Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I am 'The Rude'

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year, so you know if anyone's going to have an airplane story, it's going to be me. In fact, I've got a story about a fight.

My flight is entirely full, but because I had the foresight to check in online, I've got a window seat. Yay! I'm planning to sleep because I always sleep on planes, but I read my book while waiting for the plane to take off. Although they've made several announcements about how full the flight is, the middle seat of my row remains empty.
The flight attendant approaches my aisle and says, "There's a single mother traveling with 2 children--I'm trying to find a row for her. Can I move you?" He's looking at the woman with the aisle seat, and although it's phrased as a question, it doesn't sound like one.
"No, absolutely not. I can't move. I'm claustrophobic and need an aisle seat."
The flight attendant huffed off, then returned a few minutes later to move her to a different aisle seat. Uh-oh. That means that either a mother with two little kids would be next to me or, worse yet, "I'm going to move you too." The flight attendant announced, peering down at me.
Don't I have a choice in this? I want my window seat, dammit!
I gather my things and head to my new seat. The only empty seat on the plane. A middle seat. Harumph. Settling in, I open my book when the man in the window seat hands a magazine to the woman in the aisle seat. And says something to her. In Russian.
What? Are these people together? They have to be, right? But if they're together, why aren't they sitting next to each other?
Turning to the man, I say politely, "Would you like to sit next to each other?"
"Oh no, no thank you. We're fine."
We're fine? Well I'm not fine. Shit, I should have takend a lesson from that flight attendant and not phrased this as a question.
The two continue to talk over me in Russian as I sit and fume. Finally, I decide I need to get up and start over. I go to the bathroom, and return, standing in the aisle.
"Don't you want to sit next to each other?" I ask again.
"No, no thank you." The man answers.
"It won't be easier for you? Better for you?"
"No, we're fine."
The two just sit there, waiting for me to return to my seat between them. What the fuck is wrong with these people?
Unable to sleep, I'm getting more and more annoyed, so when the place finally lands, I decide to say something.
"You know," I say to the man, "I think it's very strange that the two of you are traveling together but aren't sitting together?"
"It's so strange that you're sitting on either side of me, talking over me. I've never heard of anything so ridiculous!"
"You--you are the one who is asking all the questions. Why are you asking so many questions? That is strange."
"What? You're being incredible rude. The two of you are the rudest people I've ever sat with on a plane!"
I grab my purse as the woman shoots daggers at me from her eyes.
"You are the rude!" She spits at me while I walk past.

I am the rude? For once, I have to disagree.


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