot up my leg and my ass feels hot. I survey my hands to see if I have really hurt them. People are flying by me, and I feel like an idiot sitting there on my ass.
“Wow, that was very well executed.” I hear someone say to me, and look up, but the sun is blocking my vision, so I can’t quite make out who is speaking to me.
It is a man’s voice so I know it isn’t Taylor. In fact, I don’t know where she has gone. Hasn’t she even noticed that I am not behind her?
That is right on the mark for Taylor. I really love her to death, but she can be a bit flaky sometimes. She is also the most fun and my very best friend in the whole world. She has big read curls that envelop her tiny face, and big ocean blue eyes that sparkle when she gets excited about things. We have been friends for as long as I remember and now share a place in Los Angeles.
She has two sisters, twins, and they are here in Chicago, going to university. I got her onto a flight with me as a standby passenger, and we came for the weekend. It has been a great weekend so far, until now that I have fallen.
“Are you okay?” The voice asks me.
“I think so, I am not very good at skating, and I think my wheel locked or something.” I put my hand over my eyes to block to sun out and all I can make out is that there is a tall man standing over me. I think I see him grinning at me, but I can’t be sure.
“Nope, you just fell. I have seen it a million times. Tourists. . .”
I stop him immediately, “How do you know I am a tourist?” I say as I take off my left skate.
“Come on! You must be, everyone from around here can skate better than you.” He is making fun of me.
“Well, I don’t know if that is true, but maybe I just haven’t had chance to learn how to skate, and have been very busy with my studies at the University of Chicago, or Northwestern. Hrm? How do you know that isn’t the case?”
I take off my other skate and stand up holding them in my left hand. I brush my right hand on my hip to wipe off any residual dirt that has settled in.
He is smiling at me, no, he is chuckling at me and is also making me feel like I want to go back to his apartment and do all sorts of fun things with him. He is wearing a dark green shirt from Abercombie, tan long shorts, and has the best legs, I have ever seen. He puts his hand in his pocket and pulls out his cell phone.
“I am here, I just went out for a run and I ran into this girl, this striking girl.” I hear him saying and I look around to see whom he is talking about, because right now, there is only me, and no one has ever called me that.
I am pretty, in that girl next door, obvious way. I have auburn hair and big boobs, well, they aren’t huge, but they are a good size and so I am used to being called, pretty, but striking; never.
“This is the part when you tell me your name?” He says as he holds the phone to his ear.
“Hol . . .you know, I think I will wait until you are off the phone.” I say as I look around for Taylor, who has completely disappeared.
“Okay, Dan, I have to go. Catch ya later Bro.” He hangs up and I wonder how long I can talk with a guy who actually says the word ‘bro’.
I stand there quietly watching him as he is smiling broadly at me.
“So, Hol? That is your name?” He presses on.
“Hollison, actually, my name is Hollison. My friends call me Holly.”
“Okay, Holly.” He steps towards me and I get a whiff of his cologne and am not sure what is happening to me, but I really want to kiss him.
He takes his hand and rubs his neck, which is covered in sweat, and my mind immediately goes to another situation where he would have sweat on his neck.
My face goes red, and I say back to him, “I said my friends call me Holly and we’ve only just met, haven’t we?”
“Yes we have, but I am interested, and would love to take you to dinner on your first or second night in Chicago?” He pulls out his phone, which I realize is actually the newest iPhone, looks at it and places it back into his pocket.
“Why do you think I am a tourist? Like I said, maybe I have lived here for years.” I try to stand up straight and am hoping that my hair isn’t too much of a mess.
He laughs, grabs my sweatshirt and says, “Two things: one, you are wearing a sweatshirt in the middle of July, which means you aren’t used to the weather here and actually think it is cold.”
“It is cold,” I interrupt him. “The internet said it was only going to 70 today.”
He smile widens, “Exactly, 70 is not considered cold in Chicago, and your sweatshirt,” He emphasizes the word ‘sweat’ to further get his point across, “says, I came to Chicago and all I got was this lousy shirt.” He tugs at my shirt and my knees go weak.
“Fair enough, you got me. So, what, you live here?”
He points to a tall majestic looking building and says, “Yes, in there, would you like to see it?”
The rest is history as they say, and now I am in the love “square” and am not sure what to do. Well I know what to do, but just not how to do it. I picked up a flight to Chicago, so for now I would just call Jake and talk to him when I got there. I can hold off Ryan for a bit. He has a busy schedule next week, and is flying the European route for a month after that. That will buy me some time. AirEstern is expanding to cover Europe and some South Pacific. Ryan has seniority and has wanted an overseas route for a long time. This will be good for us, and I won’t have to make a decision, at least not right away.
