An Open Letter To The Woman In Seat 12-APosted: July 26, 2011
Dear Woman in Seat 12-A,
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
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.
How Not To Have A Slap Fight With Your Seventeen Year Old Son
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.