Airplanes and assholes.

1. A machine that has wings and an engine and that flies through the air.Merriam-Webster1
2. Enjoy the next several hours of sardine hell. – The Nut

One of the best reasons to get married is that you don’t have to sit next to strangers on airplanes anymore.

Some people on planes are the outgoing type who enjoy striking up a friendly conversation with whatever random person they’re currently fighting for dominance over an armrest with. I like to call these people “weirdos I have nothing in common with”.

I know it’s not their fault. They’re just trying to be nice.

But I don’t want nice. I want to be left the fuck alone. And at some point in time the universe figured this out and decided to stop sticking me next to the well-meaning friendlies of the world, because clearly they deserve better.

But the universe also enjoys screwing with me too much to consider seating me beside someone like-minded who will happily respect my personal space and boundaries, so instead I almost invariably get stuck next to some insufferable breed of creep and/or twatschnitzel.

It’s kind of my superpower.

There was the businessman who tried to hit on my 13-year-old self the entire way to Hawaii, while my parents were sitting directly in front of us. Fun for all ages.

Not to mention the trophy wife on the flight back, who decided that the captain turning off the seat belt sign was her cue to bring out the whore red Sally Hansen and start in on a toxic 2-coat manicure-slash-fumigation, because a flying tin can with no ventilation was logically a much better environment in which to do this than the hotel rooms we’d been put up in during our flight’s 14 1/2 hour delay.

And let us not forget the middle-aged crankypants on my first flight to the UK, who got huffy when I strategically angled my book to stop her from reading (and breathing) over my shoulder, and then objected at top volume to the flight crew when my pre-ordered vegetarian meal was served to me before the regular meals got handed out. How was it fair that some child, she lamented (I was 25), should be served before her elders just because she was picky about her food? Oh, the humanity!

Tripped on, stepped on, slept on, belched on; bruised and battered and belittled. Such was my life at thirty to forty thousand feet.

But now I’m married. To a wonderful man I lovingly think of, when we’re traveling, as the Amazing Buffer Zone-o-matic 3000.

Nutty Hubby is much more patient a person than I am. Nutty Hubby is much more tolerant of being elbowed and coughed on and talked to and looked at and all the other things humans do to other humans that make me stabby. Nutty Hubby does not conjure up elaborate murder fantasies at the sounds of open-mouth chewing or the vibrations of restless legs.

Which is why he gets to weather the asshole storm while I take shelter on his lee side.

I used to feel guilty about always taking the window seat wherever we went. Leaving him open to the crazies and the unhygienics and the Abandon All Manners Ye Who Enter Here rudeniks. But he doesn’t complain.

Rather, he insists. He knows it’s for the greater good.

And we both know that orange really isn’t my color.

Today’s blog post was brought to you by the letter A, the number 40,000, and the Secure Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Assisting Others Challenge, AKA the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

1 “airplane.” Merriam-Webster, 2016. Web. 1 April 2016.


27 thoughts on “Airplanes and assholes.

  1. This made me LOL. I can get exhausted even by the thought of flying, thanks to folks such as you’ve described. (OTOH, though I don’t want to be jabbed at or examined the entire flight, I have been grateful for the couple of people who’ve helped me stave off panic attacks by engaging in brief, friendly conversation through takeoff. Bless those guys!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, there’s a big difference between someone who spends all flight trying to strike up a conversation even though you have earphones and a sleep mask on and a Do Not Disturb sign around your neck, and someone who legitimately realizes that you might need a distraction to get you out of your own head. I have even been the latter myself when necessary, because despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m not a complete monster. Yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t been on a plane since…well, it was when ppl asked if you took an airplane (prop) or a jet. Yeah, that long.
    I’m not opposed to air travel. Just havent had the opportunity. The aggravation of this mode of transportation is front and center lately, what with the ponytail-over-the-seat factor.

    CD Coffelt at UnicornBell

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that sucks. On the bright side, the cabin pressure in the new 787 Dreamliners is a lot easier to tolerate, so if you ever need to fly halfway across the world, try and get yourself on one of those babies. They’re pretty sweet.


    • This is where you take the Sharpie out of your carry-on, that you keep there for just such an occasion, and write “my fellow passengers are not pillows” backwards on her face so it’s the first thing she sees in the mirror upon disembarkation.

      And then cover her up with a blanket so the flight attendants don’t see, because you’d like to be let back on a plane again sometime this century.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am one of those “put your book down and play cards with me” people on a plane. I have made more really good connections on planes, heard life stories, etc. *hangs head in shame*. My kids have a saying, “that’s as likely as Mom sitting beside someone on a plane and not talking to them the whole time”. I AM ONE OF THOSE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, if anyone actually asked me for a game of cribbage or travel Scrabble, I’d be all over that shit.

      A woman on a flight out of England once asked me to help her tie a fancy bow on a stuffed animal she was taking home to her boyfriend, and it turned out to be the funniest ice breaker. I wish that was the case more often. I’m a lot more likely not to mind someone going through their entire family tree with me if they give me something to do besides smile politely and nod.


  4. You are my husband on a flight, although (and we haven’t flown together in, oh, 20 years) he would let me have the window seat, because I like to spend the flight looking out the window and trying to figure out where we are, in case we go down or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Is it weird that I’m flexible? If the person next to me is reading a book or working on their laptop or wearing a neon “FUCK OFF” sign on their forehead I leave them alone. If they want to talk I’ll talk.
    This may be great for other people but it’s horrible for me. If the other person is silent I sit there thinking they secretly want me to strike up a conversation and I get all sweaty, and if they want to talk I start to think after a while that they wish I’d shut up, or if we have nothing in common I start to wonder if I can get away with pretending I have narcolepsy.
    So what I’m getting at is, can I always share 3-seat section with you and Nutty Hubby?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: 33. | Spoken Like A True Nut

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