By Delaney Leiter
Freshman Caroline O’Kane did not let her fears stop her from heading to London (Courtesy of Caroline O’Kane).
It was almost spring break, and Caroline O’Kane, FCRH ‘20, couldn’t wait to escape the cold weather in the Bronx. O’Kane and her family decided to embark on a getaway to London, England, where they would spend the week exploring and relaxing. But, as O’Kane began packing in her Alumni Court South dorm room, there was one special article of clothing that had seemingly disappeared: her flying pants.
Though O’Kane resides in Westport, Connecticut, her family has always enjoyed the luxury of travel. Developing a fear of flying at a young age, O’Kane decided to buy a special pair of pants in the third grade. The black, high-waisted, ruffled stretch pants became her staple item for flying.
After spending hours upon hours tearing apart her dorm room, along with making countless phone calls to her family in Westport, O’Kane couldn’t seem to find her special pants. Her trip to London was only days away, and she could not seem to fathom the idea of being in the air without them. Rushing to her floormates and friends for help in her search, O’Kane explained how she had worn the pants every time she had flown since making the purchase in the third grade. Good thing the pants were stretch pants.
Her trip to London was suddenly only hours away, and O’Kane’s stress over taking flight wearing a different pair of pants was unbearable. “Without my flying pants, I truly believed that the flight would crash and that I would be led to an inevitable death,” said O’Kane. Before long, almost half of the girls on the second floor of Alumni Court South were aiding O’Kane in her search.
Actually, O’Kane’s flying pants were not her only airborne ritual. “I have to listen to ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by the Black Eyed Peas, read the airplane’s safety manual, wear at least one pink article of clothing, and clap when the plane lands,” said O’Kane.
When the morning of her flight arrived, and she was still without her beloved pants, O’Kane had no choice but to board the airplane in her everyday pair of jeans; she found herself forced to rely solely on her other flying rituals. O’Kane made sure to send a text message to each of her closest friends before taking off, informing them of what she believed to be a doomed fate.
Seven and a half hours later, a miracle had occurred for O’Kane; she had safely landed in London. With her family by her side, O’Kane sat back in her leather seat in disbelief, astounded at what she had just accomplished. She put her hands together, clapping for the flight’s landing, and looked down at her jean-covered legs.