By Charlotte Latvala
As we approach 50, the thought of standing in line for three hours at airport security seems less and less appealing.
At our age, we just don’t have that kind of time to waste.
And yet, life often calls upon us to get on an airplane. Of course, everyone hates it. But you hate it more if you have memories of flying in the 1980s, when airline security consisted of a friendly nod, and you were presented with a hot meal and a pillow no matter how short the flight was.
Here’s how to make the waiting and the actual travel more bearable in middle age.
- Be that zany adult with Pokemon or Disney stickers all over your luggage.
- Bring a cozy piece of home with you. An empty bottle of gin and a bathrobe slung over your arm makes an interesting conversation starter.
- Adopt a new persona, complete with a jaunty hat and an accent you haven’t completely mastered.
- Announce that you are writing a novel, and anyone who gives you $10 “gets to be in it.”
- Sing chestnuts from the turn of the century. Nothing breaks the tension with strangers like a rousing chorus of “Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal.”
- Involve small children in an energetic game of “Duck, Duck, TSA Agent.”
- Carry a cane. Wave it erratically while wheezing and telling kids to get off your lawn.
- On takeoff, perform loud, Lamaze-style breathing. When the airplane has reached a certain altitude, shout, “Now everyone: Push! Push! Push!”
- Mid-flight, stand up and start belting “Defying Gravity” on your way to the restroom.
- Exclaim loudly over the wonders in the air mall magazine. Point each one out to your seatmate and ask “Can you even believe this exists?”
- Make an origami animal out of your airline sickness bag.
- Matter-of-factly ask the flight attendant if she knows how long lice can live on a headrest, and then say, “Well, you may want to disinfect this one before the next flight.”
- Ask for an exotic cocktail, and then act offended when the employees can’t deliver. Threaten to report them in a Yelp review.
- When you exit the airplane, say, “Well, that was nothing like ‘Lost.’ Next time, I’m driving.”