November 24, 2009

An open letter to individuals who utilize air travel

Don't get me wrong, I like people. I do. But there is something about planes that make adults lose all of their social skills and all of the things they learned about manners in kindergarten and makes babies & small children immediately behave crazily. Must be something about being up at however many thousand feet, I guess. I don't know what it is, but I feel like everyone on planes is ridiculous.

On my flight from TX a few weeks ago, I sat next to a person whom I'm 99% sure was certifiably, probably qualified for some kind of institution situation crazy. (I'm a mental health professional so I can say stuff like this.) She continually, throughout the flight, swore (the worst words on the spectrum, too) under her breath. Several times she placed her leather jacket on my lap so she could do something or other - and she repeatedly made a noise that sounded like a combo of some kind of animal mating call and hocking a loogie. [That is a gross phrase to write out. I don't think I'll do it again.] At one point I had a tiny arm spasm and touched her arm - she elbowed me back. Hard. She also clipped her fingernails mid flight - that's not a joke - the lady on the other side of her ended up leaving at this point. Don't know where she went, but I wish she had taken me with her. On the way off the plane I saw a team of security people who I'm pretty sure were coming for her. Several people on the way off the plane gave me empathetic glances or said something to the effect of, "well that must have been fun for you." If by fun you mean terrifying, then yes. I literally pretended to be asleep the entire 2 hour flight because I was so scared of Sybil. (That's what I named her.) I practically ran off the plane, and even after it was over, I was jumpy for the next 48 hours or so.

Here are my thoughts from tonight:
To the insanely tall college women's basketball player sitting next to me: please stop angling your body in such a way that our hips and practically our butts are touching. I don't even know you. You're making me uncomfortable.
To the mother of the child sitting behind me: I have to be honest, I'm not terribly concerned with the fact that snapping her seatbelt buckle might pinch her fingers, like you keep reminding her. I'm more interested in the fact that the repeated noise of metal on metal is making my ears bleed.
To the chorus of babies all directly behind me: was that a new harmony you guys were working on? Was this some kind of baby-screaming rehearsal you planned for during our flight? I mean really, well done. I especially liked how when one of you stopped the other one started so it was never ever not for one second silent. That was a pretty sweet technique.
To the girl sitting on my left: please, I beg you, stop talking. This guy who is apparently interested in the inane things you are saying is probably just being polite. Stop flipping your hair and waving your arms and saying weird things. Oh, and when you talk about "cocaine," maybe consider lowering your voice a little. Just a little constructive criticism.
To the guys in front of me: yes, I know I went to high school with one of you and that I know you, other guy, from somewhere in Denver, but I can't remember either of your names, so I am not planning on meeting the eye contact you are attempting so we can have the awkward "oh hey weird meeting you here how do we know each other when did I see you last and what is your name again?" conversation. I'm sorry. I just don't have it in me. The chorus of babies and the metal on metal in addition to psycho girl over here have taken every bit of energy I previously possessed for stupid airplane small talk.

Ok, ok, I'm half kidding. The other half, though, not so much.

Kindest & Most Sincere Regards,
Dreaming in Denver... of a peaceful flight & maybe a nice little nap, that is.


sarahannnoel said...

I hate the land of airplane people. I want everyone to sit down and read a book, for Pete's sake.

Unknown said...

oh my poor thing. glad you still have your humor despite the ridiculousness that has been your traveling lately. happy early thanksgiving! here's hoping you get some time to relax and enjoy the family. much love.

Andrew Hay said...

Are you sure you weren't just imagining these things. Sometimes people claim others as being crazy when they themselves are, right? Just kidding. We had some epic child-screaming on the way over here.

Congrats on the upcoming graduation by the way!

Elaine said...

I was literally laughing out loud through this entire post. Too funny. The first one was my absolute favorite. Oh, and I'm so sorry for you! :)

brianahutch said...

please please please, remind me to tell you my airplane story sometime. i feel i might have found someone who can relate.