Making the realization that I had to make significant changes in my life came at the most inopportune time. In the middle of June, my brother Abe got married to his fiancé Amanda in Las Vegas. Having missed most of the important moments of Abe’s life, I decided to take some time off of work and fly to Las Vegas for his wedding. I was really looking forward to the whole thing, especially being able to get to spend time with the family and being a part of Abe’s big day. When the time came, I packed my things and headed to the airport.
There were about 10 more minutes before take-off by the time I got on the plane and found my seat. I put my carry on in the baggage compartment and sat down next to the window. I grabbed for the buckle end of the seatbelt and pulled it toward the other end. My heart sunk as my first, second, and third attempts to buckle my seatbelt were unsuccessful. I looked down and there were two or three inches separating the two ends. I could feel my face flush with red. I tried a fourth, fifth, and sixth time stubbornly thinking I could make this work.
The two passengers next to me were already seated and buckled in. I looked around for a flight attendant and nothing. I just sat there for a long moment and was the most embarrassed I have ever been in my entire life. What happened to me? How did things get so bad that I am now sitting here unable to buckle my seatbelt minutes before the plane was going to taxi. What could I do? This never happened to me before.
My mind raced to find an answer. The only solution was to ask for a seat belt extension. I never had seen one before, with the exception of the pre-flight safety demonstration. I had never even seen someone use an extension before. What if they didn’t have one? What kind of looks would I get? I shook my head, still flush and red, and pushed the attendant call button above me. I tried to wait as patiently as I could; looking at the seat in front of me, completely numb. A few moments later, the flight attendant came, and before he could say something – I looked up and said as quietly and as calmly as possible “Um, I need an extension for my seat belt.” I have to give the flight attendant credit, he didn’t make a scene, he didn’t look at me with judgmental eyes, he didn’t chuckle. He nodded and walked down the aisle. He came back with an extension and handed it to me and walked away as if nothing happened. I put the extension on, finally buckled my seat belt and sat back for the first time in 10 minutes. As I say in my “About Proprietor” section – I was mortified. The whole flight I sat there, shaking my head both figuratively and literally.
Something had to be done about my health – and fast.