An Open Letter To The Woman In Seat 12-A

Dear Woman in Seat 12-A,

Boisseau pipe organ (built 1974) of the cathed...

For those about to rock...(Image via Wikipedia)

I thought that I would take some time to let you know how much I admire your ambitious parenting. I’m so happy that I could not get home on a direct flight. If I had not connected though Detroit I would never have learned that you and your son lived here in North Carolina. Since I didn’t get either of your names, let’s call your son 12-B, shall we?

You, 12-A, are a visionary. Not many parents see the wisdom in pushing their child to learn to play the pipe organ. Sure, there are a few, because cathedrals get these people from somewhere, right? But I don’t imagine there are any who have hit on your unique style of teaching him the instrument by forcing him during a plane trip to repeatedly watch You Tube videos of organists.

We both know the market for pipe organ players is huge right now. Almost every cathedral I drive by has a sign out hanging from one of the gargoyles out front that says : Help Wanted – Organist. You’re a visionary, I see that.

A You Tube Play List

Help Wanted (image via Wikimedia)

Lots of very skilled people have learned their professions on You Tube. I would bet our pilot learned to fly an Airbus by watching it on the internet. Repeating over and over “watch it again, pay attention” will certainly make 12-B into a top-notch organist. He will be rocking Amazing Grace in no time.

I don’t often get involved with how other people raise their children. After two hours sitting next to you two on the plane, with the belt fastened low and tight about my hips, I have a few suggestions I am going to make. Don’t worry, they are right up your alley. I just want to suggest a few videos for you to watch on You Tube…over and over.

Here comes my first suggestion.

Pay attention.

How Not To Have A Slap Fight With Your Seventeen Year Old Son

Row 12 is known as the slapfighting row on Delta. (image via

I think after your embarrassing little mutual smack down on Row 12 you wish you’d looked this one up on You Tube sooner. Perhaps you’ll take the time to do so now, to prevent your next moment of shame.

Airplanes are not a good place for slap fighting.  In fact, slap fights are generally not good things. I know you didn’t think about it at the time, but fingers can be broken during slap fights. If 12-B’s fingers are broken, he can’t watch You Tube, and if he can’t do that he won’t learn to produce those sounds that resonate all the way to heaven.

To be sure, he should not have been on Twitter on his phone after the flight attendant asked that all electronic devices be turned off. The correct thing for him to have been doing was to be watching You Tube on your phone. You were right to take his phone away. Smacking him in the head was where you went wrong.

You see, when seventeen year olds get smacked in the head, they are ready for it the next time. So, when you feel compelled to go for the head smack again, a seventeen year old will block it. The block results in an undignified slap fight that garners unwanted attention from adjoining rows and eventually forces you to issue an insincere and embarrassing apology to the gentleman seated next to your son who caught a stray elbow in the side of the head.

Just a little side tip you might pass on to your son. The appropriate response to elbowing someone in the head is to say “I’m sorry”, not to attempt to stare the person down.

Let’s get back on topic. There are no winners when there are slap fights at thirty thousand feet. Only losers and losers.

Guess which one you were, ma’am?

Watch it again. Pay it attention.

I hope you’ll come back soon. When you do, I will be suggesting videos on drinking cranberry juice and how using the F-bomb counteracts your attempts to appear a paragon of religion.




46 Comments on “An Open Letter To The Woman In Seat 12-A”

  1. I’m sorry you got elbowed. =( Jerks….

  2. At the very least, row 9 should be designated as the slapping zone. All other rows should be slap free due to the lack of legroom. Well, and maybe those bastards in rows 1 through 4 should simply be slapped on principle.

    • omawarisan says:

      I never really considered the need for a slap fight zone, but the need is now clear to me. I think those seats should face the back of the plane so we dont have to listen to them.

    • Snoring Dog Studio says:

      I’m with you. Slap those bastards in rows 1-4 while they’re sipping on their complimentary champagne.

  3. madtante says:

    Excitement! As usual, not the kind we’d want.

  4. Jane says:

    12-A probably thinks that she and her son have a very close relationship. Parents seem to want to act like their kid’s friends, when what the child really needs is for the parents to model appropriate adult behavior. Chimps do it much better.

  5. Betty says:

    Nothing worse than a surly teenager…..except a surly teenager with a clueless, obnoxious mother.

    • omawarisan says:

      His attempt at surly was really bad. He looked at me like it was my fault my head was there and tried the stare down.

      Dude, please. I’m 50. I can look into a 17 year old’s soul and move crap around while I’m in there.

      • Spectra says:

        LOL! “I can look into a 17 year old’s soul and move crap around while I’m in there.”

        Priceless. Perfect. Something only an experienced Dad could say. I will share this with my Dad. He will love it. He’s been trying to stare down into my soul for decades, but I’ve been moving my own crap around in there, just to keep him confused.

        Looking forward to Part 2.

  6. Todd Pack says:

    I hate flying. Strike that. I hate riding in airplanes.

  7. Lenore Diane says:

    What is it with slapping? Notes from a Rumbly Cottage wrote a post about an incident she witnessed on the playground, where a Mom slapped her young child. What is it with slapping? I don’t get it. I don’t like it. And, I believe it to be one of the most disrespectful things a person can do to another person.

    Did you say anything? I would have said something. In that situation – so close – oh, I would have said something. And, I would have loved to see her try to slap me.

    The elbowing? She was reminded there were others present, when that happened. How dare you be around to witness the slapping of her son. She thought she was alone.