Posted by Stephanie Olivieri at 9:08 AM
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Chapter Two: Part two
It was 5 am, and I was extremely tired from last night. I think I was more mentally tired from trying to figure all of this out, than I was physically from missing sleep. I walked into the RWB operations room where we had our usual pre-flight meeting with the crew. I poured a cup of bitter coffee and tried to drown out the taste with Cremora. I sat down and read over my application for the European route. This was a new thing for my airline. They had previously only flown domestic. They were planning a big expansion this year, and adding flights to Hawaii, on the Pacific coast, then on the Atlantic side, Dublin, and of course London Heathrow. I really wanted one of these routes. I couldn’t careless about going to Hawaii, and I have always wanted to spend time in Europe. I decided to apply for Dublin. The reasons were triple-fold. A) No body else had expressed and interest in that route, so I already had a leg up. B) I have always wanted to see Dublin. C) It would get me away for long enough to figure out what I wanted. I know that it is bad to run from ones problems, but I just didn’t know what to do.
The Dublin route was the only solution right now. No matter how temporary it was, it would help me take the time I needed.
The flight schedule was great and I would get two more days off that I have now, and I would get to spend them in Ireland!
I had been with RWB for ten years so I thought I had a good shot.
I had worked all areas of the cabin, including both First and Business class. I thought I was well rounded and therefore would be great on an over-seas flight.
“Holly?” The in-flight manager said to me. “Did you hear the question because you are the only one who didn’t answer?”
“Sorry.” I felt stupid. “I was just . . I have no excuse, not I didn’t, exactly. Could you repeat?”
Great. I didn’t even know this woman, now she was going to think I was a flake.
“We are looking for someone to pick up a couple extra shifts this weekend. They are from Chicago to Dallas? It will be first class service. You interested?”
I was supposed to see Jake on Friday and Ryan on Sat, but I guess I could do it. I could really use the money. “Yes, I’m interested. I’ll do it.”
“We are just taking names right now, and we’ll get back to you. Now, have a great flight.” She walked out of the room. I continued to complete my application as I had to turn it in today when I got back to LAX.
I walked down the jet-way and onto the plane. I started to get the galley prepared for our in-flight service. This was only a little over four hour flight from Chicago to L.A., so we were only serving some small sandwiches and beverages. I met the rest of the crew, and thank God I don’t know any of them, so I started talking to Katie, one of the flight attendants who I was going to be working with.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” I asked her, to get the conversation rolling.
“Yes I do, and we are engaged, see.” She showed me her engagement ring, which was gorgeous. I could tell she was still excited about it. She was glowing. Her short, blond hair looked pretty aside her big smile.
“Wow, how do you do it with all the flying? Isn’t it hard?” I said as I poured coffee into the pot.
“No not really, when I met him I was on reserve and never knew my schedule, but now I have seniority, I know when and where I am going to be flying, do you have a boyfriend?” She innocently asked.
Yes I have three in fact, I can’t chose between them, and am living a life of lies all over America.
“Yea, sort of.” I said as I got the sandwiches ready and checked the manifest.
“Tell me about him. Where does he live?” She continued to ask me about my life. I wasn’t sure what to tell her.
One of the great things about being a flight attendant is that you rarely work with the same people, so it was easy to have a double, or triple life. Megan knew about Ryan and she was so nice I didn’t dare tell her about the others. Since I had picked up this flight, and may not see this Katie again, it didn’t matter what I said. I guess I could tell her the truth. I hated lying all the time.
“It’s complicated.” I said as I did my check through the cabin. This flight was full, and there were several people trying to shove their bags in the over-head compartments. I hated when people did that.
“Miss can you help me. My bag won’t fit.” This middle-aged woman said to me.
“That bag is too big Ma’am, but I will be happy to check it for you.” I started to help her get the bag down when she screamed at me.
“Yea, that is exactly what I want to do, and have my bag shipped to India or something like that, no it will fit.” She continued to shove it. Meanwhile she was blocking to aisle and no one could get by.
“Ma’am.” I said calmly, “That won’t happen. I promise.”
“Are you going to go down to the baggage department yourself and personally make sure my bag gets on this flight? Are you? Are you?” I was standing there stunned. “I didn’t think so.”
“Ma’am, I am sorry but that bag is too big. This flight is full. We need to check it. I am sorry if you have been mislead, but Federal Regulations have specific sizes, and your bag is too big. Can I please have it?”
“No you can’t!” She was now clutching her bag and her small, bony fingers were holding tightly to the flowers that wrapped this huge problem. “I will keep it in my lap.” The she sat down.
“You can’t do that. I am sorry but in the unlikely event of an emergency that could be dangerous.”
“So are we planning to have an emergency?”
