I recently flew home to visit my very, very ill mother. I won't hurl all my sadness at you. I save that for Facebook. I boarded the plane from Dallas to Birmingham, and sat down in the biggest, widest, most fat girl friendly seat on the plane. I had just gotten off the phone with my daughter who revealed that my Mama was in the hospital, and things were not looking real good. I put my sunglasses on and commenced to have a soap opera level break down. You know snot, slobber, and that seal barking grief cry that is reserved for break-ups, bad dye jobs, and being too fat to fit in the size you think you are....
Suddenly the male flight attendant came on the intercom, "Those of you seated by the wings must be able to open the cabin door..." That was all I heard. I looked over and realized I was sitting by the door. I got my black ass up. I got my bag from the overhead compartment.I tried to do it all sneaky-snake, but I was totally busted.
I heard a mixture of gasps and a couple of chuckles. I wasn't going for laughs or shocks. I just knew in my heart of hearts that I was soooooo not committed to saving any one of these strangers. I couldn't be responsible for putting my seat tray up when the captain said so. I am not a hero. I'm a self-absorbed comic. I leave the humanitarianism to people in Hollywood who can afford to care about orphaned monkeys, one-eyed Himalayan goats, and children in famine who really need iPhones. I am a walking United Way Drive, and I can't get past self-preservation or protecting my kids enough to become Wesley Snipes or Samuel L. Jackson.
The flight attendant came over to me, after I moved (voluntarily) to the back of the plane.
"In my 26 years of doing this, no one has ever gotten up and moved, " he smiled. He was tickled.
"Look, my Mama is dying. I can't be responsible or deal with anybody else and their death. I don't love any of these people. I can use one of them as a flotation device, but I can't open that damned door."
He and the other attendant laughed out loud. I wasn't trying to make them laugh. I was really just speaking my truth. I really didn't give one good damn if too much perfume lady, old man with the cane, or screaming ass baby died. In all honesty, I wish I could have arranged to push lady with the cat in the cat bag that was making me sneeze out of the plane somewhere over Wal-Mart World Headquarters in Arkansas...just to register my disapproval of muthaflipin cats on PLANES and Wal-Mart. Once again, unchristian, but true.
The flight attendant,so taken with my honesty said, "Can I get you a cocktail?"
I said, "I'm going to see my dying mama."
He said, " Let me get you some vodka."
I thanked him. As I sipped my Bloody Mary somewhere over Mississippi, I regretted my selfishness.
Ok, that regret part is a total lie.