You know you are married to an airline pilot when... 2017 edition

One of my most popular blog posts is You know you are married to a pilot when... I wrote that nearly four years ago.  Time for a new edition!

You know you are married to a pilot when...

- you only make plans once he gets his schedule. And your plans are likely to change - trip trades, delays, ect.

- you are known for saying, "sorry, I can't make it. My husband has to work."

- You have more aviation pictures than the average person.  They range from pictures in the cockpit, to pictures in the engine cowlings...ah, let's throw a blimp picture in there, too.

- you make a point to go to Maho Beach in St. Marteen, just to see the planes arrive. And then you frame the picture when you get home.

Steve is in the navy shirt, with Ben on his shoulders.
Cici is in the blue tank, nearly covering her ears.

- you have a number of aircraft books lying around.  Chances are high they are military books

- you have a number of model airplanes on your bookshelves

- your child looks at a plane in the sky and yells "hi Daddy"

- you make sure his drink of choice is available upon his return home, so he can take a load off

- your duty day begins at 6:45a and doesn't stop until 9:30p your pilot is gone. He bitches about a 14 hour duty day, and you roll your eyes.

- when you have a business trip to Vegas, of course he joins you

- you look at your husband while taxiing, and he is already sleeping

- you look into the sky often when he is gone, and smile when you see contrails. You think of him.

- you take the kids to dinner on random nights, just because you don't have the energy to cook. And then you send him a selfie.

- he isn't there for the first day of school.  You live...there is always next year.

- he packs the car. Of course, he packs the car.  Pilots are excellent at packing. And if you even try, he will take it all out and pack it again, his way. 

- when entering his domain (hotels), you stand clear and try your hardest to just blend in

- you pray that your sick dog doesn't pass away when he is on a trip, because how do you manage the death of a dog, and the impact on young children, by yourself?

- you have a ton of pictures with your kids wearing pilot hats

- your kid travels international first class (twice) at the age of 8-years-old. I didn't even fly on a plane until I was 15.

- you believe in only one God, unless you are non-reving, and then you pray to all the non-rev gods out there.

- non-rev international travel is just 6 hours away, but loads on your desired flight look full so you go to plan B. Talk about "rolling with it"

- you spent 10 hours in an airport trying to get on a flight. Finally, you get the last one out. You have to connect to get home. Your children think this is totally normal.

- you are thankful that he is back to work after 7 days off...because that means he has to shave. You have grown accustomed to a clean shave. Stubble hurts when you kiss. Plus, he keeps feeling his stubble, and that gets annoying to look at.

- you field phone calls from his parents. They call you because they don't know where he is. 

- you field phone calls from his friends, because they have been trying to get a hold of him for 24 hours and he isn't responding.

- you know he is calling from the crew room because he is talking very quietly.

- you have been known to yell out "don't move my shit, man!" when trying to find something - that he moved. But you can't call him because he is 37,000 feet above the earth. 

- you no longer think of Emilio Estevez and Rob Lowe when you hear the words 'St. Elmo's Fire'

- his activity on Facebook indicates he is awake. Nice to know he hits the internet before calling his beautiful wife to say 'good morning'

- he is due home in one hour. That means you have one hour to get the house back in order and cleaned up. You may have let things go over the last couple of days. 


  1. Hi Joanna,
    I have been reading your blog for the past few months and I find very enjoyable to read and quite accurate. To lend some credibility to my feedback, I retired 18 months ago after flying heavies for Uncle Sam's Air Force for 9 years, then flying with the airlines for 33+ years. I was married that whole time (still am) to same wonderful woman with, eventually, 3 daughters. The only life they all knew was as that of a pilot's family. Thus , I say again, for the benefit of your readers who are just coming into flying part of the airline industry, your posts are not only entertaining and interesting, but are also accurate and give a real sense of the life of an airline pilot and his/her family. From the windshield wipers to packing (I didn't roll, but definitely had a system and employed the KISS principles); from the 20th of the month to returning from a trip (I had the added "luxury" of flying long haul and ultra long haul international trips the last 17 years), you do a great job of describing the good and the bad, the highs and lows of our lifestyle. It definitely has its challenges; but, in looking back over 42 years of flying an airplane, I don't regret the career choice at all, nor does my family. All the best to you and Steve and your kids. Hope you keep the blog going - it allows the old geezers like me to remember, reflect, and reminisce. Keep the blue side up.

  2. I'm so glad you did another version of this! I mentally add the "checkmark" emoji sign one by one as I ran down your list. :) Since we added a child into the picture I can only relate more and more to all of this!

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