Ugh, why was she giving me such a hard time?
“No, of course not, but you can’t keep anything on your lap during take-off, landing or during the flight” I tried to reason with her, and it was getting me nowhere.
“What if I was over weight? Would you tell me my fat is dangerous?” Just then the copilot walked by. He was tall, dark, and yummy.
You have three boyfriends, stop that.
I looked up at him and thought about adding another to my group of men, when I said to her, “No. That is completely different and you are not over-weight at all.”
“Need some help Hollison?” He asked me and just the touch of his hand gave me shivers. He could obviously see I was getting frustrated with her, and not making any progress. Meanwhile, people were back up in the aisle, and they were now getting angry with me.
“This lady won’t let me check her bag.” I whispered to him.
God he smelled good.
I didn’t know what type of cologne he had on, but whatever it was, it was doing the job.
He had hair down just past his neck, and had a two-day beard growing in, and a broad smile that melted me. Seriously, this was the kind of guy I just wanted to sleep with.
He bent down and spoke quietly to her, and asked her to trust him and with his smile and charm she let go of the bag. He then handed it to me and said. “If there is anything else I can do, you know where to find me.” I watched him walk away.
“Now don’t loose my bag, or I will sue this airline and you. . . blah, blah, blah.” She was still talking when I walked away.
I really wanted to send her bag to China or something, but I didn’t. I never did anything like that, I wanted to, but never had the guts to. I had to be the best of myself every time I flew. I always gave 110%, even when people were rude.
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen this is your captain and I would like to welcome you aboard flight 263 with service to Los Angeles. Today’s flight is a non-stop flight and it looks like we will be arriving about fifteen minutes early. We are waiting for one more passenger, and then we will be on our way. On our route today we will be taking you over. . .” He continued as I helped people get into there seats and checked the over-head compartments.
Katie and I were working great together. It was nice to be working with someone who was at the same level as me. I didn’t mind the new recruits and even felt a little proud when I was training, but it is just easier with an experienced co-worker.
“Flight attendants prepare for take-off.” The captain said, as we went through the safety features and took our places in the jump seats.
Katie started asking me again about my boyfriend. I just didn’t feel like lying anymore, so I just let it all out. We will up in the air when I finished with, “So I am hoping for this Dublin route, so I can think.”
“What? I can’t believe you are doing this to those poor guys. You are not a nice person. I thought you seemed nice, but now that you tell me this so casually. How could you?” She unbuckled her seatbelt and stood up.
I followed her into the galley. “Katie, look you don’t know me, you don’t know how it happened. I never meant to hurt anyone. Guys do it all the time.”
“So that makes it right?”
“No, not at all. I feel terrible. Please don’t judge me, you are the first one I could tell. I needed to get it out. My roommates know, but one of them is really mean and I never see the other one.”
“Hollison, it is just that if my boyfriend did that to me, I would be so hurt. I am sure these guys don’t know and if they love you. It is just mean. Don’t you see that?” She walked ways from me and started taking drink orders.
I stared thinking about what she said. I knew that I wasn’t being fair. That was the problem. It is a double standard.
“What about that show the Bachelor and the Bachelorette? “ I asked her as I served cokes, apple juice and milk to the passengers.
“Oh I love those shows.” A young girl wearing a pink Abercrombie shirt and a mini-skirt on my right exclaimed.
“Me too. I think they are great.” I said back to her as I handed her a coke. “Thank you.”
Katie broke in, “The difference is that the guys know on the show. Don’t pretend to not see that this is not the same.”
We stopped talking about it then, because people were looking at us, and that wasn’t professional. I didn’t want or need a complaint about me when I was trying for a promotion. I continued to hand out drinks and take orders for Turkey or Roast beef for lunch. The flight was full, and stuffy. I looked at everyone and wondered if anyone of these people were ever in a similar situation and how did they handle it?
I wished I could get on the PA and say, Ladies and Gentleman we are now taking a survey. Do you cheat?
When I got to the first row, I had a big surprise.
“Ryan! What are you doing here?” I dropped a coke on the floor.
“I wanted to surprise you. Surprised?” He asked as he helped me pick up the coke. We were both in the aisle wiping it up.
“Yes, I am, I mean, how? We didn’t see you?” I was so confused. I checked the cabin my self and the passenger list.
“I had the ticket put in my brother’s name. I wanted to surprise you. Since you have been flying so much to Chicago these past few weeks I never see you. I had time off so here I am.” He put his arms out and smiled.
“That is great.” I said and I walked to the galley in the back of the plane. I grabbed another coke and handed to the passenger who ordered it in the first place. “I am so sorry about that Sir.”
“It’s fine.” He smiled back at me.
