I continue to be amazed by people’s behavior on planes. It’s like people are possessed by the grossest, most primal version of themselves and this gross alter ego is what you have the privilege of sitting next to for a minimum of one hour. Of course, it’s not all bad, but it could be a lot better. Here’s your field guide to your next flight.
The Chatty Cathy. She tells you about her children, her grandchildren, her dog’s bathroom habits, and her neighbor’s rheumatism. All in one breath and without your consent. You’re tempted to stuff her bag of pretzels down her throat but you’re better than that. I usually put on m headphones and “read” a book as soon as possible. If she still wants to tell you about her friend’s cousin’s son’s violin recital it’s time to feign sleep. A deep deep sleep. And heck, maybe you will even fall asleep.
The Person Who Offers You Gum. I never really know how to take this. Is he/she just trying to be nice? Does my breath smell? Is there a roofie in that Trident? Up for debate.
The Anxious Flier. I have never actually been seated next to one of these people but I can only imagine it woudl stress the hell out of even the most logical passenger.
The Man Spreader. I don’t even know how to deal with this. These are guys you just have to write off as jerks and use it as a sign – if they can’t respect your space you just don’t even want to think about dating them. Also, I think they may be giving themselves more credit for the “necessity” of the spread.
The Creep. Shut this one down early. Like The Chatty Cathy, you give The Creep an inch and he or she (he-let’s be real here) will take it as an open invitation to talk. I have found that sometimes The Creep will still attempt to speak to you through headphones. It’s as if he doesn’t even see them. How this happens is a mystery to me. Cold shoulder the hell out of this person and just become very sleepy very quickly. The Creep always seems to be closely associated with The Just One More G&T Guy, but that’s a different post for a different day.
The Family. I have less than zero patience with children but I do try and give them and their parents the benefit of the doubt on a flight. I was once a small person on a flight too, my parents struggled to keep me occupied (lots of sticker books and a younger sister) and I am sure they still got their fair share of dirty looks from fellow passengers. Of course if the parents are letting their kids jump around like the plane is their personal bouncy house, something must be said. You could possibly suggest a child lead. (I have actually seen this in an airplane and it was scarring for life. No child deserves that). But this is a real sign somewhere.
The Guy Who Doesn’t Help with Luggage. I am all for taking care of my own stuff and lugging my luggage is part of the deal. However, when you are standing and struggling to get your bag up and there is a perfectly able man checking you out instead of helping you that is when I lose my cool. More importantly, what about the older ladies and gentlemen who are not offered help? Girls – be the bigger person and teach these guys how to be by helping out our older friends when you can. And be sure to deliver some major side eye to those “men” not helping.
The Guy Who Helps With Luggage. Find him and let me know where he is immediately.
The Person with the Dog. You are a lucky bastard if you get to sit next to this person. Who doesn’t want a furry companion on their flight! If you don’t like dogs I really cannot help you.
Who’d I miss? Would love to hear about the animals you’ve met on a plane. But hopefully not these.
Also check out the great animals as people portraits featured here.