It happened again yesterday. I was flying home from my weeklong visit with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. (Yes, there will be photos.) I had the airplane adventure so common these days. Security? No problem. The TSA kept things flowing well. It’s on the plane where things got icky.
I board a plane for Las Vegas, my stopover point en route home from Sacramento. I settle into my seat, and before I know it a very tall man is sitting down next to me. He is filling his seat and then some. No, this isn’t a case of overweight spillover, this is just a very tall guy usurping the armrest, and even putting one foot into the floor space in front of my seat. It was a real Larry Craig moment, without the sexual innuendo.
I wanted to say something, like, “Excuse me, but that’s for my stuff and for my feet.” But since my feet don’t even reach the floor, and my bags had plenty of room, it wouldn’t have had much basis. If anything, this guy was doing well to fit where he was. On a technicality I could have had him evicted, I guess, but it wouldn’t have been very generous of me. But the armrest thing has always annoyed me. There’s the presumption that you should just scrunch over into the far half of your seat and leave the armrest and its surrounding real estate to the alpha male. Who, quite honestly, is sometimes a female.
To make matters worse, this guy obviously had a head cold, and I did not want to end up with his disease (or any other.) So here I was on an hour and a half flight next to this long-limbed, spread-out, nose-blowing passenger, who seemed to have little regard for boundaries and the unwritten rules of ‘personal space’. Suck it up and deal, as they say…
We deplane in Vegas, and all I care about is the ability to stand erect and walk. I’m not sure whose body type those airplane seats are designed for, but it sure isn’t mine. I’m kind of walking like Cro-Magnon man for the first 30 feet or so. But standing feels great. Walking feels better still. And of course, there’s the much-anticipated rest room!
An hour later I’m on the flight home, and guess who sits down right next to me again? Yep—and it’s exactly the same story all over again. Armrest? Check. Foot placement? Check. Sneezing? Check and double check!
Finally, I gathered up my courage, put on my seatbelt and tapped him on the arm.
“Honey,” I said. “If you weren’t my husband this would really tick me off.”