“Holly, I thought we could look at bigger places in Los Angeles, since I know you don’t want to move to Baltimore and I can put in for west coast flights. I don’t have to fly to Europe.” He smiled at me, and I could tell that he really loved me. That was it. I would move in with him and break it off with Greg and Jake. This made more sense anyhow. He was a pilot and I was a flight attendant.
“That sounds great.” I smiled back at him. “Oh, no what about the Dublin route? I just filled out my application and I really want it. I could use the money and I have never been to Europe.”
“Isn’t that out of L.A.? Or, I can move to New York? I love you Hollison O'Reilly, and I want to be with you. It doesn’t matter where we live.” The passengers seated by him were watching us now, and smiling.
I glanced over at Katie who was scowling at me under her smile while she served drinks. This made me feel a twinge of guilt. Then, Mr. Gorgeous-hair-long-enough-to-grab-during-sex-but not too long, co-pilot walked by and stopped.
"Ryan! Is that you?" He shook Ryan's hand and smiled at me.
"Hello there Brian, yes it is me and this is my girlfriend, Hollison." He smiled at me as he introduced me to his friend.
"Girlfriend?" Brian spoke as he raised one eyebrow at me. My knees felt weak and something in my stomach fell. I really wanted to just reach out and kiss him.
What is wrong with you? Your boyfriend is sitting right there.
"Yes." I said and squeezed Ryan's hand. "How do you two know each other?"
"We went to college together in Boston." Ryan said. "How long has it been?"
"Years." Brian spoke to him but couldn't stop looking at me. "So, you two been together long?"
"Um. . .I have to get back to work." I said to them, but couldn't stop staring at Brian.
"See you in a few." Ryan said.
"When we land." I said, and then I made up an excuse to go further. "Oh look 36B is ringing. Talk later. Nice to officially meet you, Brian." I said and walked off.
Katie just stared at me and rolled her eyes.
Posted by Stephanie Olivieri at 8:14 AM
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Chapter Two: Part One
I had picked up many shifts over the next few weeks, to avoid having to make a decision about Ryan, or the others, (I just wasn’t ready to chose). I was trying to narrow it down, but every time I had made a decision about one of them, they turned around and made it impossible for me to give them up.
Ryan had asked me to move to Baltimore and live with him about a month ago. That is a huge step and most women in my age group are desperate to settle down and get married, but I wasn’t. Really. . .I wasn't. I loved Ryan, but as I already said, I loved the others as well. Ryan and I had so much in common with the airline thing, and so I know it would work, but the things that were missing in our relationship I got with the others. That was the problem. Greg and I were also heating up. Last month he gave me a promise ring. I know that sounds so juvenile, but since he hadn’t had a steady acting job in a long time, this was all he could afford. I had to stop and ask myself.
Do I really want to get married to someone who makes less money than me?
I know that sounds superficial and cold, but since I hardly made anything, our lives would suck. I’m not intending to be terrible, but a girl has to be practical. Marriages that don’t have severe financial problems in them, don’t always make it, so why start out that way? Because Greg and the ring, and Ryan and the moving in thing, I was spending most of my time in Chicago with Jake. He was the only one who wasn’t pushing me to settle down.
He had a three-bedroom Brownstone apartment in the Loop. It was decorated in a Pottery Barn meets IKEA style. I liked it. For a guy’s place, it was nice. He had long, dark purple drapes, and a dark beige sofa with deep green pillows on it. The huge multi-colored rug was covering dark wood floors. He had tall iron candleholders with vanilla candles that were usually lit by the time I got there. He had one of the bedrooms converted into an office, where he had many of his ads on the walls. You know "admen" and their huge egos. He had his Cleo Award , (Television commercial award),on a set of shelves, and his Golden Pencil ,(Magazine Ad award), on the other. There were sketches of his ideas everywhere. Every extra space was over-flowing with drawings, computer prints, and photos pasted into an ad.
I really liked that he was also an artist. Some men in advertising were just about the sales, but not Jake. He was very aware of the creative side of advertising. That was attractive to me. The only problem with that at all, was that I also was an artist and he never took it seriously because I worked as a flight attendant. He couldn’t understand why I wasn’t in advertising, like him. I studied art history and fine art, not illustration. Jake majored in Advertising with an emphasis in Illustration, then he got his masters in Art History while he worked his way up at McMillian & Haskall Advertising. Sometimes we went to the Art Museums around town and he always gave me a long history about each and every painting. It was tiring, especially because I knew most of it.
