Rather Than Wander Around the Plane

…surrendering my comfort, I think I’d just chant the Bingley mantra:

“He has a right to his seat. What he doesn’t have a is a right to MINE.”

Why is it when someone relates an experience ~ if the picture painted by that experience is ugly albeit the truth ~ shitty little comments about ‘stereotypes’ come out, implying the complainer is both hateful and uncompassionate. To wit:

Dear Well-Mannered Traveler: “Is there a polite way to deal with an extra large passenger seated next to me? These folks always have bags full of food spilling out everywhere, their arm is actually in my seat space, every time they shift their weight my drink spills, etc. I nearly cry every time I see that I am seated next to such a person. Please advise!
– Sheila T., Parkland Florida
Dear Sheila: Next time you head out to the airport remember to take your tickets and your driver’s license or passport, but please leave your stereotypes behind.

The WMT then discusses dealing with those annoying “SEATMATES OF SIZE“, the implication being that it’s your fault you’re crushed into an armrest by the 500 pound sized fellow in the seat next to you. And that you should shut-up and suck it up, with helpful, well-mannered gems like this:

On a full flight, you’ll just need to make the best of it. Be patient: this isn’t a permanent situation and you’ll eventually get to your destination. Rather than sit and stew, get up and walk up and down the aisle a bit or find a spot out of traffic to stand and read a magazine or chat quietly with another passenger.

Oh gosh. I’ll bet that would have helped the poor young fellow I heard asking for a supervisor in DFW one day. A rotund sized seatmate had exited the tiny plane earlier and I thought ,”Yeesh! I wonder who got to sit next to him…” and then heard the young fellow. It seems he had. In an aisle seat with the super-sized seatmate in the middle. Crushing him against and over the armrest, forcing his entire upper torso INTO the aisle for beverage carts to whang into and bathroom wanderers to beat with their belt buckles on their way to and fro, fo’ard and aft. In an Delta Embraer 70 seater all the long way from Portland to Dallas. I’ll bet it felt pretty permanent to that kid after the first hour of his contortionist act, less mind with another hour or so to look forward to. ‘Wandering’ not available.
I’m about sick of tap dancing around the fact that a 60 inch waist is OBESE. I am the FIRST to point out that my cheesecake picture is MANY years/self-induced cheesecake love handles later and NOT in the “oh, if only Nicole Richie had ten more pounds on her” fashion. Even 40 inch waists will squeeze into the seat and we can still all live in harmony. Most likely (unless you’re a klutz like me), your discomfort in said seat will be yours alone. As it should be. But this crap in her advice to the “seatmate of size” drives me INSANE…

It’s not your fault airline seats are so tiny. If you find yourself cheek-to-cheek with your seatmate, try to make the best of it. You might end up shedding some stereotypes as well.

“IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT”. I’d say something snide about boxes of Snack Wells at this moment, but that would be re-enforcing stereotypes. And mean. And then “Scholars of Fat” lesbian college activists would start commenting on top of our usual asshat. Just SO not worth it. (But we all know whose crumb covered laps I’m alluding to, right?)
So. In an acronym: STFU, discomforted “seatmate of average size”. It’s your fault.
Now, go buy some bacon at Target.

4 Responses to “Rather Than Wander Around the Plane”

  1. Mr. Bingley says:

    I think Karl Rove has been secretly shrinking the seats.
    I’m just sayin…you know.

  2. Mike Rentner says:

    I am SOOOO in agreement with every snarky comment you make here. When I buy a seat on an airplane, I don’t expect to be having intimate contact with a smelly, sweaty person who takes up a quarter or more of the seat I paid for.
    It’s not like sitting next to your brother on a long car trip – “mom, he’s on my side of the line!” I’m paying for a seat. I don’t expect to be perfectly comfortable, and incidental contact is always likely, but continuous encroachment of the place where I paid to sit is intolerable.
    But airlines get sued if they decide someone has to pay for two tickets.

  3. Susanna says:

    So… infuriating… this… topic…

  4. The_Real_JeffS says:

    And people wonder why I prefer not to fly. This isn’t the only reason by far, but it’s an excellent example of the general scenario. If I want to get dumped on, I’ll stand under the outfall of a sewage line, thankyouverymuch. That I wouldn’t be paying much (if anything) for.

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