Sunday, August 5, 2007

Why Being Afraid of Flying is not the Worst Thing in the World

I watch a lot of television. A lot. But, I tend not to watch television dating shows. I can justify watching Lost and 24 and The West Wing and Boston Legal and The 4400, and, and, well, you get the idea. Smart writing, great actors, witty characters. Fulfilling stories. Suspense. Action. Drama. Things worth putting down the Theodore Roosevelt biography I'm reading or worth changing the channel from MSNBC or CNBC for. In fact, the only dating shows I can ever remember watching were the original Joe Millionaire (which had ratings practically rivaling the Super Bowl if I remember correctly), Average Joe 2 (the house of 516 Walnut Junior year of undergrad got into that one for whatever reason -- Probably because of its star, Larissa) and, of course, MTV's awful Singled Out from when I was in middle school. But, at the time, the Chris Hardwick/Jenny McCarthy hosted show seemed like one of the best shows on television. Shows what I knew.

So, with that said, I have not been watching NBC's summer dating show Age of Love. For those that missed it (and I don't think you're alone if you have), the show features a guy in his 30s "dating" women from one of two groups, women in their twenties and women in their forties. Yeah, sounds great, I know. And NBC wonders why it's stuck in 4th place among the major television networks (and I'm a big NBC guy, so it pains me to write this).

Why am I writing about this show and what does it have to do with the headline to this story you ask (assuming, of course, you've read down this far and weren't turned away by the Singled Out reference)? My parents watch the show (maybe they are the only ones, I'm not sure) and they called me in the room tonight while watching this week's episode. Apparently, one of the twenty-somethings on the show, a college student named Megan, eliminated herself from the show. Why? Because she's afraid of flying and refused to board a plane taking her and some of the other contestants to Australia. My parents, knowing my intense fear of planes, now think they've found the perfect woman for me. And perhaps they're right.

Like Megan, I have a very strong fear of flying. I know it's irrational. I know driving is far more dangerous. I don't care. If I can avoid flying, I do my best to. Amtrak and Greyhound have been used (on trips to Washington D.C. and from Los Angeles to Las Vegas respectively) in the past. I fly when I have to, which basically comes down to when taking a train would take so long, it's impractical. Though, I guess some would say taking a 15-hour train ride to Washington D.C. would qualify as "impractical." I don't count myself in that camp though. I flew to Los Angles in 2005 to go to the Rose Bowl, and I'll fly out to Las Vegas later this month for a family vacation, but, likely until I get married and go on a honeymoon, that's it for me and airplanes. Unless, of course, Megan from Age of Love finds this post, we get married, and take Amtrak somewhere. That works too.

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