We had that art connection, just like Greg and I. Come to think of it, Ryan didn’t know anything about art. We talked about Physics, and Alternative Realms and Realities. His favorite movie was the Matrix. I knew nothing about that kind of thing. Sure, I enjoy that movie, but it is because of Keanu, not the idea of a Matrix. Jake didn’t like that movie, or any movies that weren’t well made, in his opinion, or artsy. He never wanted to go see a Blockbuster type of film. It was really annoying, I mean, who died and made him a professional movie critic, or king of the movies? Honestly!
So, we spent many a night at his house when I was in town. Tonight was no different. “Holly, sweetie, you don’t want anything too serious with me do you?” Jake said as he kissed my neck.
“No, I am so busy with my career, and I just bid on the new route to Dublin which means I will be gone a lot more, and you live in Chicago. Things are great the way they are, right?” I was kissing his chest. He tasted so good. Too bad he was so stuck on himself.
“Good, I was just checking. You know how older ladies are.” That made me mad. Yes, I was four years older than him, but young at heart. I had never brought up getting married, or kids, or even moving in together. How could I? I had two other guys on the side.
I pushed him away. “No, I don’t know, how are we?”
“Babe, I didn’t mean anything. Just kiss me.” He started pushing my head towards his stomach. “It is just that when you reach a certain age”
“What? What happens?” I sat up as he broke in to his story about women at a certain age.
I started to get dressed. I had been staying at the O’Hare Marriot and had an early call time, so it was best if I left now. I didn’t understand his attitude, nor did I like it.
“I just meant, most women in their thirties, want to get married, not you. I didn’t mean anything. Holly, come on we were having such a good time.” He pulled my arm to get me to sit down again.
“Fine, it’s fine, but I am still leaving. I have a 6 am flight to L.A., and I still need to fill out my application for the Dublin route.” I kissed him on the cheek, and got up.
He sat there looking surprised for about five minutes, then, he turned on MTV.
Can someone please tell me what was it with guys and MTV?
“Jake?” I said before I walked out.
“Yeah” He said under his breath, without even looking up from the television.
“Never mind, I’ll see you on Friday? Okay?”
“Sure. Whatever. Call me.” He didn't even look up from the TV set when he spoke.
He didn't even walk me out to my car. It wasn’t cold, but it was windy and I had bags, it would’ve been nice if he had helped me.
I put up with Jake, because even though he occasionally insulted me, it was casual. That was all I could take right now. Oh yea, he was so gorgeous, and we had chemistry. I didn’t feel that way with the others.
Posted by Stephanie Olivieri at 11:13 AM
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Coffee, Tea or Duty Free?
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of RWB Airlines, it is my pleasure to welcome you aboard flight 1704 with service to Orlando, and continuing service to Atlanta.” I say into the microphone, as I wonder how the hell I ended up here at this moment, having to make this decision, with not a clue what to do. I am extremely tired and of course, just like me, have already spilled coffee on my shirt. Today’s flight isn’t a long one, but I also have a lay over in Atlanta.
To be honest, I don’t like Atlanta. It smells weird to me; it is probably spill over from Savannah, which everyone reports smells terrible. In any case, I can’t stand the way Atlanta smells, so I usually stay in my hotel until we debark again.
“Holly, can you cover me tonight? Please” Megan stands in front of me with her hands tightly held together and her head cocked to one side. “Jeremy is meeting me in Atlanta and I think tonight is the night?” Jeremy is her boyfriend, who works in Atlanta as defense attorney. He has been talking about marriage for years. He supposedly fell in love with Megan the day he met her. I met him once at a Christmas party and he seemed like a nice guy. Very handsome and well dressed, impeccable taste for wine, and food . . .I mean cuisine. All in all, I could see why she loved him.
“Sure, I guess I can, but you’ll have to get it cleared, I have already worked 93 hours this month, and also isn’t that a round trip route? I think I may go over the hours for the day also.” I have known Megan for about two years and have covered shifts for her a lot. I am convinced she only took this job to get by until she got married. She is a nice, young girl with a perky disposition and rarely has a bad thing to say about anyone, but she doesn’t want a career in the skies. That is fine by me, I once had hopes of leaving the airlines after just a year or so, but that was ten years ago.
Megan hugs me. “Thanks Hol, you are the best!” Her face beams with excitement as she bounces down the aisle. I watch her in astonishment and reflect, I don’t think ever moved like that, then, continue with my announcements.
“Federal regulations require that carry-on items are stowed prior to closing the aircraft door. Your items may be placed in an overhead compartment, or completely under the seat in front of you. Use caution when placing items in or removing them from the overhead compartment, and let us know if we may assist you. In order to expedite the boarding process; please be seated as quickly as possible after stowing your carry-on items. Take a moment to review the "Safety Instructions" card in your seat pocket. Passengers seated in rows 34 & 36 are also asked to review the exit row seating requirements. If you are seated in an exit row, you may be required to assist the crew in an evacuation. If you are unable or unwilling to perform the functions described on the card, just ask to be re-seated. Thank you.” I daydream about Ryan and what I am going to do as the words just float out of my mouth. I have said them more than a million times, and usually don’t even think about what I am saying as I say them. It is like those stage actors you see on Broadway that have been on for years. You always hear that they are thinking about their bills or something like that when they are reciting their lines. This was like that. Today was no different. I could hardly concentrate on safety instructions for God sake.
