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This is going to be a short compilation of the kind things people said about me yesterday at work. Most of them were said in front of my crew.  It was a very strange day. 

I guess this was why the Captain bought me lunch. He said "I've never heard so many compliments in my life."

"You made my flights today interesting. I haven't seen an attractive stewardess in forever. I thought the species was extinct. You're like a unicorn!"
- Passenger Brad

"I mean, I was like crushing, and I'm 32 and I don't crush. I bumped my head in my moment of awkwardness."
-Passenger Drew

"You are such a sweet, creative person, and smarter than the average. You really are impressive."
- Passenger Matt 

"You are such a doll!"
-Passenger Elizabeth. 

" I was watchin you as you was walking through the plane.  I was thinking 'gurl, you are so beautiful.' You are."
-Passenger LaTisha

"We could listen to you speak all day long. We love your voice."
- Passengers  Mark and Amy. 

"I don't know how you were able to tell me to turn my phone off and make it sound like fun, but you did."
- Passenger Brady

"You surprised me. Gorgeous, intelligent, articulate, and you seem a bit sassy."
-Passenger Brandon

There were MANY more comments, but I only wrote down the ones from people I got to know by name during the flights.  As I said, it was a very unusual day. 

I'm a WHAT?!

Recently on Facebook I let loose with a little known fact and the promise of a blog story to follow. What was that tidbit again? Oh, yes.

I never wanted to be a flight attendant.

So how did I end up here? How did I end up with a life in the sky, writing stories about adventures and exploring new cities? How did someone with an irrational fear of glass elevators end up serving drinks at 34,000 feet? Let's rewind the clock.

I had a great job. I was an office manager for a close friend of mine. We put together and managed some of the best shindigs in the area from Fiesta Hermosa to Riviera Village Festival, Lobster Fest to the Edelbrock car show. We provided audio and lighting for Frank Sinatra Jr one year in Palm Springs on my birthday. I got back stage passes to practically any stave at NAMM each year. It was an incredible job and the perks were only the icing.

The boss was forever encouraging to his employees, and the employees were a family. I had more 'big brothers' watching out for me than the Brady Bunch. They hugged me. They teased me. They helped me. Their families became my families. I would read the adventures of Hookfoot the Pirate Cat (c) to their children and help with science fair projects. It was our own community. I even made more money at that job than I do now as a flight attendant with over a year on the job. Life at work was harmonic poetry. And as long as I could fly once every couple of years or so, I was ok.

I always had the travel bug. I've been known to pile up a car with a few things and hit the road for several days. Once, I felt the need to get out of town suddenly, so I jumped into my car, put the top down and drove to San Diego before I stopped. Only then did I decide on my destination and think to get a hotel room. That was only two months after I had returned from Paris. The travel big was getting stronger. In September I drove my poor car from Los Angeles to San Francisco after work one day. By the time December rolled around, I was desperate for a new horizon and had become depressed. Somehow my big brother and his family knew. My family in Michigan sent me a plane ticket for my birthday.

I'd never been to Michigan. I couldn't wait to go. There would be two flights for me - the first one from Los Angeles to Detroit, the second from Detroit to Iron Mountain in the upper peninsula. It was on the second flight I met the woman who changed my whole life.

There I sat in the fifth row of a tiny CRJ200 airplane, late at night and alone. I was excited about seeing my brother and his son. I was excited about seeing my adopted family. I was excited about my birthday and the Christmas party the family was taking me to the next day. I needed someone to talk to! There she was, sitting alone in a jump seat up front. I moved from the fifth row to the first row - and moving four rows up changed everything.

We chatted for the short flight. I asked what Iron Mountain was like, but I never asked what her job was like. She asked what I was doing in Iron Mountain. We chatted. We listened bee had a generally fun, short flight. And then she hit me with it.

It wasn't a question. It wasn't even a brick across the face or a Nerf ball. She hit me with a statement I really wasn't expecting.

"You should think about doing this job."

"A flight attendant?"



Sent from Amanda's iPhone

Apple Juice

One day I was doing a beverage service on a crowded plane. Early on, I ran out of ginger ale, apple juice, orange juice and Sprite. I reached the very last row of the plane where a gentleman was rocking out to his iPhone ear buds, really not paying attention. I knew he wanted a drink because his tray table was down.

