Friday, October 10, 2008

Slam Click

Do you ever feel like you want off the ride?

Flight attendants live in a constant state of flux. From one minute to the next, they're thousands of feet above the Terra Firma, headed for one of many destinations on their short itinerary. But instead of enjoying the ride next to the window seat, they're trooping up and down the aisles, checking overhead compartments, schlepping soft drinks and coffee and bringing blankets to cold passengers.

Theirs is a duty that is often as chaotic as it is thankless, and so it's easy to understand why some attendants close the door and turn the lock after a long, demanding journey. Whether they are in Miami or San Francisco or Paris or Tokyo, chances are there's always an attendant who chooses me time over tourism.

It's called Slam Click (slam the door shut, click the lock), and it's what flight attendants do when they want to watch cable television, play with their face masks and rest in a well made bed.

I don't travel as much as I'd like, but that doesn't mean my life isn't a chaotic trip through time. Lately I've been navigating a whirling whoosh of meetings, obligations, commitments and responsibilities, and so I thought tonight was the perfect occasion for my own slam click evening.

Society is expecting more and more of women these days. We are the ones expected to prepare dinner for our families or significant others. Women are out-volunteering men. We wear multiple hats a day (logistics expert, chauffeur, chef, maid, nurse, day care provider, relationship therapist, social chair, interior designer, landscape architect and courier, to name a few) whether they are married or not, blessed with children or not.

I happen to swim in a busy circle of volunteers - some of whom struggle with the hamster wheel. Some of my counterparts consistently offer the excuse, "Sorry, I'm so so busy," when explaining away a missed meeting or a failure to follow up on commitment.

That's when other women roll their eyes, astonished that someone else had the gall to offer busy-ness as an excuse. The fact of the matter is, we're all busy, and some women just happen to handle it better, and the rest of us just grin and bear it.

Call it Multi-tasking On Steroids.

I don't like to offer excuses, but the chaos can get to me, too. That's why I slam click from time to time, like tonight. I'm in on a Friday night, enjoying a couple of bottles of beer and the occasional napping between ABC's prime time programming. Low key, quality me time to help me detox from the week's stresses.

I'm not flying the friendly skies, but I still need to catch up with the jet lag of my life.

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