Ryan is so gorgeous and I am really in love with him. Well, since I am seeing him tonight, I feel like I am in love with him and only him. I always feel in love with the guy I am seeing at that moment or particular time. I am really having a hard time concentrating on federal regulations. My mind goes to Ryan’s lips, and the way he holds me when he first sees me. I feel my face go a bit red and hot, and glance around to survey if anyone can tell that I could give a rat’s ass about what I am saying.
I look out into the cabin and see all the faces ready to embark on their journey today. Some are businessmen busy reading the morning paper, while sitting next to them is just a tourist on his way to Disney World with his family.
We are stopping in Orlando, the place where all dreams come true. Seriously, that is what they say. I find that place a bit too much, it is full with old people, which I have nothing against, unless they are in a car driving in the rain. Also, there are tourists from all over the world trying to navigate maps while negotiating down the road, in the rain, with the old people.
In the exit rows, on this particular flight there is a group of marines who are invited to NASA. I am confident that if anything did happen to our flight, they would be there to help us all out. Nothing ever does happen, and we always make it safely to our destination, with or without marines on board. Traveling by plane is the safest way to go, and they say, altitude is your friend.
Finally, the captain gives the single and announced for the cross-check and push back.
I continue, “Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, all cellular telephones and other portable electronic devices, such as CD players and laptop computers, must be turned off and stowed for departure. Thank you. In just a minute there will be a short safety video that will be on the screens on your seatbacks directly in front of you. While we know that many of you are frequent flyers with us, we do ask that you watch the video so you are familiar with this aircraft.”
Megan and I sit together in our seats at the front of the cabin and chat about life, and our men, as the huge plane makes way down the runway. I am trying to rub the coffee stain out of my shirt to no avail. I am now wishing that I had brought an extra one, but I didn’t.
I was in the car park at LAX with the extra shirt right there in arm’s reach and even thought about snatching it off my old leather seats of the Geo Metro, that I have had since college, but I didn’t. I made a conscious decision not to bring in, and of course, splattered myself with coffee.
“So what did Jeremy say about tonight that is so different?” I ask her, as I struggle with my shirt. I am rubbing away at the stain and it is not budging.
“He just said that he wanted me to stay in Atlanta for a couple days and not fly back to L.A., or anywhere for a bit. I know I am new, but I really want this work. You understand right?”
I did understand, but when I was new, I never asked people to cover my shifts for a guy. I was not like that. If I guy asked me to cancel a shift, most likely I would have dumped him. That is me, and probably why I am still single at 34. Megan is what we call a reservist, she is on reserve and doesn’t have a set schedule. I am what they call a lineholder, meaning I get my set schedule for a month in advance. I chose this route because it has a long flight and is in the daytime, and I can usually have a full night in Atlanta before I come back to L.A. I also cover one flight to New York JFK, and this month they added me onto the Atlanta-Chicago-JFK-LAX loop.
I have the next three days off, so I know that I could cover for Megan and make extra some extra, much needed money. The red-eyes always paid a couple of dollars higher per hour than the more desired times. I guess the only bad thing about helping her out this time, is that I won’t get to see Ryan because I will be immediately onboard to come back to Atlanta to work my scheduled shift, and I won’t get paid for those hours. That said, maybe that is good, since I can’t for the life of me decide on what to do.
“Sure Megan, don’t you worry. I will cover it. When does the flight leave Atlanta? Just give me the details, so I can call Ryan and let him know where I am going.” I am always the push-over and always say yes even when I don’t want to do it. I just couldn’t break her heart and say no.
We have become fairly good friends, which is rare in my industry because the crews change all the time, and some months I don’t work with the same crew twice. For the last three months, Megan and I have been working together a lot. We worked the “C” position, which is in the main cabin and we sit in the front during take off. I have sort of taken her under my wing, and trained her to be the best flight attendant she can be, even if she is just doing this temporarily.
“Holly, I have been meaning to ask you about Ryan. Are you guys ever getting married? It is the red-eye out of Atlanta at 4:30 AM, I think it is flight 809, it goes to JFK and then to LAX, don’t worry I already talked to Donna and she said it would be fine if you wanted the extra time.” She doesn’t even take a breath during that whole thing. Wow. That was impressive.
