When breathing ‘normally’ isn’t an option

20150818_075455 1When you’re on a plane, check that, when you’re in a plane, and they are doing the pre-flight safety demonstrations, talking about using the oxygen masks that drop down in the event of an emergency, and they instruct you to breathe normally, I immediately think of the alternative to that.

I would suggest hyperventilating or holding your breath for long stretches is not what they had in mind. But what really constitutes “breathing normally,” anyway? If you have a deviated septum, for instance, breathing normally would be drawing the good majority of your breaths through your mouth. That would not be the case for someone without such a condition. They would most likely be inclined to breathe through their noses.

Breathing normally is thus all relative. When we get excited we can sometimes breathe more rapidly, like we’re having arrhythmias. Other times, like when we’re really sleepy or fatigued, breathing can slow down to a more calm, slower and soothing rate. The thing is, the airline flight attendants need more detailed, specific language regarding their breathing dictate.

20150714_104751One size most definitely does not fit all. However, the instructions for breathing when faced with the drop down oxygen masks should not be so detailed as to be gender specific. A more holistic and unisex approach would be most appropriate in my (albeit twisted, distorted) view, not to mention the most efficient, given the limited amount of time for these preflight safety instructions.

At the crux of all this is one’s definition of normal. Depending on the source consulted, and generally-speaking (which covers the most ground), normal means “according to society.” For someone who marches to the beat of their own drummer, so to speak, I find this “majority of cases” definition rather loathsome. I am not a lemming. Society is not entirely “with” its merits. Why not instruct, “We recommend you breathe as normally as you can when the drop down oxygen masks drop down.”

While this does not entirely satisfy my need for more specific verbiage, it does provide less uncertainty with respect to what is normal. So, basically, this is good. But, as surely as is the case with tire sales, there must be choices of “good,” “better,” and “best” scenarios when it comes to breathing normally.

Some of you are probably thinking the time spent reading this thus far has been a complete waste of time and devoid of any real value. I would suggest anyone who has plopped down in front of the television to watch the Republican presidential debates has chosen to waste far more time that they can’t have back than anyone who has read this (and will continue to do so, until the end).

At the end of the day, there really is no normal when it comes to anything. Take this from someone who’s been told more than once in their lives by various people, “What is wrong with you?” And, “Why can’t you just act normal for once?” I guess I wear the badge of “abnormal” proudly. For I do not consider breathing, or for that matter, acting, normally, something that people should be proud of.

20150920_132242 1After all, it’s not like they give out awards for being normal. “Frank was just voted most normal student in his class for the 13th year running.” Good for Frank! I think? Being normal implies a lack of critical thinking. Because to do as all the rest do is really pretty boring and does nothing to further the species.

Refuse to be assimilated, I say. Question authority and airlines who would have you breathing normally after drop down oxygen air masks drop down. I just closed the window covering to the window. That is normal if the sun is shining through on your computer screen while you try to write on the plane. But, I just opened the window covering up again and think I see what looks to be a creature staring and waving at me from atop the wing of the plane. I think these kinds of things can happen to passengers that are stupid, ignore instructions to get “in” the plane and then think they’re alright being “on” the plane.

I’m also thinking now would be a good time for the drop down oxygen mask to drop down. I am most definitely not breathing normally.


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