It is no secret that I am not a fan of the human race. That feeling is amplified when I am shoved into a crowd, like an airport. or more importantly, an airplane.
Airplanes are the human equivalent of herding cows. And while the pandemic has brought a lot of heartache and continues to challenge us, it did introduce one of my fan favorites…social distancing. I have been practicing this way of life before it became trendy. Don’t get me wrong, I am kind and compassionated to strangers, I just prefer they stay away from me.
Anyway, my spouse and I flew to Sante Fe to enjoy a long weekend with friends. I am already a an anxious traveler simply because I have an oversense of responsibility to not only get myself prepared for the trip, but everyone else. There are a lot of moving parts. Getting someone to stay with Bailey and our dog, Luna. Waiting for Brian to pack. (This is usually last minute with no planning involved.) So, by the time I get on the plane I am a stressed-out mess. I know and embrace that I am the problem.
I was feeling pretty chill – as chill as I can be under the guise of cramming myself into a metal encasement. That is until I sat down next to my new BFF/seatmate on the second leg of our flight. First let me point out, that because I am the best wife ever, I sacrificed myself and settled into the middle seat. I think we all can agree that the middle seat is a form of punishment for any flight over an hour.
I am very strategic when picking my row. My discerning eye searches for the ideal candidate. It’s taking “judging a book by its cover” to a whole new level. I spot a young lady, who seemed like the ideal seatmate. We settle in, say hello, and I am feeling very confident at this point. Well, until, she asked if she could have my barf bag. Christ. On. A. Cracker. I smile, while the voice in my head is screaming, “Well, shit”. I say, “Of course.” Brian is snickering and I am feeling that my internal people picker has died a sudden death.
We take off and I pray that we can escape any sort of vomit drama for the duration of the flight. I appreciate a nervous traveler, but have never sat next to anyone who grips their armrest so hard that their knuckles are white. She managed to take my armrest hostage as well. It’s cool. I was more focused on the “please don’t toss your cookies” portion anyway. I spent the time binge watching a Netflix series to distract myself from the current situation. As the flight progressed, she seemed to relax which helped my nerves as well. At one point, when she had asked if we could move so that she could use the restroom, she informed me that she hates flying. I felt like that was communicated early on, but I simply smiled and said, “I think we all do on some level”. See? I can be understanding and empathetic.
We landed with my seatmate abstaining from hurling. I could not have been happier extracting myself from this particular aircraft. I feel like it it was good mojo and that it would set the tone for a relaxing escape. On the way home, Brian took the middle-set.