“Okay, great.” I say and don’t answer the question about Ryan. How can I? I have no idea what I even want from him.
Ryan Harrington and I had started seeing each other about four years ago, and it is comfortable enough, so, why get married and ruin it? I honestly don’t see the point in doing all that. Ryan is a captain at AirEastern, which primarily flies from city to city on the east coast. He is 42 years old, or 43? I can never remember. He has deep dark espresso hair that is loosing the battle with the now gray that is taking over his head. It is still thick and full, and I love running my fingers through it. He is gorgeous as well, and has a grin like Carey Grant, George Clooney’s eyes, and Tom Cruise’s swagger.
I met him when I had a lay-over in Newark on Christmas Eve. We were both at the same hotel and we met in the gift shop while I was buying postcards. (I like to send my cousins cheesy gifts and postcards from all over the country.)
“That one is gorgeous really catches the beauty of Newark.” A tall man wearing slippers, a robe, and flannel pants says to me as I look through the stack of uninteresting and dull postcards.
“Really?” I ask as I check him out. He is very hot, and I wouldn’t mind spending the night in his room I think to myself as I study him. “Thanks for the tip. I didn’t know Newark New Jersey had any beautiful sights.” Then I giggle like a freshman at a frat party.
“I see you work for RWB? Been a stewardess long?” He cajoles very flirtatiously.
“Flight attendant, we haven’t been called stewardesses since like, . . Um . . 1950. What do you do besides parade around in your night clothes and harass young airline employees?” I flirt back, shamelessly.
“That is what I do, and it seems to be working. Do you want to get a bite to eat?”
Boy do I ever. I thought to myself. He smiles at me, and I am really liking the way this is going. I have never planned on dating a pilot, because it is such a stereotype. But, in my defense, I wasn’t thinking about dating this one either. Just a night of fun would be great.
“I hope you will change first, but yes I am hungry. I only had a chicken Alfredo from the flight today and it wasn’t very good.” I give him my room number so he can call me after he changed, and I finish buying postcards.
He and I have dinner at a small out of the way place that has a gorgeous view of the New York City skyline. The moon is out, the city is lit up due to Christmas lights and if I was the sort of girl that bought into all this romantic stuff, you could say, it is very romantic. We have a perfect view of the yachts returning from the Christmas yacht parade. This night is going to be great fun, I think to myself as I watch him watching the boats.
And it was a great night. I remember as I am still trying to get the stain out of my shirt.
We have been together ever since. Ryan lives in Baltimore, and I live in Los Angeles. We see each other at least once a week, and sometimes more. Our relationship doesn’t have all the stress that a normal relationship has and I like it that way. He is easy going and I like seeing him because we both work for the airlines. We can talk about work, and understand each other’s lives. He loves animals and wants kids. . . BUT, like I said, he lives in Baltimore, and I live in L.A.! The closest to Baltimore I will ever get is, in New York, if I get picked for the international route starting in the fall. Then I will be gone all the time to Europe, and never see him anyhow. It seems clear, what I should do, but I just can’t because when he kisses me, it is unbelievable.
We have now reached the end of black out time, which is the time between take-off and about 10,000 feet, (The cockpit and the flight attendants don’t communicate during this time). When we pass this point in flight, I make this announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen, the use of approved portable electronic devices is now permitted. For your continued safety, please keep your seat belt fastened at all times, even if the Captain turns off the Fasten Seat Belt sign. In just a few minutes, we will be starting our inflight entertainment. If you look in the seat pocket in front of you, to RWB’s magazine, you will see what is available.”
“Megan.” I whisper, go see what the man in 42B is doing? I don’t know, but it looks like his hands are in his pants. Go. . . Go” I push her out. I am still snickering as I continue on the PA.
“Since this is a domestic flight there will be a $5.00 charge for the use of headphones. For parents and people traveling with small children we will provide a child set at no additional cost. On behave of RWB Airlines, I would like to introduce the cabin crew to you at this time. My name is Hollison. Megan and I will be serving you in the main cabin, with Judy and Stan in Business and First Class, and Marcia at the back of the plane. Please feel free to ring your cabin attendant button should need anything to make your flight more enjoyable. Thank you, in a moment Marcia will be coming around with the headsets. We understand that you may not have exact change, but if you do, we would appreciate it.”
This is the moment that I dread the most. This is the moment when all the high maintenance people push their buttons. I always want to leave that part of the announcement, but never have the guts to. I make my way to the galley to start the coffee going and put the cokes and sodas in the bin for service. Today we are on a B767 and that means we have an aisle on both sides of the plane.
I like working the bigger air-crafts better, because I feel like I had more room to move around. I pour some coffee into my little plastic cup, two Splendas and lots of creamer. I can hear the flight attendant call buttons going off, but I sip my coffee, instead of making way down the cabin. Megan is coming back, laughing.
