The first time I ever flew on an airplane, I was 6 years old.
I flew British Airways from NYC to London and Lufthansa from London to Stuttgart.
For many years my mother went to Germany for about 6 weeks, every year, to see Oma and Opa, and she always took one of us kids with her. It was a special time to be with her alone like that…and all of my sibs got to do this too.
Anyway…so I’m 6. My brothers (older than me, of course) convinced me before we left home, that if I flushed the toilet, I would get sucked down and fall out of the plane.
About half way across the Atlantic, I was in tears, my belly hurt so bad. Well gee, wonder why? I wouldn’t “go”. I finally blubbered to my mom that using the toilet would mean I would surely die.
Oh boy, was she mad. At my brothers for filling my head with nonsense, and at me for being a cry baby a mile high in the air. I don’t think throwing up cherry tomatoes (from our earlier in-flight meal) in her lap helped things much.
When we landed in London, before we changed flights, a pretty stewardess gave me a Junior Jet Club pin. My face was tear streaked and my belly hurt, but I clutched that pin in my chubby little hands like it was a treasure. I’d say I earned them the hard way.
I still have that pin tucked away in my jewelry box, 44 years later.
I still don’t like to fly.