Why Everyone Needs a Life Slide Like Steven Slater!


The recent news story of JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater who cursed out an unruly passenger, gave a profanity-sprinkled speech on intercom, and then exited stage left, beer in hand, via the emergency slide, has everyone talking.

Part heroism or part jerk-ism, depending on your take, Mr. Slater, through his controversial ride to freedom has caused me to add another project to my to-do-list.

I WANT A SLIDE!

I want a slide that sits on the side of my house and is accessed immediately by the pull of a lever.  Yep, this stay-at-home-mother of three lovelies needs to know that when the children and their toys cop a major attitude, I can open my refrigerator, grab two 6-fluid ounces of apple juice boxes and take a ride down the slide while declaring on a plastic microphone, “I HAVE HAD IT!”

Of course my slide would be spiral-shaped and lead directly back into my front door at which time the children would say, “Feel, better Mom?” Still, for that brief moment in time, I will feel like Wonder Woman with 3-inch wide cuff bracelets on each wrist saving my life from the threatening darts of insanity. This brief recess from the everyday demands of parenthood is brought to you by “Slater Slides.”

Okay, recess is over.  Whether we side with the flight attendant or the passenger, most of us will never experience an exit of this magnitude. There is no intercom in our lives, no seated audience listening to our rant, and certainly no magic lever to deploy a chute.   Truth is, however, the idea of an escape from life’s flammable situations is not a bad one.

The story of Slater’s slide has me asking, “How do I escape when life hits me over the head, unexpectedly?”  I write. I write everything off. The joy and release of putting pen to paper puts me on my slide. Yippee! It’s my immediate travel toward a safe-landing getaway, one word at a time.  When life throws its tantrums like sudden unemployment, or the diagnosis of an incurable disorder, or a forgotten homework assignment eaten by her book bag which is now throwing it up with a due date of tomorrow, (inhale) I reach for a pen, (exhale.)

Sanity at all costs, right?

I have a diverse group of friends who “slide” as differently as any toddler on a playground. I watch them escape through the inviting sounds of music and the same feet that were stomping in anger and frustration, now assume a free-spirited pat. Feeling lifted, these friends often press rewind, and return to their frantic lives

Then, there are those whose itinerary calls for a layover at a smoothie shop. Somewhere in between brain-freezing sips comes the warmth of a conversation among friends who will let you talk it out, cry it out, and laugh it out, no matter how many refills it takes.

Visualize the act of sliding. It’s a smooth, uninterrupted flow that moves you from one place to the next, with guardrails to protect your transition. In fact, it could be the most important move you make today.

So how do you slide? And when do you know when it’s time to slide? Send over the ways you escape when life gets a bit too much!

Sarena James, 35, is a wife and stay-at-home mother of three who enjoys theater and writing. She and her family reside in Charleston, SC where they frequent historic tours and relax beachside. Originally from Aurora, CO, Sarena is a graduate of Paine College in Augusta, Ga.