Category Archives: My Imaginary Boyfriend Benedict Cumberbatch

How a Fictional Pilot Taught Me to Feel Better About Myself

This is an essay I wrote a while back, but since I couldn’t figure out what to do with it, I’ve decided to publish it here.  Enjoy!

If you ask me what I do, I’ll tell you that I’m an opera singer, but actually, I’m an office receptionist who spends a disproportionate part of her pitiful income on voice lessons, opera scores, accompanist fees, and transportation to and from rehearsals for local, community-produced opera companies.

Some of the drives to rehearsals are over an hour long (If you want to sing badly enough, you’re willing to expand the definition of “local”), so I’m always looking for something new to listen to in the car.  I recently happened upon a wonderfully silly little radio sitcom from the BBC called Cabin Pressure*, which I got from iTunes with the last few bucks I had left over after squandering the rest of my paycheck on all that singer stuff.  But downloading the show was cheaper  and way more enjoyable than sitting in a therapist’s office talking about my Feelings, and it seems to have yielded the same result.

It’s a comedy about the shenanigans of MJN Airways, its two pilots, owner, and only flight attendant; an underdog story that manages to get its listeners rooting hard for the endearingly pathetic losers that are its characters.  MJN is always, as its owner Carolyn says, at the brink of bankruptcy.  The flight attendant, Arthur, is an unwaveringly optimistic moron whose cheeriness falters only in the presence of his unloving father.  The usually swaggering first officer is heartbroken when his wife has an affair.

But it was the plight of Captain Martin that changed the way I see myself. Continue reading