Airline Trepidations

Well my mother is celebrating her birthday this coming weekend and to join the festivities the hubby and I are headed down to Washington, DC this Saturday.  Hopefully we’ll be there as they coast out of this blistering heat wave of 100 plus degree weather.  Even if they don’t I’ve been rocking some awesome summer fashion with a short peachy-colored stretch-top sundress and some great shorts with short sleeve and even sleeve-LESS shirts.  (Can I just say how much I LOVE Lane Bryant’s polo-shirt collection this year?  And the fact that I’ve been able to afford to buy some of them??! Having two jobs does have some perks here and there!)

The part of the trip that I am not anticipating with any amount of glee, aside from basting in my own juices anytime I dare set foot outside (like to visit the National Zoo on Tuesday which I can’t wait to do!  Otters!!!  Asian Small-clawed OTTERS!)  *ahem* anyways the un-enviable portion of this trip is going to be the lovely flight from Boston down to DC’s Reagan airport.

Now I LOVE to travel.  It isn’t just getting to a fabulous destination for me either.  I am a glutton for the entire process.  The thoughtful preparation of baggage to provide the optimal balance between preparation and baggage weight for carrying. The fast-paced way I have to process information on all those airport screens to make sure we’re hot-footing it along the correct path towards our next “stand in line to get to the next section where you get to wait”.  The arrival at the end point and the reversal of the first process: unpacking into a new local and preparing to greet whatever new adventures await (Will there be a trip through a new subway to a heretofore never explored area of town? Will there be a new decoration at mom’s house to gawk at and fun stories to hear?)

The only thing about which I’ve become at all trepidatious is the ever growing discomfort that airlines seem to feel obliged to bestow upon increasingly larger numbers of  human bodies.  That is to say, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve begun to have dreams that I am in the airplane with a tape measure, trying to measure the seat-pan to ensure I’ll be able to fit with the armrest lowered so I won’t have to buy another ticket that we can’t afford since we’re only able to fly at all thanks to a gift card we had won in the first place and what if I DO have to keep the armrest up so I’m not squished, my hubby will be right there so will that be okay or will I be shamed off the plane and …. then I think the dream changed into something about monkeys.  Possibly otters.  Something fluffy and brown.

At any rate my point is that despite all the many strides I make in accepting my own body and loving it and learning to, within my own budget at any rate, dress it in fashionable ways; I still fear, at some deep level which sometimes even manages to rise pretty near the surface, the panic-induced moments when the world around me tries to tell me I don’t fit in and do not belong.

The interesting thing is that I don’t know why I’m letting all of the recent measures airlines have been adopting of late to further stigmatize larger patrons get to me.  It is entirely possible that not only will my flight be without issue; but that the worst part of the trip will be trying to avoid getting self-basting gravy stains under my breasts while walking in the summer heat and nothing at all to do with the airlines, their planes, their seats, or their inane policies.

So for now I need to weigh my potential fears against what I DO know.  I’ll be riding in a plane at the largest size in my life.  While planes are never comfortable I have never to this point had any troubles fitting in the seats or getting through any of the flaming hoops that security and the airline personal expect you to jump in order to gain the privilege of having spent so much money (even if it is via a gift card) to be stuffed in their flying tin can and thrown through the air to your destination; where you will arrive parched, hungry, cramped yet pressure-sealed for vapor freshness.

So I may have a tale or two about the experience of flying as a around 300lb woman later next week.  For now I’m just working on tamping down those trepidations and trying to focus on the fun I usually have at planning trips.  Even though it may be faster, I’m thinking that all this mind-mangling anxiety is just another great reason that Adam D and I might next venture to take the train down instead.

How do you deal with flying?  Do you anticipate or dread coming travels?

I’d also like to focus for a moment on where in the heck I might obtain a wire-free halter, strapless or racer-back bra. Anyone???

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9 thoughts on “Airline Trepidations

  1. I’ve picked up a few racerback-style sports bras at Wal-Mart. They don’t always have them, but they do sometimes exist. Sometimes they’re on hangers, sometimes they’re packed into little bags. (Usually hangers. I’ve only once found my large-ish size in a bag.) Check it out.

  2. I’ve never commented on this blog before, and as someone who hates the “getting there” part of travel (although I love the “planning” and “being there” parts!), I don’t know if I can offer any real advice.

    I just had to comment as an otter-lover who lives in the DC area. I was at the zoo a few weeks ago and took several pictures of the Asian otters, and even had one as my Facebook picture for a while. Be warned, though, that although the otters alone are worth the price of admission (heh), half the zoo is under some kind of renovation, reconstruction, etc. etc. etc. and many other exhibits are closed (including the regular ol’ river otters). Just FYI. And I too hope for all our sakes that the heat wave is over by Saturday.

    • Emily thanks both for reading and first-time commenting; especially with a heads-up about all those renovations. Strange that such things are never mentioned on the vast online presence that the zoo presents! 😉 And I wish I could send cool thoughts your way but it isn’t much better up here in Boston area! Good luck this week…

  3. Hope you find a wire free bra. My underwire somehow necessitated a full pat down, including my crotch area. I requested privacy, then had to wait while a partition was repositioned to close off the area. I was very upset – how many men walk through with trouser zippers? The machine should be calibrated for underwire bras as well.

    On the return trip, I was also subjected to a full pat down since my skirt looked “bulky”. Again I noted that several other passengers were fat, why me? A supervisor was called and sometime during my ordeal, a pastry was stolen from my carry on. (this is possibly a scam to lift inexpensive items, but who knows?)

    I have traveled the world and never before had a pat down. I wondered if there was an alert on old fat white women. Two complaints were lodged at tsa.gov, but I never received an answer about the underwire issue. Or the theft issue.

    I don’t mean to exacerbate your stress, really LOL. But in light of my experiences, I would travel next time in a wire free bra (or even bra-less) and tight exercise shorts.

  4. Karen thanks for sharing your experiences! I have been reading up a lot on other seemingly odd pat-down requests and already know that is something I may have to suffer through. However I learned in one of my last trips a few years ago that I will never again wear an underwire. Because seriously; people can still get into planes with all manner of not-allowed items but my underwire will still require a pat-down?? Plus I just hate underwires so I will be sporting my nice and soft wire-free underthings. Only trouble is that I’m not having any luck finding wire-free bras with alternate strap styles to wear with my sleeveless shirts…

  5. Hey, try http://www.decentexposures.com. they have wonderful custom size bras, and once they get your stuff right they keep it on file forever so you can just call up and order more. For the large-busted, I recommend the 2 inch elastic under the breasts and the double layer of breathable fabric in the front for extra support. also the extra wide center looper to avoid the dreaded uniboob. Also get the side pleats sewn in to prevent side ooze. They can do racerback, etc, and their customer service is excellent and very helpful. I love mine and they last forever, and are my go-to bra for underwireless and travel comfort. I am really tall, (6’1″) and so even need longer shoulder straps. I only had to send the bra back once to have them remake it and then it was perfect. This doesn’t come in time for this trip, perhaps, but they are great bras for everyday, anyway, and future trips. You otter check them out. (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

  6. Pingback: Crap self esteem? Fuck that! « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

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