2 weeks ago
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Dear Woman Who Sat Next To Me On The Plane On Sunday,
I want to start this letter by saying had I known that you would talk to me the entire flight, I wouldn't have waved to you when you were four rows up flailing your arms about like you knew me. I only waved because I thought you were a crazy person sitting on another row and possible saying hello to someone else. Had I known that your assigned seat was next to me, I would have looked down at my seat belt IMMEDIATELY. I only realized as you sat down what floodgates I had opened by acknowledging your wave.
When you made your way to your window seat (I say this with clenched teeth because when I signed up for my flight and checked in on time I had a window seat...MY FAVORITE SEAT...and then when I went to go print the boarding pass, I was somehow given a middle seat, but I digress...), you really confused S by saying, "Sorry it took so long. Oh the things we do for a seat by the window." He thought with all of the waving and the chatting that maybe we knew each other. I had to repeatedly tell him I had no idea who you were. To this day he is still convinced that we met in line somewhere and that we struck up an immediate friendship. Please don't do this again. I don't mean to come across as rude, but I don't know you.
While I am sure that your 25-year old daughter is a talented artist, I don't need to look at the book she made you on Snapfish while you explain the photos from family trips. I appreciate it, I really do, but it isn't really my thing.
Also, and this is just something for you to store away for future reference, taking pictures the entire flight (including on the runway) is a little more than slightly annoying. I am sure your family appreciates you capturing every detail, but unfortunately, complete strangers sitting next to you view it as a nuisance.
Something else we need to cover: over-sharing. While I sympathize greatly with your need to wear orthopedic tights, I do not actually need you to explain to me the swelling in your feet and legs. On the same note, I am a newly engaged 20-something female. I really am not interested in how you feel like you rushed into marriage and children and didn't get to practice your craft.
I am so sorry that I didn't comfort you when you were crying (literally) about the fact that your new town doesn't even have community theater and you just discovered your talent for performance art. This breaks my heart, it really does, but I don't do well with tears in general. It's not you, it's me.
I have no problem with small talk, but as luck would have it, I do not work for the tourism board in Houston. While I understand your curiosity, I don't feel like it is necessary for me to explain to you how hurricanes work. I may not have mentioned this, but I am not a meteorologist. Nor do I feel that it is my responsibility to explain to you whether aerospace means "jets or rockets." Lucky for you, we are flying Continental (which is based in Houston) and at the end of the flight into town they have a lovely propaganda video telling you what a great company they are and how wonderful Houston is as a city.
My final travel tip: when the person next to you is constantly putting their nose in their book or magazine, this means that they are reading and do not want to be disturbed. Do not tap them on the shoulder constantly to walk them through the play-by-play of the movie Star Trek even though you are not wearing headphones to hear the movie (although I am more than a little impressed that your knowledge of this movie is so vast that you know exactly what part it is even without sound). I am fully aware that you thought the movie was "really neat" as you told me this approximately 46 times during the flight. When I explain to you that I gave my headphones to my fiancee, please do not urge me to buy another pair from the flight attendant. If I was interested in Star Trek, I would have pulled the extra pair that I had in my carry-on and watched it. Thank you so much for the suggestion, though. From the parts I glanced up and saw after you interrupted my reading, I cannot imagine why your room mate didn't love the movie as much as you did.
I am sorry that this letter has gone on so long, but you took four hours of my life when you sat next to me on that plane.
hugs, sarah at 9:13 AM