Hey, 16-B. Get Out Of My Personal SpacePosted: January 30, 2012
I am beginning to think that 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.
I spotted them in the airport, a couple in bright yellow Appalachian State University sweatshirts. They caught my eye because I think that couples should never wear matching clothes. Very few people ask me about how they should dress. Perhaps they are reluctant to accept fashion advice from a man who owns as many baseball jerseys as I do, I accept that. But they should understand that even I can tell you that it is always a bad idea to wear matching shirts.
I Bring These People Upon Myself
Perhaps I jinxed myself when they sat down in the waiting area for the same flight I was on. I saw them and thought “well, there are the people I’m sitting with”. Maybe I should not have been surprised when they sat next to me on the plane. I am going to resolve to stop identifying my seat mates before boarding.
Airline seats are not all that big. I’m not the biggest person you’ll run across. But me and someone a little larger than I am, side by side in coach airline seats requires some concessions on both our parts. Mr. Appalachian, who we’ll call seat 16B, was not inclined to make concessions. He spread out across his middle seat like he was on his couch at home. I pulled myself into a position in my window seat to make things as comfortable as possible for both of us, he arranged himself to make things as comfortable as possible for himself. Of course, this meant I would have to fight for comfort.
Our flight was a series of guerrilla skirmishes for position. He reached to lower his tray table, I took over the arm rest. When I twisted to get something from my pocket, he was back on the arm rest and spreading into my space. The battle raged all the way to Charlotte.
Finally, the announcement came that we were on final approach to the airport. As the plane got lower, I started to look outside for familiar landmarks. One of the things I saw was Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s kind of hard not to see such a big facility. It was at that moment, when I was looking for other landmarks, that the guerrilla battle went to a new level.
Dude, Don’t Call Me Honey
16B’s shoulder jolted into mine as he leaned into my window seat to get a better look out the window. “Look honey”, he bellowed into my ear, “it’s the speedway, I can see our seats!”
Now, I didn’t question whether he really could pick out two seat numbers out of one hundred thousand from ten thousand feet up at five hundred miles per hour. If he truly could do that, I think he has a great future as a peregrine falcon. Nor did I point out that there was no way “Honey” could see the race track with his big body eclipsing the window.
It did bug me that he decided to talk to his “Honey” by echoing his words off my head, so I just said, “yeah, I know, I see it.” He pulled back and sputtered “I wasn’t talking to you.” I told him I was sorry, that I thought he was talking to me since he was talking into my ear. It worked. He pulled back to his seat and kept his distance for the last 5 minutes of the flight.
There are two sides of every story. Somewhere else, a man is telling a story that he believes – that he sat with a guy who truly thought he was being called honey. Here, you read the tale of a gentleman who was put upon and did what was needed to get a little breathing room. You be the judge.