Life Lesson #1 Dunkin Donuts napkins are not ideal for tearful goodbyes. They shred easily and if you blow your nose into them- well, forget it, why spoil the surprise?
Life Lesson #2 Tearful goodbyes are excellent for jumping the line at security. Even the brawniest guard doesn’t want to deal with a red-eyed, sniffling grown-ass woman and they let you cut everyone if you ask nicely.
Still, I was somehow the last person to board the plane…
It never fails. The fasten-seatbelt sign goes on and I immediately think, “well, I’ve had a great life and I hope mom and dad won’t be too sad because I’ve really always followed my dreams and all that shit.” It was a bumpy flight, but it was no Iceland Express.
There were roughly 3 kids on the flight for every one adult. Confused? Well there were one or two orthodox Jewish families but even the heathens had a disproportionate number of spawn, none of them well behaved. There were screamers and aisle-runners and the ones behind me were just plain loud. I cursed these children silently in my head until the pilot announced that he was preparing to land. Then a little voice behind me chanted “we’re in sandy ay go yeah yeah yeahhhh” and briefly I remembered that I was also a kid once, and sharing the very same sentiment and enthusiasm as the voice behind me, perhaps I still am one. Except my parents would never let me be so annoying in a confined space with strangers over the course of 6 hours. Maybe these kids will turn out like the dude sitting next to me, California bro-man (I’m sure that over the next few weeks I’ll come up with a more sophisticated term but for now that crude description will have to do. Everyone knows that if you’ve got the middle seat you get first dibs on the armrests. You’re denied the view and easy access to the bathroom so you better be able to do whatever the hell you want with your elbows. About an hour into the flight I put both elbows on a small section of each armrest. Mister California bro-man was having none of this and for the following five hours tried every passive-aggressive move that he could to get me to back down. Oh no my friend, this girl does not give up armrests. At first it was about comfort but by the end of the flight it was purely territorial. I didn’t want to keep my elbows on there anymore, but to give up would mean that bro-man had won. You need to stand your ground- whether you’re an endangered species, or Poland circa 1939, or a middle-seater on a 6 hour flight. And why has no one ever told me that it’s a 6 hour flight to California? I could have been to Europe in that amount of time!