I’m on a flight right now on my way back from a trip to see my family, and to ski with them in Park City, Utah. C, my fiancé, got held up back home with work, and as I’d already asked for the time off from my restaurant and not gone a vacation in over a year, I went anyway.
I’m sitting one row behind the first class section, in the aisle seat. I can clearly see a little girl watching Brave on her large personal screen, having just eaten her dinner (lasagna with a caesar salad and a piece of something for desert). I think I like sitting in this seat because it’s the closest I can get right now to actually sitting in first class. The bigger seats, the warm hand towels, the hot rolls they offered to this little girl that she considered before one was placed on her tray, smelling heavenly. And no, I’m not kidding. I think first class is awesome. I live in a time that flying has been stripped back down to its bare minimums, as I stare longingly at their touchscreens and eat my ginger cookie packet. First class is like a window into what flight can be, even on a two hour domestic hop-over.
The first time I flew across the Atlantic (I’ve only done it twice) was two years ago, just before getting engaged to C in Bern, Switzerland (let’s talk about that another time).
We got on the huge airliner set for Amsterdam in midday, and settled in for the long flight. Before I knew it, we were served dinner. I had never been on a flight that served a hot meal, let alone to the cheap seats. My big travels had mostly included cross country car expeditions and stopping at the first Cracker Barrel I saw; or those three lovely trips to Hawaii, and due to it technically being a domestic flight, snacks were therefore deemed sufficient. This dinner on my Amsterdam flight, however, I saw as miraculous. The food just kept coming: I got a green salad with its own little ranch dressing, a roll with butter, a steaming hot cheese and tomato sauce tortellini pasta. There was something else I can’t even remember. And then, a double fudge brownie for desert. I was, literally, over the moon. I slept as long as I could (I dream of those footrests or, be still my heart, lay down beds in first class), and was fully awake and ready for breakfast. C got a kick out of my excitement; I was acting like I’d never seen food before, or as if I was 10 again and it was the Christmas I got a Game Boy Color. It was big time stuff. Breakfast was equally as exciting, with little packages of assorted cheese and jam, a nice piece of bread, a little fruit, and of course a dessert. Because we were headed to Europe, some of the products had packaging in French, as if I couldn’t get more psyched.
So, as I land and that mesh partition hangs between me and the first class: these fancy people drinking their wine in glasses on a plane, this bored little girl sits comfortably enveloped in her big seat, and I sit smiling in mine; I’m hopeful. Excited, even. The more things I get to try, the more times I’ll get to feel the way I did on that cross-world flight to Amsterdam. But knowing myself, I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of the majesty I find in eating hot pasta on a plane.