Over the last nine months or so, I’ve found myself in a lot of airports, on a lot of airplanes. As a self-confessed people watcher, it’s no surprise that I pay acute attention to the handfuls of people around me. I suspect that the protagonist in my next short story will be roughly based on a woman I met in an airport a few months ago.
But I digress.
To keep myself entertained and get some personal writing done while I travel, I take notes on the interesting people and subsequent goings-on. From those notes, I deduce a slightly longer description of my top three favorite travelers. As some of you know, I recently returned from visiting D in Washington, D.C.
Here are my faves from this latest trip:
1. Wealthy middle-aged white woman who thinks seat assignment is for the birds
Surprisingly, I’ve encountered this a lot lately. This time around, I happened upon a snooty woman sitting in my seat, 19F. Oh hell, lady. Do you really not understand the alphabet?
“Ah, excuse me. I’m 19F,” I say politely.
“No you’re not. I am.”
Now thinking I’m surely mistaken–and scared they’ve overbooked the flight and I’m about to be up a creek–I find a cheery flight attendant. She accompanies me back to 19F and asks to see the woman’s ticket.
“You’re 19B,” the flight attendant says to her with a smile.
“Yeah, really? As long as we all get a seat I figured it didn’t matter,” the woman replies.
My ears get hot and I consider asking the woman if she’s ever thought about the fact that some passengers pay an extra $44.50 for the seat of their choosing. I want to ask if she defies all other social norms, you know, like cutting in line and taking phone calls while at the theatre.
Instead the flight attendant asks if I’d mind sitting in this woman’s seat across the isle. I man up and answer to the affirmative.
As it turns out, my new seat is next to the woman’s husband.
2. Getting Him to “I Do”
On the return flight home, I notice the woman next to me fervently underlining and double-underlining every other word in her book. On the periphery, I think I see words like “masculine,” “understanding,” and “emotions.” I stretch and roll my neck to the right. My antics do not go unrewarded.
The title of the book was “Getting Him to ‘I Do’.”
Oh, no. No, no, no. There’s a big difference between trying to gain understanding about the sexes and resorting to these crap one-size-fits-all relationship guides.
And there I sit with my judgement, with my overwhelming urge to tell this woman, “Honey, that book would make Ron Jeremy go soft. Torch the relationship propaganda, grab your man and go sort it out over air hockey.” Then she moves her left hand from the side of her face and I can see that she is crying.
3. The most rockin’ pick-up line of all time
As we strap in for take off in D.C., I notice the striking blonde from our gate is sitting across the isle from me and back a row. The guy to her right is talking incessantly, and she couldn’t have been more uninterested.
Him: So, going to Seattle?
Her: Uh, no. Denver.
Him: Oh yeah? I’m going on to Seattle. I’m in the army; stationed in Washington state.
Her: [politely] Really? What exactly do you do?
Him: [with machismo] I was a sniper.
Because, you know, the ladies love a good killer.