Are You A Virgin For Life? I am.


I am sitting at the gate waiting for my Virgin Atlantic flight to London. A gate I’ve sat at many times before.

I’ve been playing my favorite game – Spot The Brit. It isn’t difficult. A certain facial type, clothing, accessories give it away long before I hear the unmistakeable accents.

I remember taking the boys to London on Virgin by myself when they were six. I had waited a long time to do that, waiting until I felt we could all stand it but now I wonder what on earth was I thinking taking two 6 year-old boys on an 11 hour flight (and the rest) by myself.

Of course I’d got prepared.

I’d read about keeping them entertained and one article suggested getting small, new toys and to bring one out every hour.

That’s a lot of small toys for two boys on an eleven-hour flight.

I’d bought little backpacks and filled them with coloring books, new crayons, puzzle books and a snacky treat. I’d bought Pull-ups (I couldn’t risk an accident on a plane –eek!) their favorite sippy cups and bedtime milk. We’d bought Leapfrogs and enough cartridges for the entire flight.

I didn’t need any of it.

The moment they got on board, they were investigating all the buttons. The reading light, the call light, the chair adjustment (much to the annoyance of the person behind.)

Then it was the seat pocket in front of them.

They got their blankets out of their plastic bag, got comfy with their little pillow.

And settled back to enjoy the flight.

Sebastian was a voracious reader. Of the emergency instructions.

We had watched the little safety cartoon, taken off and broken the clouds and he was still reading the booklet cover to cover. Made me feel I should stick with this boy in the event of a problem.

I couldn’t go wrong with him by my side.

But then came the turn of the entertainment console and lifelong brand loyalty to Virgin was assured.

Games, TV (channels and programs they weren’t allowed at home,) maps of their journey and music.

All at the press of the button.

I had sat myself between the two of them in order to prevent any fighting. But soon I decided it was prudent to change seats so that they could sit next to one another. So they could share tips on the best way to navigate the entertainment system.


I was astounded. They were totally disinterested in anything I had to offer. Coloring books suddenly felt foolish and juvenile.

Up to this point, we were a non-computer household as far as children were concerned.

They hadn’t been exposed to anything more technological than Blues Clues and Dragon Tales. Spongebob was on my ‘over my dead body’ list. We hadn’t even heard of iCarly.

But now, two miles up in the sky, they were in heaven.


The next time we flew, we used a different airline. Cheaper in dollars. Waaaaaaay more expensive on the emotions. Horrible food, grumpy staff and a small movie screen located several rows ahead of us.

It didn’t make us feel special.

Our vacation started when we arrived at our destination not the moment we got on the airplane. There was no anticipation or excitement. Just a long haul flight to be endured.

So never again. I don’t care how much extra it costs. We are Virgins.

For life.

Do you have a favorite brand you refuse to diverge from? What is the story behind that? And if you don’t, what is important to you when selecting a purchase? Let me know in the comments!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

January 24, 2011 at 11:30 am

I have a lot of brands I’m pretty loyal to, but the one that sticks out the most is Whole Foods. It’s a rather pricey organic, vegan, and vegetarian grocery store. However, I will drop dinero in there in a heartbeat. Not because I’m a vegan, but because their customer service is amazing. Everyone is always so nice and knowledgeable. They never make me feel like my questions are an inconvience to them.

My family catered our Thanksgiving meal using Whole Foods. The food, of course, was delish! But, when about two days after the holiday, I got a card in the mail. It was a thank you note from Whole Foods. But it wasn’t just any thank you note, it was *handwritten*! Handwritten!

I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but that personal touch has made me a life long customer. Try getting a handwritten card from Target or Wal-Mart…

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Alison Golden January 24, 2011 at 11:55 am

Hi Shay:

I am a devotee of WF too. Because I know that just about anything I eat there is going to be pretty clean. I don’t care how much it costs or how far I have to travel, I will shop there even if I have to sacrifice some pretty basic needs. I also appreciate the help I get at the meat counter because, reluctant cook that I am, I am clueless about meat, especially beef.

I haven’t ever bought catered foods from there though. That handwritten note is pretty awesome!


Glynis Jolly
January 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I don’t really have a favorite brand of anything although there are brands of certain things I stay away from. I’m all for cheap, even at the grocery store. However, do not buy the store brand of cocktail (mixed) fruit. You’ll get 85% of one fruit and 1 if you lucky of all the other ones that should be in the can.


Alison Golden January 25, 2011 at 2:22 am

Ugh, Glynis, that 85% of one fruit wouldn’t be melon would it? I don’t like melon and I hate the fact that a fruit bowl usually consists of different kinds of melon and one grape.


Mary E. Ulrich
January 24, 2011 at 8:54 pm

What a fun memory. I think you should send this to Virgin Airlines. What a great headline. Have a fantastic trip Alison, hope you take lots of pictures. And say hi to all those Brits.
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Alison Golden January 25, 2011 at 2:23 am

Perhaps, you’re right, Mary. I should send it to Virgin. Hmmm, I’ll have to look into that.


January 25, 2011 at 9:52 am

When we went to London we flew Virgin and I was exceptionally impressed with the experience. It was just awesome. Well worth the money.
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Alison Golden January 31, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I’m glad you agree, Jack. I think everyone I know feels the same way. I hear the domestic US Virgin flights are equally impressive.


Trey Crowe January 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm

My wife and I want to go to London so bad! I’ll definitely have to remember to fly Virgin when that day finally comes.


Alison Golden January 31, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Save your pennies, Trey. London is a fantastic place to visit although you’ll need more than a weekend 😉 Oh and remember the Olympics will be there in 2012. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


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