I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve flown in my life, but no matter what flight I’m on or what airport I’m at, I’ve noticed you always see the same airport/plane phenomenon over and over again…
The Family Who Packed Their Living Room: I’m convinced every family going on vacation owns a collapsible living room that they take out of their luggage while they’re waiting for their plane to board–they take over the entire gate. The rest of us travelers are all sitting uncomfortably, flipping through a magazine like we’re in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, but the Joneses across from us have their patriarch sitting in Archie Bunker’s chair, the wife is watching The Talk on an old school antenna TV, and the kids have every toy they’ve ever owned splayed across the floor.
The Person Wearing Their Destination or Departure Location on their Shirt: I know we all like to get souvenirs, especially clothing items that proudly display how worldly and well-traveled we are. There’s nothing like a t-shirt made in a sweatshop in Indonesia even though it proudly says Sarasota. I don’t like when I’m at the airport and someone’s shirt gives away where someone is going or where they’ve already been. Whatever happened to leaving something to the imagination? I might have imagined an amazing island getaway for you, but that all disappeared when I saw your obnoxious Cincinnati tee.
The Lost Soul in Security: Despite there being no less than five signs leading up to airport security about what you can and cannot have in your luggage, there’s always someone who holds up the line because of semantics. If the sign read “NO GUNS,” they’ll be in an argument with the TSA employee about how a semiautomatic weapon isn’t a gun. When you empty your pockets out into that little bowl, most recently the man in front of me used it for a single dime he had in his pocket. I have to question what kind of person is carrying just one dime–is he saving it for a sodie pop in 1940? I also noticed that if you’re over the age of 75, you’re allowed to keep your shoes on. I guess 75 is the cut off for being able to remove and put on your shoes in a timely manner.
The Person Sitting Next to You Who’s Never Entirely Normal: Maybe it’s just me, but I always end up sitting next to a man eating an unexpected snack on the plane. It’s never just peanuts or cracker jacks (because people eat those at places other than the ball game). I always get the guy eating the biggest bag of peanut M&Ms you’ve ever seen, a whole pineapple, or some Swedish Fish he unnecessarily smuggled through security in his glasses case. People on the plane get judgmental about your reading choices, too. On a recent flight back to Chicago, the dude on my left was very clearly equating my choice to read Cosmopolitan as an indication that I’m sexually adventurous. Sir, just because you glimpsed over and noticed an article has “anal sex” in the title, doesn’t mean that I’m currently engaging in or have ever engaged in anal sex.
The Luggage Wrangler: I hope you never have to walk through the airport behind one of these people. It only happens with luggage that his wheels and a long handle. In theory, you just hold onto the handle and walk, and the luggage should roll behind you without any problems. Yet, I always manage to see someone struggling to drag their mischievous luggage like it’s a eight-week-old puppy tugging on its leash and sniffing other dog’s butts.
The Stereotypical Flight Attendant: It’s great that we live in a society where people are breaking through barriers and proving stereotypes wrong every day; unfortunately, no matter what airline you use, there’s always one flight attendant furthering the stereotype. I commend them all for being so cheerful in face of the daily threat that their office may come spiraling down from 30,000 feet, but no one should ever be that chipper when they’re showing someone how to unbuckle their seatbelt. Not to mention the pageant hair and make-up, I mean really? Maybe if I risked my life at my job every day I’d see it differently.
I know I can’t be the only one partaking in the prime people watching opportunities at the airport. Who have you come across while flying?
- Don’t Meet Me in St. Louis (Because It Kind of Sucks) (sassandbalderdash.com)
- Traveling for Control Freaks (sassandbalderdash.com)