As some of you know if you follow me on facebook I recently traveled from New York to Florida. This is my fourth trip this year in an attempt to get a job and move south and each time I travel I find new and exciting, if not crazy people in airports and on the planes. This trip was no exception.
Getting ready to board the first flight the man at the counter announces that since there are so few passengers please sit in the last four rows of the plane regardless of what your ticket says your seat assignment says. One woman asked why. The response was "to balance the weight." I thought she was going to faint right there. All the color drained from her face. I'm not sure if she thought the plane would crash or if she just felt she needed to sit in her assigned seat. She asked several time and told him she was supposed to be in seat 3B. I think he had to explain to her about six times where to sit.
The rest of the boarding and flight was fine except it may have been the bumpiest flight I have ever been on. Then the airport was so big that I had to just about run to the gate for my next flight. I didn't have time to go to the bathroom but I did make two minutes time to stop at a Starbucks for my Dirty Chai on the way (you have to have your priorities you know).
The next flight was much larger on a plane that could carry 144 people. The flight was fairly full but I did have an empty seat between me and who I will now call PSB (Plastic Surgery Barbie). She received this nickname from me because of the first conversation I had with her. The very first words out of her mouth were "Wow, I thought I was short but you're even shorter than me." I just nodded my head and said "Yup."
"So how tall are you anyway?"
"4' 9 1/2" (Yes I am short)
"Wow that really is short. I'm 5'4"
"I don't know many people shorter than me. I used to be only 5'3" but I had surgery and it made me taller. I've had lots of surgeries." She then went on to tell me about them all. Hence the PSB nickname. She even asked me where I was going. "Ummmmm.....Florida unless maybe I get adventurous and decide to parachute out over the Carolina's or something." She did get it. *face palm*
She stopped talking so I put my earphones in and turned my music on. I was excited, first I wouldn't have to share my arm rest with anyone and second I could get some writing done that I needed to work on. (Until I realized there was no tray table to put my laptop on because I was in an window exit row. Yes I had another blonde moment but this story isn't about me it's about PSB.)
Or so I thought!!
While we are sitting at the gate she takes off her six inch wedge shoes and puts on socks. Okay, no problem, her feet must get cold on planes. She turns sideways in her seat and leans against the window placing her legs over the armrest and her feet in the seat between us. Next we are taxiing to the runway for take off. She gets out a tupperware type bowl and a fork. She proceed to eat what I think was Ramen Noodles, quickly eating it before take off. I'm not sure why she felt the need to finish her dinner before the plane took off but oh well.
After take off I found (with the help of the guy across the isle getting his out) the tray table that was no nicely tucked in the armrest. I get the laptop out and powered up. Just opened my writing program and start typing. There are two armrests and a whole seat between us that she has her feet on. I felt more than saw her put her feet down and lean over the seat toward me. When I turned my head her face was about four inches from mine.
Pulling my earphones out one ear. "Yes?"
"What kinda book?"
WAIT FOR IT!!
"OH like 50 Shades of Grey?!?!"
"No." (I swore one more person asked me this question I was going to slap them but I controlled myself)
"Oh........So can I read it?"
"Yes as soon as it's edited and published."
"Well can't I just read it while you're writing?"
"No that's not how it works. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book. It wouldn't make sense. I would be happy to email you a copy of it when it's published if you really want to read it." (Anything to get her to be quiet so I could work)
"Oh that would be great."
She sits back in her seat and I replace my earphones and begin writing again. I get about two sentences written when I feel her close again.
"Why can't I see the screen?"
"Because it has a privacy filter on it."
"So no one but me can read it."
"Because I don't want everyone to be able to read what I'm writing until after the books are finished and released."
"Oh okay. So do you have other books?"
"Yes they can be found on SirenBookstrand, Amazon and Barnes and Noble."
"Cool I will have to look for them. (she did not ask me my name or the name of the books) Are they any good?"
She seriously asked me if my own books were any good. Who asks someone that? How am I supposed to reply? Am I supposed to say "No they suck." or "Yes they are amazing."? I told her I thought they were pretty good and I believe most people that I have talked to think the same way.
"Do you have a copy with you I could read?"
"No they are ebooks and I don't have my print copy of the first one yet." Now had I been a smart person and been thinking at the time I would have gotten my kindle out and let her read them from there just to get some peace and quiet to get something done. But NO I didn't think of that until afterward. So she continues to interrupt me and try to read what I'm writing. I finally gave up on getting anything done and packed the laptop away.
Thinking it would be easier to pretend to be asleep than to be rude to her and ask her to stop talking I put my earphone back in and leaned my head back. I was apparntly really tired and felt myself drifting off to sleep. The next thing I know I'm being poked (and I don't mean a gentle tap) in the shoulder. Out of reflex both my hands came up and I was prepared to defend myself against the unknown poker.
"Hey are you awake?"
She didn't even realize how close she was to getting hit. Never EVER touch a sleeping person. Some people swing first, ask questions later. I am one of those people, especially in a strange setting where I can't believe I fell asleep in the first place.
"I am now. What do you need?"
"Do you want a Pringle." First off who offers a stranger they just met on a plane a pringle and second who can eat just ONE pringle?"
"No thanks I'm good."
"Okay but if you change your mind just let me know."
Earphones back in, music on, drifting off again.
"What are you listening to?"
Music back on.
Poke, poke, POKE!!
"Did you see that?" She points to the TV that's playing some sitcom I've never seen.
"No. I was trying to sleep."
"No. I was trying to sleep."
"Oh well, so and so did this and said this. Isn't that funny?"
Music back on. I feel her move closer to me. I grind my teeth together.
"Do not touch me. PLEASE." The please was added because you must always be polite in public even if you want to strangle the person.
She is quite the rest of the flight. Which was about fifteen minutes by that time. The plane lands I get up to retrieve my bag from the overheard storage. She already has hers and can't wait for me to move so she squeezed by me to get off the plane first. Mind you we are in the twentieth row so we're not going anywhere for a while anyway but she NEEDED to get off the plane first (I guess). I'm not sure I stopped trying to figure her out about the time her first word came out of her mouth. She continues up the ramp stopped every ten feet of so right in the middle so no one can get past her to adjust her bag, then her six inch wedge shoes, then the shoulder of her shirt that slipped off her shoulder (it was an off the shoulder shirt!). We finally get to the train to take us to the terminal, I went to the farthest train away from where she was waiting and she still somehow ended up standing next to me holding onto the same hand rail even though there were only five other people in the car. I finally get outside after baggage claim and pray my ride is waiting for me. Thankfully even though mine was not there hers was. She made sure to wave say goodbye to me and point me out to whoever was in the car who also waved.
Luckily I will be flying out of a different airport than I flew into so even if she is headed north at the same time I will not run into her again. If somehow I do, I think I WILL get adventurous and parachute out somewhere in the Carolina's.