I got married at the ripe old age of nineteen. I couldn’t drink or rent a car. I could barely vote. I went from living at home to living in a dorm to living with a boy. I had never had a full-time job. I didn’t even have a checking account.
I don’t know what kind of crack our parents were smoking when they said we could get married, but it must have been the good stuff.
There ARE advantages to getting married at a young age but there are also disadvantages- immaturity, arguments over whether or not a certain person will hang a certain Steven Curtis Chapman poster in a certain living room (hypothetically, of course), and loss of life experiences.
Like flying on a plane alone.
I’ve flown many times with family and with friends but I have never needed to take a trip alone. This fact hit me as I was packing for the Storyline Conference this past February, and I realized that I was like a little baby deer, wobbling and stumbling to get my little flying legs. I will go ahead and admit that as I was going to the airport, I was nervous, not about leaving my babies for a few days or missing my love, but about getting on the wrong plane and ending up in Yemen. No offense to Yemen.
Wes was reassuring, he told me multiple times to just walk to the counter and tell them that I need to check luggage. Let me reiterate that Wes said to walk to the counter and tell them I need to check luggage. That is what Wes, the man I trust and have pledged my life to, said. So I got out of the car and baby deer walked into the airport, right up the counter, smiled brightly and said “I just need to check my luggage!” just like a grown up.
“Uh…we just sell pretzels here, ma’am”
Right. Well, carry on good sir! I slunk back to the actual line of people, where I surreptitiously checked luggage tags for any mention of Yemen, and finally got my luggage checked. I made it onto the plane and to my destination. Check “fly alone with no international mishaps” off the list.
But there was more to come. There was the flight home.
Now, it helps if you know a few things about me- I have some *slightly* irrational fears. I am afraid of heights. I am afraid of drowning. I am afraid of sharks. And I now know that I am terrified of turbulence.
On the flight home, I sat in the window seat, next to a young guy who looked like he was on some sort of a business trip. I pulled out my copy of Bob Goff’s book, “Love Does” that I had gotten at the conference, and began to read. About halfway into the flight, the flight attendant came on the speaker and spoke Yemish…or something. In hind site, I think she was saying we were about to hit some turbulence, but since airlines are not really known for their superior technology, it was difficult to understand. A few seconds later, the plane began to rumba in mid-air. I did that anxious I’m trusting Jesus but seriously this needs to stop smile at my seat mate, who must have been used to this, because he barely glanced up and continued to read his super important graphs and charts. Then it got worse- the plane dipped down sharply and this is where I might have crossed a tiny flying etiquette line…
I grabbed his hand.
I mean, it was just sitting there, doing nothing, acting all casual like oh whatever, I am not scared to plummet to my death, I am a super important hand attached to this businessy guy and we’re just flying coach to be ironic or whatever. Business Man looks at me, looks down at our intertwined hands, looks back at me and says “Uh…you a little scared?”
NO CAPTAIN OBVIOUS, I’M NOT SCARED AT ALL, I JUST HAVE FOUND YOU AMAZINGLY ATTRACTIVE THIS ENTIRE FLIGHT AND NOW I MUST HAVE YOU. I LIKED IT AND NOW I WILL PUT A RING ON IT.
You are a big fat liar if you tell me that you’ve never imagined what you might say or do if your plane was crashing. In that moment, I had a few thoughts…this is it…I knew I should have bought that Cinnabon at the airport…now my last meal is gonna be these stupid peanuts…what if we crash in the ocean…surely a plane crash would scare off any sharks…why did I watch that documentary on man-eating squid…great, the headline will read mother of three is eaten by the Kracken…I’m not going down without a fight, I swear I will punch that Kracken right in it’s big stupid face…wait, we are flying over Texas, not the ocean…but what if it’s a lake…I mean, I KNOW there’s no sharks in lakes…but maybe there are fresh water Krackens…oh my word Brandy FOCUS…Abba, please don’t let this plane crash…I mean, I love you and I want to see you but also there’s a lot I still want to do…I haven’t even been to the Harry Potter park yet…and I am not ever flying again…unless it’s to GO to the Harry Potter park…
At this point, I decide that if I am to die in a fiery Kracken/shark death, I want to be distracted, so I (with one hand, because the other is still death gripping Business Man’s hand, who at this point is probably really regretting not shelling out the dough for first class) open up my copy of Love Does and continue to read.
And then I get to chapter ten. I won’t spoil the book for you, but just trust me on this- GO READ THIS BOOK. Seriously, go do it now, I’ll wait….
Chapter Ten brings a flood of tears, not the pretty girly cute baby in a commercial crying, but the ugly this dog will die today because I didn’t listen to Sarah McLachlan crying. So here I am, with one hand on my book and the other holding tightly to my reluctant seat mate, with tears streaming down my face and I AM JUST HAVING ALL THE FEELINGS. Business Man looks alarmed and asks “Uh. Seriously. Are you ok?”
Me- (choking)-“Yes…I just…I mean…I can’t…and…”
Business Man- (looking around for the flight attendant or perhaps an air marshall)- “Listen, I think I have some Valium or something in my bag, if you can just let go-”
Me- “I don’t need medication!!”
Business Man (muttering)- “Yeah, I think you do”
The flight attendant finally notices that there is a slight problem and comes over to our seats. She tries to reassure me that we are in no danger and that this is just bad turbulence. I cannot explain through my tears that I am not crying out of fear, I am crying because this book is just so beautiful and yeah, maybe crying a little because of the Kracken. I bought two copies of the book, so I finally just handed her my other copy and told her to just read it.
We landed in San Antonio on our layover to Dallas. Business Man inexplicably changed seats. Rude.
I guess some people just don’t understand that Love Does.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter @brandyb77