hangin out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride trying to holla at me
If at any point over the coming days, weeks, and months to come, you find yourself confused as to how to navigate the thicket of pictures of Nelson Mandela coming at you in every country in the world, bear in mind this salient fact of history: it was once illegal in South Africa to have a picture of Nelson Mandela in your home.
Asking for a seat
You know those couples who can’t be away from each other for a minute? Even on a 14 hour flight? I had the interesting distinction of sitting in the vicinity of one such grouping today on my flight to Dreamforce.
For some unknown reason they booked their seats away from each other even though they clearly haven’t been further than 18 inches apart since they first met. The man was seated across the aisle from me, and the woman was in the aisle seat directly behind me. And even though there were two empty seats next to the man (middle seats the both of them) she asked me to switch seats with her so they could both have aisle seats, but also be able to sit more directly across from each other.
Now normally, a trade of an aisle seat for an aisle seat is a no brainer and I would have gladly done it to earn the good karma points I know I so desperately need. But in this case, I had an aisle seat and no one in the middle seat next to me. Yeah that’s basically the holy grail of economy long distance traveling. Then I was faced with an usual dilemma. Do I graciously let the woman switch with me and resent the fact that I have less freedom of movement for my elbows? Or do I keep my seat and not switch with her, but continue the next 14 hours sitting next to a man who I denied ET phone home finger touching access to his girlfriend/wife/mistress/whatever?
I made the decision and declined the switch. I could deal with judgmental looks and passive aggressive behavior but I my elbows needed the freedom to move about the cabin dammit! In my refusal, I cited the empty middle seat as the reason and she seemed okay with that. I felt better about my decision when they got declined by another guy behind me.
But here is the thing. Clearly they wanted to be together, but they also both wanted an aisle seat. Pretty selfish if you ask me. And this is coming from a girl who can make selfishness an art form. Being adults they compromised. Every time we were served a meal (she of course got some sort of special meal like vegan, gluten free kosher) they decided to sit together and SHARE THEIR MEAL BY FEEDING EACH OTHER. Plane food. They fed each other plane food. I literally cannot think of something less romantic then that.
Once the mutual meal taking was done, they would both retire to their original seats. That is until one of them had something to say and the seatbelt sign was off. Then they would get up what felt like every five minutes and share articles, little anecdotes, snacks that they brought with them, or share memories of their favorite part of their trip to Australia. Did I mention she was the one who primarily got up and wore her united airlines issued blanket as a cape? Did I also mention that they are Americans?
Complete side note, but that is my new pet peeve. Living in a foreign country in an age where Americans do not have the best of reputations, even in a country as friendly and laid back as Australia, I cannot stand it when an American acts like an ass and makes is more difficult for the rest of us to get by unnoticed acting normal. Literally drives me up a wall. Okay end rant here.
After the dinner service when the stewardess was removing their mutually devoured trays, they asked her for the schedule of movies. You see united airlines is such a ghetto airline that even on 14 hour flights from Sydney to sfo, people in economy are not given individual entertainment screens, and are instead forced to watch the same programming as everyone else on the plane at set times on screens smaller than most laptop computers.
Once they got the schedule of films from the stewardess it appears that they choose what films they wanted to watch together and they would then sit together, SHARE A PAIR OF HEADPHONES and then discuss the movie throughout.
Then the man in the row in front of me started watching the show shameless on his iPad without earphones, so we all got to listen to the dialogue. That did not work well for the headphone sharing couple next to me and they asked him to please stop. He told them he couldn’t hear his show over their commentary of the movie. Keep in mind the movie playing on the small shared screen was Turbo, Dreamworks animations heart warming tale of a snail who races in the Indy 500. Apparently this thought provoking film demanded a lot of commentary.
So here i sit, 6 hours into a 14 hour flight with my ear plugs in to drown out the dulcet tones of a couple’s commentary on a contemporary children’s classic and the rude and confusing dialogue of Shameless. This is what happens to people who don’t willingly switch seats and cannot sleep on long flights.