    Dang, Oma. Just dang.

    • omawarisan says:

      My mom told me the same thing about slapping, I’ve never done it. They went at each other, I was amazed. The elbow came in the middle of that. She knew I was watching and went heavy organ lessons.

  8. Kim Pugliano says:

    Oh man. Had that been ME in 12-A next to pimple-face, after the first slap, I would have yelled, “Really?!?!” Just that. (It usually works. I did it to the lady in front of me checking her cellphone in the middle of a movie this weekend and she turned that sucker off QUICK). Then I would have gone back to reading my Sky Mall so 12Mom wouldn’t have known for sure it was directed towards her (sometimes I’m passive agressive like that). After the elbow to the head I would have feigned unconsciousness with maybe a seizure thrown in, and my grape juice would have accidentally gotten back-slapped, splashing all over wanna-be surly boy’s lap. When I “came to” I would have asked for their personal information so I could sue the crap out of them. Only I wouldn’t, I would just put the fear in them.

    But that’s just me.

    • omawarisan says:

      That’s a well developed plan. I really thought about getting reseated, but there wasnt an opening readily apparent and truthfully, I got a little hard headed, I wasn’t going to give them more room.

      You are the 10,000th commenter! I don’t know what that gets you, except that I will stand up and yell wooo a couple times until I think of something! Thank you to you and everybody!

      • Kim Pugliano says:

        WHAT?!?! I’M FAMOUS!! I’d like to thank you, Oma, for giving me something to comment about. I’d like to thank my employer for letting me work from home so I can read blogs and comment on them instead of working. I’d like to thank 12Mom for starting this whole ordeal and I’d like to thank WordPress for Freshly Pressing you so I could find you and you could write this post and I could comment on it.


  9. Laura says:

    It’s really unfortunate that you’re not allowed to eject people from a plane in flight.

  10. Blogdramedy says:

    You should submit this post to Delta’s Force for Good:

    If this doesn’t fall under the header “social responsibility” I’ll eat my banjo. Which I learned to play on YouTube. 🙂

  11. Why, oh why, does it appear that the human race is de-evolving at an increasingly rapid rate?

  12. Betty says:

    Oh, yeah! I love that you schooled that young f*tard.

  13. spencercourt says:

    and THAT is another reason I fly only Southwest. I can choose my seat, and I do not choose seats with children. (Strange that my post this week is about children too….)

    BTW, did you know that SW went with their “no assigned seat” procedure after it was mathematically shown to be the “fastest” method? The middle seat is almost always the last chosen in “open seating”, which means that only the person in the aisle has to get up. But with “assigned” seating, if the person in the aisle gets there first, then he may have to get up twice, once for the middle and then for the window. Twice the delay. The only way to avoid this is to seat ALL windows first, then all middles and then all aisles last. No one does that, to my knowledge.

  14. KathiD says:

    Were you not carrying any handcuffs? You need to keep some in your carry-on bag at all times. Right next to the knock-out drops.

    Be Prepared, I always say.

  15. The Jagged Man says:

    Amazing Grace on a pipe organ? Tis ta be sung me laddie or played on the bag pipes but not on a pipe organ! Oh the humanity…..I think she should be slapped! Sorry Oma you took one for Team Decent because I think a few follow followers would have gave as good as you got………well at least one of us.

    • omawarisan says:

      My son’s marching band (North Carolina State) did a killer version of that song last year that included the University Pipe Band.

      I thought about returning the favor of the elbow, but I’d end up as the headline!

      • The Jagged Man says:

        Good call on the elbow. Unless you are a business or a corporation the adage of “Any press is good press” stops at the door step of the average citizen who simply does the right thing. Though I did not hear it I am glad NC State “brought it” on their version of Amazing Grace.!

  16. pattypunker says:

    i’m very sorry you were subjected to them. there is no hope for that kid. but i must say the short blurt today (elvis costello) really picked me up. *yell singing* “red shoes, angels wanna wear my red shoes”

  17. Katybeth says:

    Did you thank them both for providing material for a very insightful and funny blog post..perhaps next time you are in this kind of situation you could ask to take a picture of with a promise to send the link to your blog.

    Sorry about the elbow.

  18. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Slap fighting? On a plane? Well, crumble my cookies, that beats all. Do some people simply lack that valve that shuts off when they’re in public? The one that turns off inappropriate, rude behavior – you know.

  19. Maxim says:

    We need more people who can play “In the Garden of Eden” on the organ. That boy will do nicely.

  20. […] Blurt Some words that have to come out of me. HomeAboutgooglef0107d13342d39be.htmlThe BlogsThe cover songsThe InterviewsThe Jolie Pez ProjectThe Policies. Twitter RSS Feed ← An Open Letter To The Woman In Seat 12-A […]

  21. Pie says:

    My mouth was ajar as I read this. I agree with many of your commentators here. With a mother like that, all hope is lost for that young man.

    “Dude, please. I’m 50. I can look into a 17 year old’s soul and move crap around while I’m in there.” That is one of your best comments ever. I would’ve paid good money to see you do that.

    I would suggest people like that be seated on rows 8,9 and 22 so the next time they kick off, you can point to the exit and tell them: “you know where the door is.” Alternatively, put them in the hold with the rest of the luggage and put any pets in their seats instead. I guarantee they’d be better behaved.

  22. […] I am beginning to think I am a magnet for this sort of person. They are drawn to me whenever I fly home from a trip to see my friends. […]

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