You’d think it would be the best job in the world for someone going through a breakup. A flight attendant can stack all of their trips back to back, and pick up their friends’ trips, and pretty much be flying somewhere different every single day. No need to wallow, just travel and get paid. Right?
But what if the flight attendant is going through a breakup with another flight attendant? Working and traveling can turn into a complete nightmare. Even riding the subway home after landing at the airport — oh no, this is the stop we used to take for his apartment — tears, streaming eyeliner, everywhere.
Many people have said to me, “Oh, honey, I don’t shit where I eat.” Which is the most offensive way possible to say ‘dating a coworker is the worst idea I’ve ever heard of, and I will never do it because I’m not as stupid as you are.’ But the people who say that clearly don’t know what they’re missing out on.
Dating a flight attendant, even for anyone with a normal job, can be incredibly fun. Joining them on layovers in interesting cities is just one of the amazing things you can do together. But imagine two people who are in the same industry. In the same position. For the same company. You can literally work or travel anywhere around the world together. You understand each other’s worlds completely. You have enough downtime between serving passengers and changing planes that you can talk (and text via wifi) almost all day about everything going on. It’s like having a best friend, built in, that you get to go anywhere with. A best friend who’s part of your strange airline-industry-universe. They understand literally everything you go through. And you can have the most fun together doing the wildest (or most contentedly boring) things.
And then imagine losing that.
You’re still in this insular community that can feel very harsh or difficult at times, but this time you have no constant ally, no partner to share in all your experiences. And it’s a loss even greater because you know how amazing the job can be when you’re living it together.
A relationship of such depth can’t be minimized by, “oh, honey, I don’t shit where I eat.” When I hear someone say that, I feel like they haven’t even truly lived the flight attendant life. For me, this job was disposable until he came along. And he has changed it all for me, forever.
And now I have to go on, and figure out how to keep living this job they way it calls out to us to be lived. And I have to manage to do it without constantly smearing my eyeliner.