As anyone can tell you, flying on planes is the great social experiment. Most of the time, sitting next to a total stranger brings a strange phenomenon of full-disclosure conversations about personal life without much discretion (why??).
Sometimes it is a chance for someone to break the infinitesimal bit of personal space you have left by sitting on top of you and reading over your shoulder.
This time, it was the latter.
I was on a flight home from DC to Minneapolis (more on this trip to come!), scrunched in a middle seat between two men. One of my seat mates (“Window Seat”), was a very attractive business man who proceeded to ignore everyone but the true love of his life: His cell phone.
On my left (“Aisle-Seat”) was a Korean business man, who worked for IBM, and had halitosis. Seriously, his breath was so bad I almost had to use up my courtesy sick bag. To make matters worse, he decided we needed to talk, and it needed to be at VERY close range.
Usually, I deploy the headphones ruse, but Aisle-Seat swooped in while I was trying to get them untangled. Shoot.
After some carefully vague answers on my part, he backed off a little. Headphones in. Perfect. Then this happened:
Needless to say, I was less then impressed. He set off a chain reaction of personal space invasion as I moved to get away…right into the Window-Seat emailer. By this time, he had started an episode of Criminal Minds, and before I knew it, I was watching over his shoulder!
I finally gave up and realized the fruitlessness of being upset with Aisle Seat, because I was falling into the same trap, and there was literally no where else to go.
I shared my Kindle, because I was reading David Copperfield, and classics like Dickens don’t get the proper attention they should. If he was going to be nosy, at least he would get good taste of literature’s finest, so I felt I was doing him a favor.
Later, when I asked him to get up so I could go to the bathroom, we had a slight communication error that ended in me practically shouting to the surrounding seats that I had to use the bathroom. Classy.
After all that, Aisle-Seat decides we have this insanely funny inside joke, and we are now on good enough terms to pat my leg during conversation.
I have never been so glad to get off a plane, and I’ve never had to resist such a strong urge to break someone’s fingers.
It was eventful, but no one was harmed.
Until next time, I’ll be recovering my dignity.
PS: Please excuse the url address for now…I’m trying to decide if I want to buy a domain name or just work with whatever free options are close to “Weekend Wanderer.”