"Would you like a drink," I asked after I finally got his attention by wiggling my fingers over the seat back in front of him. He jumped.

"Apple juice."

"I'm so sorry, but I'm completely out."

"Apple juice," he repeated.

"It's gone." I held up the can.

"Apple juice," he said again, perplexed. He pointed at the can.

"I'm out." I shook the can to signify it being empty.

Again he pointed. "Yes. Apple juice."

"Its empty."

Finally, giving up on the idea of him understanding or taking his ear phones out to hear me, I completely crushed the can between the palms of my hands and set it down on the cart. I didn't say a word. People around us stared.

"Oh," he said, looking sad. Then he brightened up. "Orange juice."


I've known many people in my short life. Some of them feel the need to lift others up. Others, the desire to stomp them under foot. There are a wide variety of reasons for this behavior characteristic, as any psychologist or FBI profiler will tell you, but what it all comes down to is the human ego. 

I once dated a helicopter rescue swimmer for the US Coast Guard. There were barely more than 300 people in the world with that title when I met him (for the third time - we knew one another as children). He was one of the first rescue personnel on the scene after Katrina hit New Orleans, and he once saved Cindy Crawford's husband from drowning. A pull-up, push-up and surfing enthusiast, his ego ranked up there within the top 10 I ever met. He freely admitted to it. He was one of the egos who enjoyed lifting others up - of making the most out of not just a bad situation, but of any situation. Noodles, wherever you are, your kindness will never be forgotten. You pulled me from a dark and lonely place. 

I once met and secretly dated an A-List celebrity. Not many people know, and only those I trust to never share my secret  ever have a full name to go with this story. He made multiple millions per movie, was worshiped like a god by teens around the world and owned homes in some of the most beautiful places on earth. He could have his pick of women (yet he chose me) and he had a beautiful, if delusional, life. He was a tad bit crazy, and he had an ego, but it never got the better of him. He believed in helping those he knew when he felt they truly deserved it. He lifted others up. He believed in dreams. He believed in himself. And he believed in me. 

I've known one particular man for the past 12 years of my life. While to some degree he struggles with self esteem, he genuinely had a great positive outlook on life and his ego even occasionally needs to be put in check. By himself. But he's not famous. He's not a rescue diver or miracle man or someone others worship. He's a genius. He's ambitious and original. He's funny and kind, smart and talented. And several times he's picked up the pieces of a shattered heart. He has more of a right to an ego than anyone I've yet to meet. The untold amounts of time and attention he has given over the years to people and passions are a powerful testimony to the kind of person he is. 

But egos, for the most part, are bad. People with those egos belittle others, not because it makes them feel better about themselves like the high school bully, but because they genuinely feel as though they are more important than those around them. 

A woman on an airplane once tried to belittle me one day because she could afford nice things, like her pride and joy real Louis Vuitton handbag she didn't want to place on the floor. She said I didn't understand because I'd never be able to afford one being a "sky servant" as I was (her words, not mine). It turned out my watch was worth more than double what her bag was. 

I knew a man who thought he could control me and treat me horrifically because I loved him. His ego got the better of him, thinking I wouldn't be able to resist his charms when he was sober or not angry. Fortunately, my conviction and stubborn streak were more powerful than his charm or ego, and I escaped - barely. 

But the "dream crusher" ego was among the top three egos I ever knew. 

He was no celebrity. 
He was no hero. 
He was no genius.
He was no billionaire. 
He was no charmer. 

He was nothing more than someone who grew obsessed with his OWN dreams and fantasies. He destroyed the dreams and goals of others when he didn't get his way. He was a soul-sucker, yanking the dreams away from people he claimed to care about as he went. He tried to destroy me, and he failed, as so many did before him. 

But his ego brought him back. His ego fed his obsession. Again and again he had to have the last word. Again and again I ignored him. I never replied. 

Obsession kept him returning. 
Ego made him keep going. 
But I'll provide the ending. 

Never, EVER stalk a woman who knows your phone number, criminal background, credit card info, home address and the names of each skeleton in your closet.