Clearly, she thought some animal had crawled under one of our seats and died there.
One hard swallow away from gagging, she walked the aisle, eyes watering from the incredibly noxious smell she knew was coming from somewhere back in this area over here.
I couldn’t smell anything. I looked around, and no one else appeared as if they were in any particular odorous discomfort.
I watched her move, obviously in great distress, up and down the plane. Her face was killing me! I’ve never seen a face so utterly repulsed, as if she had accidentally eaten a sulphur-flavored lozenge, and then tried to wash away the after-taste with two-day-old toilet water.
She could barely do her job, so great was her distraction.”Put up your own freaking bags, people!” her body language fairly screamed.”
< nostrils flared and trembling > “Turn off all electronic devices and fasten your seat-belts!”
< wide-eyed and fairly frantic > “We are about to depart for Austin, TX.”
< deep, deep sniffing — followed by shoving her face into the crook of her American Airlines blazer > She mouths inaudibly to anyone and everyone on this earth and in heaven, “Can you smell that??”
No. No, we truly can’t. None of us could smell a stinking thing.
Perhaps, in all her frantic sniffing (picture a drug detection dog suffering from ADD) she had pulled every single offending molecule in the rear of the plane directly into her supersonic nasal passages, like some giant olfactory magnetic field.
I tapped the man sitting next to me on the knee, “What do you think she’s going to do when she finds whatever she’s smelling?” And like fourth-graders might do, we ducked low behind our seats and awkwardly stranger-giggled as the tortured flight-attendant whiffed at the air in every direction. And then! THEN!
We heard her behind us first. She was striding down the aisle with a can of air-freshener hoisted high and proud above her head. Barely visible through the fog, she was disinfecting the entire rear of the plane, taking particular care with that area back over there.
I noticed my fellow fourth-grader wiping his red eyes and furiously clawing his collar. I could barely breathe, but I didn’t know if it was from the cloud of rose bouquet-infused chemicals, or that I haven’t laughed that hard in a very long time.
I know this is an unusual segue, but let’s talk Fifty Shades of Grey.
The movie comes out this week-end and it is going to cause a big brouhaha, maybe. Christians, please don’t act like this flight-attendant. Please don’t walk around making such a horrible, horrible face.
Of course I do not plan to watch the movie. Gross. Like horror, I have no desire to have certain images in my head. I am even less inclined to watch a movie where God’s image – displayed in women and men – becomes darker and more hidden, rather than lighter and more revealed.
Of course it grieves me that movies like this blunt our collective American conscience. It frustrates me that this adds another difficult topic to the buffet of conversations I don’t want to have with my teens. But making that face does nothing but enforce the idea that everyone who goes to that movie smells filthy foul to us.
And of course I plan to talk about it with people who don’t think the same as I do. I don’t have to see the movie to talk about it with you (don’t tell me that I do). I’ll want to know your honest thoughts, just like any other movie that you see and I don’t.
Why did you want to see it? What made you think? Who was the hero? Who suffered most, in your opinion? In what way did it feed your brain or your soul? What would you have changed? Why?
And I’ll do my best to ask these things without a hidden agenda. I will make myself open to you, and not closed. I’ll try to hear and understand what you say, and all that you are not able to say, so that you will feel safe enough to keep your face open to me.
If you are a Christian, don’t panic. Relax your face, if you can. Everyone knows we think the movie really, really stinks. Don’t start waving your aerosol bottle high and proud.
We bear God’s image into all the places, too. What is our face saying?
Peace to you, and yours,
Edit: This post was written to adults. I would never in a HUNDRED BILLION YEARS let my teens watch this crap. Parents of middle-school and high-schoolers, please see Todd’s comment below.