Let’s just start out by saying…
Have you ever had someone start explaining something to you by prefacing, “Now, don’t be offended by this, but…?” The fact that the sentence started with the thought that I may be offended tips me off to the likelihood that I probably am going to be offended. This is how the beginning of a conversation started between a friend and colleague of mine. Surprisingly, in this particular case, ultra-sensitive me wasn’t offended. I had needed advice from the perspective of guy-think, and I have to admit, what was shared, was fairly accurate, but while listening to ‘the truth’, the corners of my mouth did pull into a thin line, and at one moment, my brown eyes moistened. It hurt a little. Sometimes truth is not easy to stomach.
This advice shared wasn’t about me needing to be more friendly with passengers, or a reminder to pick-up trash during flight, or “would you please help with closing overhead bins during and after boarding?” The talk was centered around my dating life or the absence of it. I don’t really date “normal” (whatever that means), because one (i.e. me) doesn’t go on “dates” when in Paris for two days, then Portugal for six, then a side-trip to Ljubljana, with a stop-over in Istanbul, and a blip in Germany. Makes me slightly less available to telephone contact. But, in my defense, I’ve been in LA for the past 14 days. SOLID. Now what’s your excuse for not calling?
Maybe you have been wondering if flight attendants are dateable, and what does the relationship world of a flight attendant look like? Here it is, all laid bare. Setting the record straight. Sharing much sought after information, because according to my site stats, dating a flight attendant is a Google hot topic. I’m going to be honest. Brutally and transparently. Obviously, this is only my perspective. Ask someone else, and you will probably receive completely different feedback.
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To dash any preconceived notions, I don’t have a boy in every city, country, or continent. Hinting to the fact that I have a someone in every city, a Swedish fire fighter questioned recently, “You meet a lot of people, don’t you?” I responded with, “You are in a successful band. You tell me how it is.” Of course there are always people that I meet in the places that I go, and many have just so happened to be of the opposite gender, dashingly handsome and delightfully entertaining. But I can tell you, quantity of people met, doesn’t equal quality. The flight attendant life, in some regards, is also lonely. I always have some place to go, but I don’t have someone to go to (Insert sad face here). That does make me sad. My recent trip to Europe brought on numerous comments from friends saying, “OHHHH! I’m so jealous of you and the places that you get to travel.” Well, I’ve made a trade haven’t I? You have the hubby and two kids. The dog and the white picket fence. Granted, I won’t trade your PB&J for my Gushers Candy, but while I have found adventure, you have found love (and this isn’t to say love is not an adventure. It’s obviously just different).
Finding love while in constant travel is muddled and confusing. The travel culture is one defined by Laissez–faire hook-ups; in-the-moment flings of fun. I think that’s how the dating culture is in general. Fun as these rendezvous can be, the problem is that a fling rarely has the force, stand-alone, to ferry two people into the waters of a committed relationship, and conversely, often the physical proximity confuses the development of actual intimacy.
I think when men meet me, it’s the idea that they like. The idea of The Flight Attendant. It’s the male equivalent of a woman’s fascination with a man in uniform. When I was asked by Sweden what his type was, he smiled, teasingly, and accentedly said, “Flight Attendant.” And this bothers me. And it doesn’t. I want to be taken seriously, as in valued, respected, and adored, but I’m also not complaining about my job title. I have created a lifestyle, a blog, and been gifted a small sense of direction, while simultaneously scoring a couple of hot dates out of the navy pencil skirt, white collared shirt, and manicured nails.
I’ll take some of the responsibility when it comes to the first date curse, never seeing cute boy again after the dinner course has been taken away. As much as it would be nice to find ‘my LA guy’, life is governed by statistics and probability, and the fact is, that the possibility of running into my Mr. Right in my neighborhood when I’m always running away, is essentially zero to impossible. Ironically, when I do enjoy Southern California sunshine, I gravitate to foreigners. I don’t know how this happens, but I can’t say I hate it. Last week, when out with friends in Hermosa, Emily witnessed me chatting up a cute, shaggy haired guy. She excitedly said to her main squeeze, “Good for Kara! Maybe he will call her tomorrow.” No Emily. No he won’t. He lives in Argentina.
Yes. Yes of course he would.
My colleague tells me that I would be so difficult to date. Aren’t a lot of girls though? I believe high maintenance must have many definitions, because I’ve never considered myself a high maintenance woman, but I was told that my water dependency, Veganism, and travel fetish, make me much less desirable. Well, I can’t see myself giving up any of those three anytime soon, if ever. So, I’ll embrace my quirks, and continue to believe that somewhere in the world, there’s the guy that wants my high maintenance calibre.
My colleague tells me that my life is too fast paced. That I need to find balance. I like balance. I do struggle with finding a contented center. I am viewed as the girl that no one can keep up with, that I am sabotaging myself, and what man wants to attempt to date someone who resides in the same zip code only on occasion? No one ever really knows if I’ll be in Spain on Monday, Los Angeles on Wednesday, and maybe New York on Friday. It’s practically impossible for a second date when I decline because I am going to Iceland during requested meet-up. The world, although more accessible as a flight attendant, helps only somewhat in any long distant friendship attempts, and Skype is a pathetic substitute for in-person relationship building.
I don’t have a good summary to throw at you, or wise words for a take-away, so I’ll just say this: I don’t have the answer to love, and I haven’t found the secret to balance. A girl just needs a good rant every once and awhile, followed by a nice nap. Two hours of sleep on a red eye flight from Los Angeles to New York last night, just aren’t cuttin’ it.