“OhMyGod!” She covers her mouth as she pushes me into the middle of the service island. “That guy in 42B was asleep and his hand was touching his. . .well . . .his . . .”She motions for his pelvic area.
“His dick Meg?” I ask.
She snickers and blushes. “Yes, what am I suppose to do?”
Her face is three shades of blush, and her eyes are wet with tears from laughter, and I can tell she doesn’t know how to handle this.
“What you left him doing that? What about the people sitting around him? Meg you have to wake him up. Go.” I say as I swallow the last sip of my coffee.
“I can’t, will you? Please? I’ll get the drink orders from your side first?” Megan has the A, B C, F,G, seats and I have the other side. Since she isn’t great at taking orders. I usually did the middle section and my side of the plane. In return, she did most of the pick up, and cabin checks before landing. Today was no different. We had a good routine of it, together.
“Okay, I will go, but next time you must do it yourself.” I say to her as I briskly make my way down the isle. I glance back at her and the expression on her face is priceless, like she is trying to work out, if there will actually be another incedent like this. I can assure her, there will be, there always is.
“Sir, I’m sorry to wake you, Sir.” I have to reach over an older lady who is reading a romance novel to reach him. I tap his arm. “Sir . . .” I stand there waiting for him to wake up, when a young guy two rows behind us calls out to me.”
“Miss can I get a headset? And a blanket?”
“Sure in just a minute.” I say automatically without even looking at him. “Marcia is coming around now to serve the cabin. This flight is full so it will just be a minute.”
“But the flight is only five hours, and we have been up in the air for awhile, and we can watch a movie when landing, and . . .” He keeps going while I wait for 42B to wake up.
“Sir, please wake up.” I tap him again. He jumps up with a fright.
“What are we crashing? We’re crashing, I knew it; I knew I shouldn’t have taken this flight. I’m going to die, we are all going to die.” He yells hysterically and everyone is looking at me for answers, just in perfect synchronization of a good turbulence bump.
Great, I think, just fucking great.
“No Sir calm down please, we are not crashing. Everything is fine.” I tell him as passengers are looking at me with absolute fear in their eyes, and the plane starts bouncing from side to side. The captain puts back on the Fasten Seat Belt sign. “Sir I need to return to the breakfast service, and I am sorry to alarm you, but you have your hand inside your pants.” I point to his left arm, and suppress a giggle.
“George!” The woman next to him yells. “How could you?”
I smile politely at them, and go back to the intercom and announce that everyone should stay in their seats due to some light turbulence and that as soon as we feel it is safe to move around the cabin we will continue our service.
I look over the manifest to see if anyone has any special requests. Looks like the woman in 38H is allergic to mushrooms and wants the vegan meal. The couple in 61 A and B also ordered vegetarian meals, but not vegan, which we call ‘lacto-ovo’, meaning with dairy. I decide to go tell the woman she cannot have this vegan meal, because it has mushrooms in it. I make my way back down to the end of the isle as I am thrust from side to side, and I have to keep my hands on the overhead compartments to keep my balance.
“Hi Miss Dandrift? I am sorry but the vegan meal has mushrooms in it. Are you allergic to dairy or do you just not eat it? She explains that she will just take a regular meal, as long as no mushrooms, and that she read somewhere that if you ordered a vegetarian meal it would be fresher. That was silly, I have been eating airline food for years and all of it was prepared the same way, except First and Business class of course. Honestly, I don’t understand passengers these days, but I suppose if it makes their trips easier, then why not serve a vegetarian meal?
The bouncing around was not letting up today, and that is always bad because then all the passengers are more nervous, which leads to more complaining. Turbulence also made the food service harder, and the clean up harder. I can tell this is going to be a long flight. My mind starts thinking about my decision, and what I am going to do. The truth was I don’t know what I want in my own life, so how could I involve someone else?
Posted by Stephanie Olivieri at 6:16 AM
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Hello!! I had this idea to TWEET my entire novel-Coffee? Tea? or Duty Free? That's insane, it will make no sense, how will it work? Have no idea, but why not? I wrote this book a few years back-it's a comedy-and I got busy and didn't really push it, but I still love it, so this will be a fun & interesting way to get it out there. I created this blog because some people don't Tweet and also it probably won't make a lot of sense on Twitter, so once a week I will recap here-will be part of a chapter or what not, 'til we reach those magical words that all writers have a love and hate relationship with-THE END.
Thanks for following here or on Twitter https://twitter.com/CTODFtheBook
Thanks for following here or on Twitter https://twitter.com/CTODFtheBook
Posted by Stephanie Olivieri at 11:55 AM