ANALYZE THIS: A flight attendant nightmare

The other night I had The Dream, the same one I always have, the never-ending beverage service dream. Only this time I wasn’t just pouring Diet Cokes. This time there was something strange inside the drawer of ice: my crocheted purse. The ice was melting quickly. From time to time I’d check on the purse to make sure it was still there, and also to make sure it wasn’t getting too wet. For some reason I decided not to use the rolling cart. I had parked it at the front of coach and was hand running drinks. I couldn’t get them out fast enough and passengers were yelling at me.

I shared the dream with my mother. She’s also a flight attendant, a flight attendant who truly believes that the purse is key. I agreed. She said, “Even though you had to hand run drinks, the ice drawer is always close to you. Your purse was in there so you could take it with you in case you finally got to the point where you couldn’t take it anymore and had to leave. Steven Slater took two beers. You’re only taking your purse…out the boarding door, not down the slide. You are civilized!”

“I am civilized!” I repeated. Only because it sounded like she may have needed a little extra reassurance. I am, mom, really I am.

Because I knew I couldn’t be the only flight attendant having this dream, I took it to Facebook, just to see what some of my flight attendant friends might say. We are a wise group, you know. Their responses were all over the place.

  • Don’t drink before bed.
  • You have a bun in the oven. Take a test
  • You’re frustrated over being female and you want to be a man.
  • The ice melting is youth & age always moving & leaving. Your purse might show concern for money & keeping it close because your income is threatened. Your purse not getting too wet indicates you have some seniority. The top of purse indicates that you do not think you’re too old for the job. The people yelling at you indicates that you wish you would’ve picked Southwest.
  • You feel the weight of the world on your shoulders while trying to please everyone, but you insist on taking on all your burdens and responsibilities alone, despite the fact that you’re making things more difficult for yourself. The purse represents the inner you. It’s in the drawer, because you’re protecting yourself. By checking on it, you’re self-assessing, making sure you’re okay, despite the external chaos and your own struggle to keep up with the pressures around you.
  • Freud would say you need a vacation
  • You are losing control. When you have your hands on the cart, you are in control. To run them suggests panic as in “run” the drinks. Panic is: too much is coming at you at once, but as long as you have something familiar (like the crocheted purse), you are still ok. It’s on “ice” meaning that it’s not involved and is not the cause of your anxiety. Your purse is like a teddy bear to a kid in this dream. It’s comforting, it’s homey (crochet), and even as you keep checking it, it “seems” ok. In other words, you are worried about that, too. It’s getting slightly wet in the ice drawer, which suggests that you are worried about it changing from a dry purse to a wet and cold one, and it will no longer be your teddy bear…more fear and loss of control.

So…what do you think?



  1. If you google “ice purse airplane” without the quotes, this page is about the only meaningful search result, so it’s possible it’s just you having this dream. I think the key is with each dream how long the bag is in the ice before there’s too much water for you to leave it there. If you’re doing fifteen rows of drinks, then ten, then eight, then I think it’s weirdness worthy of a Stephen King short story (as once you get to one row nothing good can come after that). Put the purse in a ziplock from the checkpoint, use the cart, and get a good nights sleep.

  2. All I know, darlings, is that when I jumped, my handbag was clutched securely at my side. See shatzies, you CAN have it all!

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