It turns out over half of people experience heightened emotions while flying. It makes sense if you think about it. Most of the time you're exhausted and had a hectic day getting ready for your flight, or maybe you've just left a loved one. Maybe you're moving away from home. And like Louis C.K. says, you have no phone or internet to distract you from those emotions. Then BAM! Miss Congeniality comes on your tiny screen and you have a breakdown.
The comments at the bottom of the article are almost as good as the article itself. Take this guy: "I once wept during 'Spanglish' on a red eye from LAX. That and the birth of my daughter are the only times I've cried in public. It was damn odd."
Still some people have absolutely no idea why anyone would ever cry on a plane. I read the article to Adam and I choked up just reading about crying. He thought I was ridiculous and he didn't get it at all. He says he's never seen me cry on a plane. That's the thing, everyone hides it. 41% of men say they've buried themselves in blankets to hide themselves from other passengers! Some people run to the bathroom to pull themselves together. I don't feel so weird anymore.
Often when we leave Kinshasa at the end of the school year, we're on the same flight as folks who are leaving Congo forever. I've watched them the week before, during their goodbyes, be stoic and uncaring about their departure. Then when they get on that plane, they fall to pieces. Before takeoff. Before alcohol. Just sitting there in the quiet is what finally gets you.
A few years ago I was flying back from Nairobi with a group of high-schoolers. Seabiscuit was on. (You can see where this story is going.) I totally lost it. Granted, I was pregnant. But I just couldn't hold back my tears when that damn horse won. Then the girls started to notice. "Mrs. Sensamaust? Are you okay? Mrs. Sensamaust why are you crying?"
Just utter the word "cry" and an entire plane of teenagers will turn around in their seats to squawk and gawk at their emotionally unstable teacher. "No, no. Nothing to see here. The air's just really dry on this plane. Oh look. Isn't that the seat belt sign? Better turn back around." I don't even think I had my headphones on. Just watching that horse and Tobey Maguire in their glory was enough to get me.
|Darn you, Seabiscuit. Leave me and my fragile emotions alone!|
I know all this sounds crazy. But if you still don't believe me, ask Jill what happened to her the last time she was on a plane and We Bought a Zoo came on. Or better yet, ask her completely confused husband.