Did I make a mistake by talking about a problem before bed last night? Why is my partner seemingly still mad at me right now and giving me the silent treatment? What does science or the experts say about Sleeping on “It” and waiting to resolve a problem versus NOT going to sleep angry… Here we go
PART 1: Background On Our “Problem”: To fly or to drive to an event the next day?
Here’s the scene: Last night I was exhausted from a 2.5-hour flight through the hilly terrain between middle France to the South of France in a single-engine plane without Wi-Fi so that John and I could save 7 hours by not driving. These types of flights tend to make me feel a little bit sleepy and exhausted. You get the plane, fill it up with gas, check the flight routes and download maps onto an real-time pilot app-route, notify the air traffic control people about the route you’re taking to get confirmation of the airport you will arrive to and the type of plane, route, and stops along the way. It is pretty easy compared to waiting in line to check luggage, dealing with TSA, separating liquids, having flight delays due to circumstances beyond your control. But flying with your own private pilot is not always as lux as it might seem. And because I’m sleep deprived and being treated to the silent treatment (more to come on this) I’m going to just go into a description of what flying in a small plane for 2.5 hours is like because I need some self-loathing and can’t sleep while we’re on the road…
For one, there is no air conditioning in the plane. The only air one gets comes from two small holes the size of a coke bottle top that blows air from outside the plane, without cooling it. Did I mention that temperatures were in the high 90s? Second, you are not really high enough to have a pressurized plane, but it still feels a bit of pressure being up in the air – much like an elevator in a skyscraper building can cause the ears to pop. Since you are essentially in the pilot’s seat as a co-pilot, but not high enough above the clouds, depending on the time of day it can get quite hot and a little bit overwhelming to say the least. The turbulence that most major airline pilots will apologize for or warn passenger’s they are about to experience while turning on the seatbelt sign and requesting people stay seated… well, the turbulence of a small jet is more like a roller coaster and makes major airline turbulence seem like a speed bump the size of a pebble. Needless to say, you sort of accept that if the single engine on the plane fails, or if there’s some type of an issue with anything electrical, the transponder, or even something beyond our control at an airport like needing to delay landing…you just sort of know that there’s nothing you can do. If you go down with no emergency landing spot in sight, you will probably die, likely quickly, albeit in a quickly falling or controlled swoop into the terrain where the plane will be crushed or ignite into flames.
This seems dramatic, but I didn’t really think about it until my friend who went to Westpoint and has flown 500 x the amount of flights John has wrote, “Wow, through the hills with no emergency landing spot in sight with bad weather up ahead in a single-engine plane? You must really trust this guy!” Single-engine plane? Wait, there’s such thing as a double-engine plane? You know, I didn’t really think about it…which I guess does indicate I really DO trust John. J
John is a good pilot, though, so I trust him for good reason. When it comes to 2 hours v. 7 hours to get to a destination by plane v. car, of course it makes sense to take the plane. After 6 hours of flying in two days, I was a little over being in a plane.
So I let him know how I felt. Last night we got into a debate about taking the plane v. a car to a fencing tournament he is in today.
My side: Hey! It is only a two-hour drive to the competition and he competes at 1:00 PM as the 6th rider. We have plenty of time to get sleep, pack in the morning, eat breakfast, and hit the road.
His side: If we take the plane, it is only 1 hour and a short taxi from the airport to the event.
My side against his side: Okay, so yeah, if we take the plane, it would have been 1 hour without traffic…assuming everything goes right. Which is usually, btw, not the case when flying a tiny plane. But ASSUMING that everything goes right…AKA the plane is ready to go and not still out from a previous flyer who may be running late, the plane does not need to be filled up with gas, the airport we are landing at allows us to land when we arrive instead of circling in the air because perhaps there’s a group of parachutes jumpers who just jumped off of a plane and if one of them steers the wrong direction would hit us or us, them. These are things that have happened in previous flights. When we land, we must taxi the plane, log the trip, secure the plane, take our things out, and wait for a taxi. Once the taxi arrives, it is usually a 5-10-minute drive to wherever we need to go. Ultimately in this circumstance, we would have shaved off roughly 30 minutes. Oh, wait, I forgot to mention, it is also 15-20 minutes to get to the plane location, which happens to be in the opposite direction of the event location. So we take a car 15 minutes, get the plane out (at LEAST 10 minutes in the fastest circumstance) and take off within five minutes (assuming we get permission to take off and land on time). A lot of assumptions.
His side defends his reasoning: We can schedule the taxi to arrive when we expect to land as per the flight plan I have and it will be ready for us when we land.
My side defending my desire to take the car and not fly again: Why would you spend 30-40 Euro for a car to wait for us to get to the competition and more money on fuel when you have a working car right here and it still takes 15-20 minutes to drive to the airport.
I’m actually writing this with my laptop while on the road. John is driving slowly (and now extra fast) and not smiling saying that next time we will do things his way. I’ll continue in my next post because we’re almost at the event…
We talked about this last night instead of going to bed angry…so why is it that John is now acting angry toward me? I continue to explore this in my next post “Sleep On It or Never Go To Bed Angry Part 2”…