The second plane ride to England. It had “awesome potential” written all over it. Being that Noah and I barely made our connecting flight, I got a real good glimpse of the other passengers as I passed every single one of them on our way back to our seats.
And I’ll tell you this much. Either God was looking out for me or he was laughing at me.
The plane seemed overly packed with beautiful women. It seemed that every row I came to had at least one beautiful woman sitting in it, and there weren’t a lot of wedding rings to be seen. I was quite pleased when I reached my seat and sitting across the aisle from me was a gorgeous woman, also with no ring accenting her left hand.
I got Noah situated, stored our carry-ons, and sat down. I shot a quick glance over at this gal and smiled. She smiled back. The seat next to her (and coincidentally in-between us) was empty. Yes, I think I may need to make a new friend, I thought to myself as I secretly planned my first witty remarks to be meticulously given as soon as Noah fell asleep.
Over on my left side was a mean woman. She was probably around 50 and sat with a scowl plastered across her face that said “leave me the hell alone.” Yes, I think I may need to make two new friends, I thought as I secretly planned my first witty remarks to this other woman as well.
The door to the plane was sealed closed and the seat to my right was still empty. Oh yeah, I thought. Again the girl to my right exchanged grins with me. And then…
A big smelly (and I mean smelly) guy came from the rear restroom and plopped down between us. His naked gut pushed out from the bottom of his shirt and rested clumsily covering his lap. Nothing like a fresh whiff of B.O. to start out a seven and a half hour flight. I looked toward where I had just seen the girl. She had disappeared behind the man.
I glanced over from time to time and two things became quickly obvious. A) What I smelled, she was smelling ten times worse. And B) The two didn’t know each other. She sat pinned against the window of the plane, purposefully avoiding the man; purposefully breathing out of her mouth.
This could create opportunity, I thought. As soon as this guy runs to the bathroom, I’m on it like white on rice.
But the man never moved. He just sat there. And smelled bad. I felt horrible for this girl. The drink cart rolled around and she ordered some hard alcohol. Probably to knock herself out of her misery.
To the left of me I got to work on the grumpy 50ish lady. Half an hour into the flight I knew all about her, where she was going, what her kids looked like, how frustrated she was with her husband’s job search in this economy, and what chocolate covered pecans tasted like. She ended up being a great conversationalist, which is always a plus on long plane rides.
Over the course of the flight, I never once saw the smelly man get up. I barely saw him budge. I attempted conversation with him earlier on and he stared at me like I was some kind of moron and then puffed his chest out to completely block out my view of my damsel in distress. He seemed to sense that I wanted to talk to her, and he wasn’t going to have it.
I never did say a single word to that woman. When the plane landed she disappeared into the crowd and out of my life.
Oh well, there’s always the plane rides home.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. How are you on airplanes? Do you like when people try and have conversations with you? Do you feel awkward? Do you avoid it? Are you the one starting the conversations?