When I Grow Up…
We just got home from a trip to Florida. We flew from Texas to Florida on Southwest Airlines. The plane was packed going and returning home. On both flights we had a flight attendant crew that seemed like they enjoyed their job. The flight home was especially fun to watch the main flight attendant. She was on top of her game and she had a dry sense of humor. Every time she made an announcement, it made me giggle just a bit. As I watched, I had so many flashbacks of when I was little and dreamed of becoming an airline stewardess. When I was young they were called stewardesses. I still struggle to call them flight attendants. It might have been just to wear the fashions they wore back then.
I was always attracted to airplanes. When I was a sophmore in high school I found out that there was a flying club at my high school. I signed up and went to several meetings after school. The man in charge was an older man and he was so nice and kind. I was the only girl and I felt a bit out of place but, I loved each meeting. The plan was that we were going to get to fly an actual plane. It was going to cost quiet a bit to be that involved. Money for such a thing was not in my moms budget at all, so I eventually stopped attending the meeting. I explained to the director and he understood. He gave me a Piper jacket. I loved that jacket and wore it for several years.
I took french in high school simply because I envisioned myself flying to Paris regularly as a stewardess. I figured knowing french would be a plus when I would apply someday. Parlez-vous Francais?
The only thought about how I learned what a stewardess was is that I had a set of paper dolls that were stewardesses when I was young. The clothes were all so classy and pretty. I’m thinking I saw some movies that had airline stewardesses. I was six or seven when I announced to my parents that my dream was to be an airline stewardess. I later found out I had to be 21 to do my dream job. I patiently waited for 21 to arrive. When I was 17, I found out that Braniff Airlines accepted applicants at the age of 18. I was so excited when I read this. So, as soon as I turned 18, I applied. In those days (1977) they mailed an application and you fill it out and send it back. One day, I had a letter arrive from Braniff Airlines. I opened it and inside was an airline ticket and instructions of when to be in Dallas at their headquarters for a preliminary interview. I couldn’t believe it.
I called my uncle that lived in Dallas and asked if he would be able to pick me up at the airport and drive me to the interview. He was excited to do so. I was all set. The day came. I didn’t have a clue what to wear, so, I just wore what I normally wore to church. At this time I loved a certain style of dress by Gunne Sax. They had ruffles and some tied in the back with a bow and was usually made of a small floral print. So, I chose my favorite Gunne Sax dress which was blue with tiny flowers, a bow in the back and puffy sleeves with ruffles. It had a full skirt that was below my knees. I wore mary jane shoes with a heel. This was very 70’s. My mom took me to the airport that morning and I boarded the plane.
A middle aged man was sitting next to me and began asking me questions about myself. He asked me where I was going and I explained that I was going for an interview with Braniff Airlines to be a stewardess. He told me that sounded very impressive and then asked if I liked to fly. I then told him, I had never flown before. He started laughing and I think he laughed most of the way to Dallas. He did wish me luck when we got off the plane.
Since I hadn’t flown before I didn’t know what to think when my ears clogged up. I didn’t know the trick to yawn or hold your nose and blow to pop your ears. My ears hurt and I couldn’t hear hardly anything. When I arrived in Dallas, my Uncle was waiting for me. He drove me straight to the Braniff offices. As I talked with my Uncle, I could hardly hear anything he said. He dropped me off at the office where the interview was to take place. I went in and was told to wait in the waiting room. Several girls were waiting as well. They looked much older than me. I also noticed they were dressed much different than me. I remember seeing they were mostly in straight short dresses with heels. I was beginning to feel very much out of place. I sat there for probably about 30-45 minutes waiting for my name to be called. I was so nervous and I was praying for courage and strength to not be shy or nervous during the interview. After about 15 minutes, I felt in my heart that the Lord was speaking to me, “Beverly, this is not what I have for you.” It was as if all the sudden I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there and I for sure wasn’t supposed to be an airline stewardess. Then my name was called. I went in and the first thing they did was weigh me. I weighed 125. The lady weighing me said that I needed to lose some weight as the chart says I should weigh 123 or less. I all at the sudden felt like a fat country bumpkin from the sticks! Then I was directed into a room with a group of 6 other people. A man at a desk began asking questions and we had to answer when he called on us. I was struggling so bad to hear. I can’t remember the exact questions that were asked except the last one and he asked what my plans would be if I wasn’t chosen to work for Braniff. I said I would be a church secretary or a teacher in a Christian school. I have no idea where that came from, but, evidently I had been thinking about it. I felt everyone turn and look at me with puzzled looks. The funny thing is, I didn’t care as I knew that this was not what I was to be doing anyway. I knew in my heart that the Lord had allowed me to experience all of this so I could see first hand how the process worked. If I wouldn’t have been able to experience that, I probably would have regrets to this day of not going for my dream. I left the interview and got in my uncles car and we headed back to the airport. On the way, my ears popped. My uncle then told me what I was supposed to do when your ears clog on an airplane. A bit late, but I sure was glad they popped. All the way home I kept working on my ears so that would never happen again!
I received a letter from Braniff a couple weeks later that said I was not chosen (shock) and I could apply again at a later date. It didn’t bother me in the least as I knew that I was fortunate enough to get the experience of the interview and I also knew I heard the Lord tell me that this was not what He had for me. I never looked back with any regrets. Although, I did get my weight to 123 and kept that as my goal for a few years.
Now when I fly and watch the flight attendants, I always think how fun it looks from a distance, but I’m thankful for the life that the Lord had for me instead. My mind always goes back to that interview and how out of place I must have looked to everyone in that room and also how out of place I felt.
Since that time I have lived my life to where I seek God’s direction in everything I do. Sometimes I know right away when something isn’t right and sometimes I go through things to learn some important lessons. I always try to share the lessons I’ve learned to possibly help someone else.
Pray about everything and listen…..you will know. Wisdom and discernment are wonderful gifts. Ask the Lord for wisdom each and every day.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Until next time,