A friend of mine just gently reminded me that I have a blog and should perhaps post stuff every now and again (Hi Abby!), so here’s a little something I was thinking about while traveling across country a week or so ago.
Flying can be exciting. You climb into a giant metal tube with wings that doesn’t seem like it should be able to get 3 feet off the ground let alone 33,000 feet, cram yourself into a tiny seat surrounded by hundreds of strangers and soar off to destinations as exotic as the far east, or as mundane as the Atlanta airport (through which all travels, no matter what the ultimate destination, seem to be routed). It’s sorta thrilling when you think about it. You can travel thousands of miles in just a couple of hours, and go just about anywhere on the globe in a plane.
But mostly air travel is a long stretch of boredom punctuated by panicked running from gate to gate. You wait in line a lot, first to check in, then at security, then to board. You may sit around at a gate for hours between flights, or you might have to sprint from one side of an airport to the other to catch a connection–only to arrive and find that you are just in time to wait in line some more. I generally don’t mind air travel, but there are certain kinds of people who can make your trip more stressful and irritating than it needs to be.
- People who stand on the moving walkway. Look. I know, it’s fun to stand on the moving walkway…it’s like a big horizontal escalator. Whee! ou don’t have anywhere to be any time soon, since your connecting flight doesn’t board for 6 hours, or you’ve shown up for your flight 4 hours ahead of time. Why not just stand there and be swept gently along, save your energy, watch the world go by…But some of us have places we’re trying to go, and go QUICKLY. That’s what the moving walkway is for. It’s not so you can be extra lazy and avoid walking for 50 feet. It’s so that those of us with tight timetables can move a little faster without having to run through a crowd of people. If you MUST stand, please follow the posted instructions to stay to the right. That means don’t stand there with your rolly bag blocking the whole walkway, leaning absently to one side and texting on your phone. Don’t make me kill you.
- People who can’t stop making out with their SO. We all get it. You’re deeply in love, or lust or whatever. You like each other’s faces so much that you want to eat them. You must be cuddling, rubbing, stroking, touching at all times. If you don’t, you will DIE. Or so it seems, since you can’t leave off your PDA for a couple of hours. You might have noticed that there are about 20 people belted into seats crammed into the 10 feet of space right around you, and we can’t escape your love-fest, as much as we might want to. It’s nauseating. Stop it.
- The Jersey Shore takes to the air. Some folks still get dressed up to travel. And that’s cool! Apparently looking snazzy and put together can score you an upgrade at the gate sometimes, and everyone likes to feel pretty. But you, girl in jeans so tight they look to be painted on, sparkly halter top, 3 lbs of makeup and the tallest heels I’ve ever seen not on a stripper…you should maybe rethink your strategy. You do not look hot as you awkwardly toddle along the concourse with your zebra-print bag bumping along after you. You look like you’re trying not to fall over.
- Angry guy in line to board. I know, it’s ridiculous that they’ve just gotten through the Zone 2 passengers, and they’re already out of overhead space. This is what happens when airlines charge $25 to check a bag, and everyone flying decides to pack as much as possible into a slightly-too-large carry-on roller bag. You seem to have done the same thing as the rest of us, I see by your stuffed expandable briefcase and carry on bag. They are willing to gate-check the excess! We’ve gotten around that $25 expense! Woo! Now stop grousing, and huffing, and heaving sighs as though begin separated from your luggage for 2 hours is a great injustice. You’re only making this process more unpleasant for everyone. Get a grip.
- Opinionated guy talking politics (et al) in-flight. Much like the couple across the isle trying to inhale each other’s faces, you are just too close for everyone’s comfort. You seem to be unaware that you are surrounded by people on every side, or that your voice carries easily the length of the plane. There’s a good chance that your abrasive, intense assessment of American politics is going to piss off about half of those people, excite about half, and annoy anyone left over. Everyone ends up riled up, trapped in close proximity to dozens of strangers, feeling uncomfortable and irritated by the whole experience. Ditto for discussions about divisive religious issues, overly-detailed personal stories, medical/physical details about you or anyone you know, and awkwardly doomed-to-fail pickup attempts on the person sitting next to you. Hush.
I’m sure I’ve left some people out of this list. Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments!
Next time, a much more positive, less angry-sounding post, promise. 🙂 Perhaps I’ll tell you about my 30th Birthday in California, or my summer musical plans!