OK, where do I begin in telling you this brief tale of what happens when your jetliner seatmate makes what you believe is an unreasonable request?
I’ll start with this …
I boarded an Alaska Air jet this morning in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for a four-hour flight to Portland. I had booked the flight via an online agency, which means I didn’t get to select my seat; the airline did it for me.
It was a middle seat. A gentleman sat on the aisle; a lady sat at the window. They were husband and wife. The seat between ’em was vacant; it belonged to me. So, I sat down. The lady said she preferred the window, her husband liked the aisle “and no one likes the middle seat.” We both chuckled.
We took off. Then the husband and wife began passing food back and forth in front of me. Sandwiches and chips went from set of hands to the other.
Then the lady leaned over and told me that I should be sure to keep my arm off her side of the arm rest that separated her seat from mine. Sure thing, ma’am. Will do.
Then I guess I let my arm drift just a smidgen over onto her side of the arm rest. She pushed my arm back. I glared momentarily at her.
Then came the best part. The jacket I was wearing had flopped over onto her side of the arm rest. The pocket contained a couple of small items that I guess she found annoying. Then she lifted my jacket and stuffed it on my side of the arm rest.
Hmm. I glared again at her. That’s when I realized I had to sit with my arms folded across my chest. I dare not rest them at my side out of “concern” they would cross into her space.
I turned to hubby, asked him if I could get up to stretch my legs. I went to the back of the aircraft, chatted up the flight attendants who were sitting in the galley. I told one of them about my annoying seat mate; she responded with the usual “We get that on occasion” replies.
I took off my jacket, put it in the overhead bin, sat back down and then sat quietly — which is what I normally do on commercial airliners — for the duration of the flight.
Am I wrong to think the lady was being a bit too bossy?
My only regret now as I settle in for the night is that I didn’t look for a chance to tell her that “We’ll get off this plane soon and you and I will never see each other ever again.”