Weekend Wanderer

Cozy Seat-Mates

Hi, fellow-Wanderers!

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.

????????????????????????????????

Why can’t THIS be the man that talks too much?



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:

nm_annoying_passenger_090518_mn

He wasn’t pointing, but he was reading my kindle with me, while leaning on my shoulder and knocking me off the arm rest.

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.

Stock Photo

Looks like I’m stuck with him.

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.

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Please let me out! I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM.

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.”

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3 thoughts on “Cozy Seat-Mates

  1. …this ended up being really long…I am going to go listen to music now…

    I can relate to this on many levels. The awkward nature of sitting next to complete strangers at times.

    I’ve been lucky enough to not be seated next to an overly-attached aisle seat with breath so pungent that it withers flowers. *knock on wood*

    However, I did bond with my seat-mate on the way to Boston over the family that was seated behind us. For the first half of the flight the two of us (**the two of us**) sat in dead silence. Both hiddenly longing for silence and peace. His gaze at Candy Crush, my mind wandering down different trails…sadly not those less traveled…mainly focused on “how long can this man and woman scream at their children, albeit optimistically.”

    From boarding to deplaning: “Johnny KEEP YOUR SEAT BELT BUCKLED!” “DO YOU WANT MOMMY TO READ YOU A STORY!” “JOHNNY, DADDY’S IPAD IS NOT A TOY,” “LOOK AT THIS VERY SPECIAL JET IT ONLY CARRIES PACKAGES AND PILOTS,” “COME WITH DADDY TO POOP,” et cetera, et cetera.

    As if the screaming wasn’t enough, Daddy was with his back pressed up against my seat-mate’s chair, thrusting himself into it like a wild boar on the hunt. I don’t recall the game, but in essence simulated turbulence reminiscent of flying through a tornado with a drunken pilot.

    At this point my seat-mate got up and left.

    He came back to Mommy playing the cup game on my chair. She really wanted little Johnny to participate, but he didn’t care about the cup game. That didn’t stop her from shouting numbers and slamming cups on the tray table attached to my seat. At the same time little Johnny was kicking my chair like it was a demon in the form of an inanimate object that he was trying to eviscerate.

    At this point my gaze aligned with my new friend sitting to my right, hello Tom. His eyes expressed every curse word in the history of humankind. I nodded. We began to chat about how ridiculous it all was.

    I see this comment is starting to look like a blog post, whoops…

    To make a long story slightly less long, he ended up offering me a ride to a nice seafood restaurant in Boston and told me what a wonderful walking town it was. Sadly, I had another flight to catch so we went our separate ways. The point of this overly long comment was to say that I can relate to awkwardness, but sometimes that awkward situation can help form other friendships.

    My luck I missed all of my flights out and ended up back in Minneapolis. God works in mysterious ways though, and I found a new love there…swing dancing! Randomly invited to it, which I thought was kind of cool especially after just asking you the other day if anyplace still played that kind of music.

    • Wow. That is terrible. I really don’t like that aspect of flying.
      On a side note, WHERE DID YOU FIND SWING DANCING?? I’m dying to try it so you must tell me ASAP!

  2. Pingback: 3 Tips for Travelling Tired | Weekend Wanderer

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