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Flying by the Seat of My Pants: Flight Attendant Adventures on a Wing and a Prayer Paperback – May 17, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578566991
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578566990
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marsha Marks is a popular motivational speaker and author whose books include 101 Simple Lessons for Life and If I Ignore It, It Will Go Away…and Other Lies I Thought Were True. Her writing has appeared in publications including Writer’s Digest, Eternity, Moody Monthly, and The Christian Reader. She has appeared on numerous radio and television programs. Marsha makes her home in Savannah, Georgia, with her husband and daughter.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

My First Flight

If you can’t be Miss America and you can’t be a model, then you become a flight attendant.” The flight attendant sitting next to me was explaining why she decided to go for this job.

She was a former Miss Southern Some-Kind-of-Fruit State, she said. And when she didn’t get crowned Miss America, her daddy said, “You need to get away and grieve the loss.” He thought travel would help. So he called up his good friend, the president of our airline, and said, “My little Peaches here needs a job.” She went on and on with the details. “Since I wasn’t ready to marry Mr. Frank Barnell Jeffreys III…quite yet, Daddy said this job was a good one for a girl who was pre-engaged. He said it would keep me busy so Mr. FBJ would not grow tired of me before the wedding.”

I could understand that. I was growing tired of her, and we had only just met. I was also hoping she wouldn’t ask me why I took this job.

“Why did you take this job, honey?” she said, leaning into me as she bit a piece of celery without it touching her lipstick. “I mean”–she pointed the celery at me–“with you being so old and all.” (She was twenty-one. I was thirty.) “And…so big.” She used her celery to draw a huge circle of air around me.

She was five foot two and wore a size 0. I was six feet tall and wore a size 10. My shoe size was double hers. I felt like a Siberian work dog being taunted by a toy poodle. But I was too intimidated to bark at her, so I decided to tell her the truth.

“I’m trying to get over a loss too,” I said.

“Honey, what do you mean? Did you lose your husband?” She held the celery directly under my mouth and moved in closer, like it was a microphone and she was the media.

I grabbed the celery and started speaking into it. “Well yes, you could say that. My fiancé left me for a younger woman.”

Then I told Peaches the story of my life in a few sentences: how after college, I wanted to be a writer but instead became a recruiter for the fast-food division of a dog food company. And how I couldn’t find true love until age twenty-seven. Then I got engaged, and a few months before my wedding, my
fiancé left me for a twenty-two-year-old. But he wasn’t right for me anyway, I realized, and not just because he wasn’t tall enough for me.

I could see Peaches loved the drama of my life. After my speech, she grabbed the microphone and bit it. Then she gave me a warning. “It will be hard for you now, being over thirty. The chances of you ever meeting anyone…well, you know… anyone with teeth, are just, honey, not good!” She stood and walked out of the galley, holding her hand near her hair as if adjusting an invisible crown.

I was left alone to ponder my fate.

She was right and I knew it.

I was doomed.

There was no hope.

I had lost my job, lost my fiancé, and lost my apartment.

Now look at me, a big old work dog in flight attendant clothing.

Customer Reviews

I will sure read the other books Marsha has writen.
Stephanie North
This is a fun, short read, and it reminded me how much flight attendants have to deal with on a daily basis.
Jessica Lux
On top of that, this is a very funny, well written book.
Veronica Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Lux on September 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This was a fun read, a compilation of short, unconnected essays on twenty years of working as a flight attendant. The stories are amusing, but there is something missing to make this book complete as a whole. Pick it up expecting a few minutes of pleasurable reading and laugh-out-loud antics and you won't be disappointed.

One hilarious story was about carrying passengers bags: [p 48] Every day passengers bring bags on board that they are unable to lift into the overhead bins. So they turn to me, and say "Will you life this for me? I don't want to hurt my back." I am tempted to say, "Oh, I _do_ want to hurt my back. Here, let me."

The bag essay continues as Marsha tells the story of the time she took a shoulder bag off an old lady's wheelchair, and it weighed close to 100 pounds. She inquired what was in the bagm and the lady revealed that it was filled with rocks from her daughter's house (near a quarry) that she was carrying home for her garden.

This is a fun, short read, and it reminded me how much flight attendants have to deal with on a daily basis. I'll certainly think twice about taking my irration at an airline out on a flight attendant working in the trenches.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Debra Hamel VINE VOICE on June 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
In the 38 brief chapters of Flying by the Seat of My Pants Marsha Marks collects a series of vignettes connected to life as a flight attendant, the author's day job for more than twenty years. Beginning with the unusual circumstances in which she entered the profession, Marks writes about difficult passengers and ditsy fellow workers, her brushes with law enforcement and the secret service, cellulite and on-board fires--in short, the perks and problems of flying for a living. Most of the stories Marks tells are at least cute, but some are moving ("Meeting Erma Bombeck;" "Little Hannah Gray") or downright hilarious--in particular her tale of reciprocal vomiting in "The Most Embarrassing Thing"--and one is both vomit-inducing and funny at the same time ("The Mistaken Beverage"). In the end, like Erma Bombeck herself, Marks's idol and predecessor in the genre of humorous, homely essays, the author comes across as a very pleasant lady. Her book is a quick, diverting read--perfect, in fact, for taking along on your next flight.

Reviewed by Debra Hamel, author of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By V. Keigley on November 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a young adult, I very much enjoyed this book. It is funny and really puts a smile on your face. You can tell that the author has put a lot into her book and isn't afraid to leave anything out about her experiences! If you are a frequent traveler, have been on an airplane, or considering being a Flight Attendant you must read this book! It was a wonderful read. Highly recommended to all. Enjoy! Thanks for a great book Marsha!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brendan on October 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a cabin crew member myself. I was reading this book while I was passengering (dead heading)and I was laughing so much I had to put it down before the passengers wondered what was going on. It's a great description of the way our life is. Well written and events were well documented. GET THIS BOOK.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donna Hill on March 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought that I was going to be laughing at Marsha Marks' stories, but I was disappointed. These are what I call cringe-worthy stories. Instead of LOL, it's Ewwww! One story towards the end of the book is rather touching. What else can I say? My mom tells me that finding gross stories funny is typical of the younger generation. She said that this is why she can't watch the sitcom Two and a Half Men anymore because they have reverted to bathroom humor. So if you're a young person or an old person who finds the functions of the human body funny, okay, enjoy! The stories were interesting because they were a bit outrageous and it was enjoyable to see what flight attendants go through but not laugh-out-loud funny for me. I did enjoy hearing about Marks' husband who is quite a bit younger than she and one story about shopping with him was smile-worthy.

This isn't a long book by any means--142 pages with wide margins. Not a lot for your money.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Veronica Smith on July 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
The brilliant thing about Marsha Marks is that she bridges the gap between crazy looney born agains and those of us on a spiritual journey.

On top of that, this is a very funny, well written book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tina on July 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Yes, this book is small and it took me very little time to finish it.

But, it was hilarious and loads of fun. The writing was down to earth and a joy to read. Buy this one. It will give you a lift.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Susan M. Morrison on June 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I first heard of Marsha and the above book while listening to WROR here in Boston. I read the book yesterday. It was the best and funniest book I have read in a long time. I was laughing out loud and reading bits to anyone who would listen. (I was in a coffee shop at the time.)

Marsha thank you for writing this book. I will recommend it to everyone I know.

Sue
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Hey, I write books. My goal is to be the Martha Stewart of publishing...without the prison thing, of course.

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Flying by the Seat of My Pants: Flight Attendant Adventures on a Wing and a Prayer
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