Traveling by air is not for the faint of heart. One feels like a sardine or an army recruit on a troop train from New York City to New Orleans in 1942. It is similar to being transported through the Valdez Pipeline with windows. Travelers are held hostage in an enclosed environment breathing the same air that someone from Uzbekistan just expelled. People on airliners are not happy campers. They are a grim lot, resigned to their fate of rapid transit at the cost of nearly every expected creature accouterment.
In my callow youth the high school girls often talked about several possible job opportunities. Among those were secretary, waitress, teaching, nursing and stewardess flight attendant.
It is strange how the American intelligentsia has changed many things over the years and this is one. I am not a world traveler by any stretch of imagination or a member of the jet set. BW and I travel by air one to two times each year and those experiences have caused me to think about how the paradigm of stewardess flight attendants has shifted in my life.
I have traveled to Europe five times with three of those times in 2010 - 12. I have seen stewardesses flight attendants from Austrian Air, KLM, British Air, Aer Lingus and Air Italia. They are all young, attractive, slim, perky, impeccably dressed. They are often in sharp contrast to American flight attendants. Of course the origin of flight attendant in early air travel was to entice more business men to travel so the stewardesses flight attendants were required to be young, beautiful, trim, smiling and dressed in the latest airline fashion. The women's rights movement and discrimination legislation have rendered those requirements to be illegal and despicable. Appearance is one of those things that cannot be used for hiring or continuing employment. It is called discrimination in America.
We flew to Florida last October changing planes in Atlanta going and coming. Most of the flight attendants were middle aged, some more than a little plump, little to no make-up and generally unkempt. It appeared to me that many of the FAs (flight attendants) had their hair done at Ceiling Fans Unlimited or Hurricanes R Us in Alligator Alley or they stepped too close to the jet exhaust before boarding.
Most of the FAs wore almost no make-up and they looked tired. They looked like they had been shot through an orchard and hit every tree. Compared to them Plain Jane would be frolicking down the red carpet with all eyes hot glued on her appearance. I wondered if Earl Scheib could have a new advertisement, "I can paint those faces for only $39.95 and still make money."
One of the FAs had a butt derrière "Dairy Air" so wide that if she were in Rhode Island she would have to step over into Connecticut to turn around. When she came down the aisle she wore the sleeve on my shirt threadbare. Howard Hughes must be spinning like a lathe.
Larry grew up North of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State U. -- four times. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.